BEND, OR -- After 100 years serving Central Oregonians, the Deschutes Public Library is crafting a plan to remain relevant into the next century. Director Todd Dunkelberg says the library board is working with residents to determine how best to expand as the region grows, "We've been trying to figure out what we need to do with this very fast-growing population. We're just reaching the end of our first 100 years of service in Deschutes County and looking at how we're going to be successful in the future."
Over the past year, the board has talked with more than 1,600 residents about what they want in their library, and worked with a firm to start designing the new spaces, "Plans include updating all our library facilities, but also adding an additional new building in Bend - a Central Library, and expanding our Redmond library to 40,000 Sq ft." But, Dunkelberg tells KBND News, there's more work to do, "Where would that be? What would it look like? Working with the public to start designing these buildings, and then looking at how we can look forward to pay for them." He wants to explore all the options before asking voters to step up, "The first thing we'd do is look at our current budgeting. The next piece would be to go out for any possible grants, look for donors that would like to help support this, and look for any types of partnerships we could do." He says he would exhaust all those options before considering a bond proposal.
Dunkelberg says, no matter how large or technology-based the library gets, the atmosphere will still welcome everyone, "We're where people come to meet and gather, and that's always going to require human contact. And, that's a role that our librarians and staff already excel at, and it's something that we'll be able to do more of, as we grow."