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As Douglas County libraries close, volunteers keep Sutherlin branch open

The City, school district and 60 volunteers are keeping the Sutherlin Library open. Photo by Audrey Weil.

SUTHERLIN, Ore. - Amid a system-wide shutdown of Douglas County libraries, the Sutherlin branch refuses to close its doors.

In April, volunteers took over to keep their local library running.

There are now 60 volunteers.

"That to me shows you the commitment of individuals in this community to keep this library open," volunteer coordinator Jean Galleher said.

The lights were off for just two days before Galleher, the City of Sutherlin and the school district took matters into their own hands.

"Every day we're thanked by the patrons that come in to thank us for keeping the doors open and so we know how important it is," Galleher said.

The City's in charge of the building and the school district provides tech support.

"The books that are housed here are still owned by Douglas county so they're not allowed to be checked out," Galleher said.

But Gallaher says it's a hurdle she and the team will overcome.

"We're gearing up to do the old fashioned manual checkout with 500 new books that have been donated and that system should be in place probably in the next two weeks," she said.

The Library is hosting an open house and used book sale Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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