In May 2013, the Oregon State Library and the Department of Administrative Services were directed by the Legislature to develop a detailed strategic business plan for the reorganization of the State Library.  This came on the heels of the 2011 Working Group of Libraries and State Archives report submitted to the Legislature in 2012.  The State Library embarked on an aggressive planning process under the guidance of DAS as the project manager. In August 2013, the State Library sent a report to the Interim Joint Conference Committee on Ways and Means on the project.  This was to be reviewed in September 18 at a Committee hearing.  At that hearing, the Committee chair, Senator Steiner-Hayward, stated that she would work with Representative Nancy Nathanson to craft a legislative proposal to "reorganize, streamline, and clarify functions" among the State Library, Archives, the State Law Library and Oregon Historical Society (Steiner-Hayward & Nathanson, October 25, 2013). 

On October 25, Steiner-Hayward and Nathanson sent their library reorganization plan to Sarah Miller (Deputy COO of DAS), MaryKay Dalgreen (State Librarian). MaryBeth Herkert (State Archivist), Kerry Tymchuk (Executive Director of Oregon Historical Society) and Cathryn Bowie (State Law Librarian).  An addendum to this report was distributed on November 6, 2013. 

 The co-chairs of the OLA Library Development and Legislation Committee (Abigail Elder and Janet Webster) worked with Penny Hummel (OLA President), Michele Burke (OLA Past President), Candice Watkins (OLA President Elect) and Nan Heim (OLA Lobbyist) to respond to the report and articulate our concerns as well as our support.  This response was sent to Senator Steiner-Hayward and Representative Nathanson on November 13, 2013.  In her email to OLA members, Penny articulated the purpose of our response: "In keeping with our understanding of the process, we have focused on those areas where OLA can make a positive and significant impact on what happens in the future.  Our goal for OLA is to be a constructive partner in the process, rather than simply champions of the status quo, particularly since it is clear that a certain degree of change is inevitable."

The OLA Library Development and Legislation Committee will continue to monitor the project, alert OLA leadership of possible actions and inform the membership of relevant development.  The State Library provides vital service to the Oregon Library Association and Oregon's libraries.  We support a State Library that is robust and responsive to the current needs of its internal and external customers.  We also recognize the unique missions of the State Law Library and State Archives. In our response, we described our goals for the transformation process:

  • Improved access to information for state employees and for all Oregonians;
  • Improved access to Oregon’s history;
  • Preservation of the state’s records and history;
  • Leadership to help libraries serve all Oregonians;
  • Robust service to the print disabled.

At our committee meeting on November 18, we decided to focus our attention on the future of access to and preservation of state and federal documents, and the development of an information portal to the varied information resources of the State. DIGOR worked with us on briefing papers and a map.  These will be used with legislators.


The State Library is maintaining a web site ( for the project that has links to the relevant documents.

OLA's response to the report is here.

If you have comments, concerns or suggestions please contact Penny Hummel, Janet Webster or Abigail Elder.