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Oregon Library Association Legislative Principles and Agenda

Adopted by the OLA Board, October 4, 2013

Reviewed by the OLA Library Development & Legislative Committee, May 2016


The OLA’s Vision 2020 outlines some basic concepts that inform our legislative principles and agenda.


  • There will be funding challenges in Oregon.
  • Oregon libraries will maintain a sense of service, and a commitment to provide many services to many people in many ways.
  • The next decade will bring many changes; some will be difficult and possibly alarming, some invigorating.
  • When Oregon library staff members collaborate, we are stronger and more efficient.
  •  Every library and every library worker has something to contribute to our collective strength and growth.


Collaboration: In 2020, Oregon librarians will rely on dynamic professional networks – local, statewide and beyond – for resources, support and expertise.

People: In 2020, library staff and library advocates will actively participate in nimble, supportive and creative organizations.

Community: In 2020, public, academic, school and special libraries will be an important presence in Oregon’s communities.

Place: In 2020, the library will be the place its users need it to be.

Guiding Principles 

Intellectual Freedom

We recognize that intellectual freedom issues can emerge from all layers of our society.  OLA is prepared to respond to questions and challenges at both the state and local level.

  • Libraries and library staff uphold and protect the principles of intellectual freedom and the public’s right to know by providing their users with ready and equal access to ideas and information.
  • Libraries and library staff are committed to providing access to information in all formats to the individuals they serve.

Lifelong Learning and Literacy

We encourage all to consider the role libraries play throughout the learning continuum.  Our users change as they grow in their expectations or needs of their libraries. 

  • Libraries and library staff encourage children and young people to develop a lifelong interest in reading and learning, and help provide them with literacy skills.
  • Libraries serve as learning centers, assisting students and scholars in meeting educational objectives, and supporting people of all ages in their lifelong pursuit of self-education.

Equitable Access

We serve all the people of Oregon and, therefore, work to ensure that all who want library services receive them.

  • Lib
    raries protect and advocate for ready and equitable access to information.
  • Libraries are the most logical and effective mechanisms to provide access to the broad range of government information - nationally, statewide and locally - in every community. Libraries will urge government to affirm its obligation to create and widely distribute government information as a necessary resource for full participation in a democratic society.


Stewardship of Public Resources

We understand the dynamics of public fund availability. We encourage the wise use of public resources through collaboration among strong organizations.

  • Libraries serve the public interest by being economical, credible, locally-based points of access for information resources and services.
  • Libraries and library staff are committed to resource sharing and partnerships that promote equity of access to information.
  • Libraries, the foundation of our nation’s information infrastructure, make significant contributions to other national, state and local programs to further societal goals.
  • Library staff select, analyze, organize, preserve and distribute information in all formats making information meaningful and accessible to the public. 

Legislative Agenda: 2015/2017

To fulfill these principles and provide leadership within Oregon, OLA will study and respond to any measures, legislative or ballot, which affect the ability of Oregon libraries to follow the guiding principles. The Library Development and Legislation Committee is charged as the lead in these efforts.


Intellectual Freedom

  • Legislation: Support legislation that reaffirms libraries’ role in providing access to information, and oppose specific measures that could restrict access.
  • Ballot measures: Oppose ballot measures that could lead to censorship, and support measures that reaffirm and protect the principles of intellectual freedom.
  • Local control: Support the decision-making responsibilities of local library governing bodies.
  • Privacy: Advocate for appropriate confidentiality and privacy measures.


Lifelong Learning and Literacy

  • Ready to Read Grant Program: Support efforts to revise the Ready to Read Grant Program so that it continues to build on the success of early learning efforts and collaboration within the P-20 community.
  • Education continuum: Support measures that expand libraries’ unique role in encouraging literacy for children and lifelong learning for all.
  • School libraries: Advocate for restoration of services, resources and staffing of Oregon’s school libraries. 
  • Higher education: Support the sustainability of college and university libraries as they serve their diverse student populations.


Equitable Access

  • State Library services: Support the State Library as it updates its services and resources for Oregon’s libraries and users.
  • Internet access: Ensure that every library has easy and affordable access to a high quality, high bandwidth telecommunications network.
  • Legal information: Encourage partnerships among libraries and the State Law Library to improve access to legal information in unserved and underserved areas.
  • Vulnerable libraries: Be a resource to communities faced with constrained resources so they can continue to provide services.
  • Access for all Oregonians: Extend access to state funded information resources for all Oregonians through projects such as the Libraries of Oregon.


Stewardship of Public Resources

  • Database access: Support measures to maintain a broad menu of sustainably-funded electronic resources that are available to all libraries and Oregonians.
  • Library cooperation: Enhance cooperation among all libraries in Oregon including support for sustainable funding of collaborative online reference service.
  • State Library funding: Support adequate funding for operation of the Oregon State Library.
  • State support: Continue to support enhanced state funding opportunities for all types of libraries - school, public and higher education libraries.
  • Public management: Advocate for transparency of the fiscal management and governance of public libraries and related use of public funds.
  • Public funding:  Advocate for stable funding of public libraries in all communities.