Consistency, Not Cookie-Cutter: Maintaining Individuality Within a Library System

  • Brystan Strong Jackson County Library Services
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Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) is celebrating its centennial this year, and in 2020, we will be transitioning away from a contract with Library Systems and Services, and moving into our own library district. With this transition comes a lot of discussion about where we have come from, and how we want to represent ourselves as a system for the next 100 years.

Jackson County is 2,802 square miles and has 15 libraries to serve its 11 incorporated cities and 34 unincorporated communities. That is a lot of kids and families wanting quality library programming. However, what the kids and families want in our Applegate branch could be very different from what the kids and families an hour south at our Ashland branch would want. It’s also important, though, that no matter which of the 15 branches is closest to you, you can walk in there and find not only relevant materials, but also experience a variety of fun, educational, and meaningful programming. This is why I look for “consistency, not cookie-cutter” when coordinating library services at our many branches. So the question for me, as the district youth services coordinator, was “how do I make sure that all 15 branches are providing the same level of service, that they are all working towards the JCLS mission, but also not take away from their individuality?”


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Author Biography

Brystan Strong, Jackson County Library Services

Brystan Strong just celebrated her one year anniversary as Youth Services Coordinator for Jackson County Library Services and is coming up on her fifth year anniversary with the system (having been hired as a shelver in 2015). When she isn’t immersed in storytime, tutus, and toddler aerobics, she writes dark speculative fiction (because balance is key). She lives in Southern Oregon with her partner, and their pets: a cat, a bird, and several fish. She loves floral prints, dinosaurs, true crime podcasts, and reading (she is a librarian after all).

How to Cite
Strong, B. (2020). Consistency, Not Cookie-Cutter: Maintaining Individuality Within a Library System. OLA Quarterly, 25(4), 28-30.