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New O'Brien building coming

Blue River will again host free public library

BLUE RIVER: The town’s new library will be located on the corner of Blue River Drive and Dexter Street. After the Holiday Farm Fire, two lots adjoining the old O’Brien Library property were purchased with the insurance settlement. The added space will improve access, visibility, parking, and septic service.

Funding for the replacement includes $1.4 million in state funding received in November of 2021 and $600,000 in the insurance settlement.

PIVOT Architecture of Eugene was selected to design the new library, with the vision of providing a warm and welcoming space, as well as much-needed services, in the heart of Blue River.

Like other local projects, building costs have increased over 40% since the state money was received, so the library board has been working with PIVOT to decrease costs within their budget.

“We hope to start building in late January 2023.,” according to building committee member Mary Sherman. “Our library will include a large space including the books, a children’s area, and a welcoming reading area with comfortable seating, and separate meeting room, work room, bathrooms, and a covered area adjoining the back of the library.”

Committee members say they are actively seeking more grants to support the library build as well as operations after the new library opens.

Currently, there’s a temporary library inside the Upper McKenzie Community Center in Rainbow that’s been operating since July 5th, 2021. There, the library received a grant to purchase and operate a computerized circulation system and catalog, a website with E-books and Audiobooks. There’s also public access to a fine collection of books and DVDs for movies, Wi-Fi, as well as computers for use on-site.

“We will be transferring all of this to the new library, so we can begin operations soon after the building is finished,” Sherman says.

People can visit the library’s website to learn more at or via email at [email protected].


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