Make the McKenzie Connection!

Library is recovering

Plans call for a lot roomier building

BLUE RIVER: The board of directors of the O’Brien Memorial Library reports they are poised to start rebuilding this spring, as soon as they get a building permit. As part of the process, the board plans to continue to apply for grants, accept donations, and trim expenses.

“Our mission is to provide a welcoming space to residents and visitors of Blue River and the McKenzie River Valley, with books inspiring a love of reading and lifelong learning,” according to Mary Sherman. “Our library will be welcoming, reflecting the beauty and spirit of the McKenzie River Valley, with a cathedral ceiling with wooden beams and windows along the peak and sides of the main room, providing natural lighting.”

Books located in the main room, along with the children's area, will have large windows overlooking the backyard.

The plans call for a reading area to greet people as they step in the front door, which will be located on the corner of Blue River Drive and Dexter Street. Interior details will include comfortable seating, an electric fireplace, and tall windows situated so they provide views of the backyard and surrounding mountains. Desks, laptops, printing, and WiFi will also be available.

Other amenities will include a community meeting room, also with large windows and views of the town and mountains. That area will provide room for AV equipment, tables and chairs, as well as a kitchen area. Sherman notes the meeting room will be available to rent for meetings, classes, groups, and social events, along with community gatherings. The room features a door connecting directly to the patio and backyard for outdoor events.

Outside, the backyard has been designed to feature a covered patio, seating, tables, and a grassy area for reading, connecting with friends and neighbors, and hosting small venues such as music, art, weddings, family and friend gatherings - plus outdoor education events. “It will also feature native plants and trees, with footpaths to invite connecting with nature,” Sherman said.

There will also be items and signage to invite visitors to explore the history, art, and natural world of the McKenzie River Valley.

“People are invited to connect with the library board to share their thoughts and ideas for this special place, to help the library be a place where the community comes to connect, share and create the vision for our future,” Sherman says. “Please contact us with your ideas and support us at or email us at [email protected].”


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