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About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (May 2, 2015)
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SERVING FLORENCE • DUNES CITY • WESTLAKE • MAPLETON • SWISSHOME • DEADWOOD • YACHATS AND ALL POINTS BETWEEN
celebrates 100 years
of library services
B Y C HANTELLE M EYER
In 1936, Florence Public Library “had enthusiasm and
books but very little else,” according to coverage of the
library’s 50th anniversary publication on June 3, 1965.
Only one library patron was needed to maintain the
grounds at this location as there was no water available
to plant shrubs or flowers. The buildings were donated
by the Oregon State Highway Commission and relocat-
ed behind the Cooper Building on Bay Street.
In 1965, Florence Public Library celebrated National
Library week with a Dr. Seuss “Bookworm,” designed
by Mrs. Woodward. The building was renovated in 1953,
replacing windows that had been in use since before the
building’s move in 1936.
SIUSLAW NEWS FILE PHOTOS
n Thursday, May 7,
the Florence area
will observe 100
years of having a
“One of the things I love about the library is that there
aren’t necessarily lots of places anymore where all kinds of
people walk in the door everyday,” said Siuslaw Public
Library Director Meg Spencer. “People come in who are 2
years old, people who are 90, people who love to read, peo-
ple who need to get online, people who are doing their
small business. We serve all kinds of people, and that’s a
A library first began in Florence in 1915, spurred by an
editorial in The West, the local newspaper, and led by the
Women’s Conservation League.
By the end of 1915, the library had almost 150 items.
Now, the Siuslaw Public Library District has 101,000
physical items between its Florence and Mapleton branches.
“Add to that the e-books, digital magazines, download-
able audio books and other resources that we have online,
and that means more than 165,000 materials,” Spencer
said. “That’s insane.”
Throughout its history, the library has been located
behind Bay Street, in buildings donated by Oregon
State Highway Commission, with Florence City Hall
on Highway 101 and its current location on Ninth
The library opened a branch in Mapleton in 1993.
In 1996, the Mapleton branch moved locations to
Spencer said, “We’re doing a lot of amazing
things. One thing we’ve done for the past year that I
am really excited about is a lot more programming.”
The library often holds month-long literary
themes, like “Lincoln in Oregon” in April for the
anniversary of the end of the Civil War, “Blind Date with a
Book” in February and celebrating National Arts and
Humanities Month in October.
Other programs include Baby Story Time, Teen Anime
Club and Lego Club.
“We have more opportunities for teens to come in and
do fun things,” Spencer said.
The library also has an Early Literacy Program, in
conjunction with PeaceHealth and Healthy Family
Lane County, in which caregivers can register to get
books, a bib that says “Read to me” and other learn-
ing materials. Parents and caregivers can access the
“Ages and Stages” questionnaire to monitor chil-
“Through grant funding, we received a couple
of early literacy iPads, two here, one in
Mapleton,” Spencer said. “Children can come and
get experience using a tablet and play early literacy
The Children’s Library also has toys and cos-
tumes for imaginative play and books, geared for
fun, but that can help a child get ready for school.
During the summer, the library features a reading
program for children, teens and adults.
This year’s theme is “Every Hero has a Story.”
One of the library’s most popular features is its
gallery and display of artwork.
“People are crazy for our art,” Spencer said.
May’s gallery theme is “Hang It All,” an annual
show featuring artwork that people brought in for
display on May 1.
The library’s other services include free Wi-Fi,
computers, a Spanish language section, Learning
Express online test preparation, classes on computer
basics, monthly programs and space that can be
reserved for events and groups.
Spencer said, “We are one of the best-used
libraries in the country. We’re in the top 20 percent.
We are well used and well loved.”
A lot of what the Siuslaw Public Library does
couldn’t be done without the many volunteers who
stock shelves, repair books, organize the artwork, help
patrons and assist staff.
S AT U R D AY
SPORTS — B
Local study analyzes
Rhody Fest weather
B Y C HANTELLE M EYER
When you’ve been going to the
Rhododendron Festival Grand Floral
Parade for as many years as Myrna
Klupenger, you begin to notice pat-
terns — specifically in the weather.
“I have observed that it very
rarely rains during the annual
Rhododendron Parade,” Klupenger
said. “Sometimes there are showers
during the morning but it breaks for
the parade. Sometimes the rain
clouds move in Sunday afternoon as
many visitors are leaving.”
Klupenger, 63, of Florence, began
to wonder about this occurrence.
Could it be the season? Could it be
that the Rhododendron Festival falls
so often on the same weekend in
May each year? Maybe there was
something else at play.
She began looking at data and
decided that this research could be
part of her master’s degree program.
“I assumed that ... local residents
and thousands of weekend visitors
have the desire for a rain-free
parade. I have often wondered if that
focused group intention might affect
the weather,” she said.
PHOTO BY CHANTELLE MEYER/SIUSLAW NEWS
Airboat Tours Northwest joins
Rhody Fest for the first time with
45-minute boat rides on the
This title could have been the
headline in the 1947 edition of the
Siuslaw Oar when Florence’s annual
festival resumed its appearance in
the community following a hiatus
during World War II. This year will
be the 108th anniversary of the leg-
endary festival, returning for 2015
with fanfare and excitement.
The Rhododendron Scholarship
Showcase is back at the Florence
Events Center (FEC) on Wednesday,
May 6. Tickets to the performance
by the Rhododendron Senior Court
Princes and Princesses and the
Junior Court Princesses are avail-
able through the FEC box office.
CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK
125 TH Y EAR • I SSUE N O . 35