The Oregon Public Library is one of our hidden gems! An ongoing restoration is bringing the classic building back to it’s original charm, so be sure to make it a part of your visit.
Highlights include the Eagles Nest Colony art collection. A second floor gallery was provided at the suggestion of the colony members, as the artists used the gallery space for public art exhibitions and lectures. Eagle’s Nest Colony founder Lorado Taft persuaded fellow artists to donate over fifty works to the Oregon Public Library as a permanent collection. These paintings and sculpture remain in the library gallery to this day.
The Oregon Public Library was established in 1872. The library resided in rental space until the early 1900’s, when Andrew Carnegie announced that he would donate $10,000 for a public library in Oregon if the condition of providing a maintenance fund of 10 percent was met.
Plans for the current library building were drawn by Chicago architechts Pond and Pond. The construction contract was let in 1907 to M.D. Smith of Dixon. Doors opened for public service in 1908.
Thanks to the efforts of Oregon residents Marsha Behrens, Bonnie Kelly, and Helen Sierra, the Oregon Public Library was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 9, 2003.
Library Mission Statement
It is the Oregon Public Library District’s mission to provide appropriate resources in support of the information and recreation needs of area residents, and thereby be a center for community enrichment and lifelong learning.
Art Gallery Mission Statement
To serve as a cultural resource for the Oregon community through the promotion and preservation of the Eagle’s Nest Art Colony Collection and its heritage, and the general advancement of the arts and humanities.
Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Oregon Public Library District is a volunteer, non-profit organization. Through free public programs, fundraising and volunteer work, these Friends make a real difference in our community!
The Friends meet quarterly to plan activities to benefit the library and enjoy the company of other library enthusiasts.
Two annual fundraisers, a book sale during Autumn on Parade and a Holiday Cookie Sale, allow the group to purchase items for the library; and to sponsor local authors, lecture series and other educational and recreational programs for all ages at the library.