Member Library Benefits
LEO goes far beyond supporting libraries: its mission is to provide expanded horizons for the people of this region. LEO's efforts support lifelong learning and communal gathering as essential to quality of life in each community that is served.
LEO activities to serve rural libraries include:
Partnerships: for cost efficiencies and strength in collaboration;
Community Programs: informal, lifelong learning for all ages;
Infrastructure: help with facility, technology and collection needs;
Professional Development: workshops for area library staff and volunteers;
Advocacy: recognition of the library as the heart of the rural community.
LEO membership gives libraries the benefits of our collaborative purchasing power — such as with Library2Go — and the organizing resources of LEO for networking, training, and grant writing. Your membership fee demonstrates that you believe in the opportunities created by working together in service to libraries and our communities, and that we can do so much more collectively, each contributing their own piece, than we might hope to do on our own.
With your LEO membership fee, you have the ability to participate in our collaborative purchasing.
LEO manages Library2Go accounts for Eastern Oregon public libraries through the Oregon Digital Library Consortium. Library2Go offers more than 30,000 ebooks and downloadable audio books. Through the LEO group discount, the participating public libraries receive Library2Go at a substantial discount based on overall population served by the library; for the smallest libraries the annual fee is a few hundred dollars, rather than several thousand if the service was purchased by a single library. Patrons can access Library2Go 24/7 from any internet connection, using their library card.
LEO also maintains an Advantage account, investing resources to reduce patron wait times for items in the collection, and allows member libraries to use the Advantage account to make purchases for their own programs. With a small premium services fee, LEO member libraries can also have their own library-specific Advantage account. The premium services fee is directly re-invested in the greater LEO Advantage account. For additional information on LEO's Advantage program, please see the OverDrive Advantage Policy [PDF].
School libraries in the LEO service area with an OverDrive account are eligible to connect to the ODLC collection via the Sora app using OverDrive's Public Library Connect program. Schools, please feel free contact LEO, the ODLC, or OverDrive with any questions.
Beanstack Online Reading Platform
Starting in Fall 2021, all LEO member libraries have free access to Beanstack via LEO's account. This online platform supports community wide reading and summer reading programs. Beanstack is an example of LEO's collaborative purchasing work, which has in the past included resources such as the Chilton Auto Repair database and Brainfuse HelpNow and JobNow.
Bonebrake Professional Development Fund
The Bonebrake Professional Development Fund was created in 2020 in recognition of the many years of service and incredible contributions of retiring Board member Aletha Bonebrake. Aletha was one of the founding members of the Libraries of Eastern Oregon (LEO), and one of its most dedicated volunteers.
The Bonebrake Professional Development Fund supports the continuing education and professional development of library staff in Eastern Oregon, with funds to support the cost for a library staff person from the LEO region to participate in the Oregon Library Association’s biannual Leadership Institute, LIOLA, as well as a set of funds for ongoing scholarships. In addition, the Bonebrake Professional Development Fund contains funding for ongoing virtual and in-person professional development opportunities coordinated by LEO on behalf of members. Past Bonebrake Professional Development Fund support included attendance for LEO member library staff to various Library Journal online courses, in-person readers' advisory training led by Kaite Stover, and support for 2023 LIOLA attendance.
Fiscal Agency Support
LEO member libraries without a 501(c)(3) organization to accept grant funds or donations can use LEO as their fiscal agent. A small administrative fee is charged for this service, depending on the number of transactions. An updated Fiscal Sponsorship Policy was developed in 2023 and offers more information.
Training and Networking Support
Throughout its history, LEO has provided opportunities for member library staff to connect with one another both formally, through organized training sessions, such as the 2021-2022 EDI Cohorts, and informally, through our Annual Meeting (held each October following the quarterly Board meeting), virtual gatherings, online coffee chats, and more. In addition, LEO strives to connect member library staff with training offered by vendors in support of LEO-provided resources, such as OverDrive and Beanstack.
Major Grant Support: EDI Cohorts
In 2021-2022, LEO was awarded a grant funding six regionally-based cohorts in rural Oregon, supporting library staff, board members, and key volunteers in a year-long commitment to move equity work forward in rural, conservative communities. As part of the grant funding, LEO purchased a large number of anti-racism titles for the LEO Advantage account with Library2Go. For more information, please visit the EDI Cohorts information page.
LEO's program continues to serve as a model for the state, with the State Library of Oregon funding additional cohorts in Spring 2023 along the Oregon Coast (Tillamook) and the Portland Metro area (Wilsonville), with another round of cohorts proposed for Fall 2023 and a virtual 201 cohort for Spring 2024.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of Oregon.
Grant Support: Library of Things Pilot
With the Oregon State University Extension program and supported by the Roundhouse Foundation, LEO is supporting three member libraries in their partnership with OSU Extension Master Food Preservers and Faculty in their area to develop a food-related Library of Things collection and offer programming on preservation and food sovereignty.
Past Member Support Projects Of Note
Brainfuse HelpNow and JobNow
Thanks to the generous support of the State Library of Oregon, LEO was able to provide member libraries with access to Brainfuse's HelpNow and JobNow resources through the end of June 2022.
Brainfuse HelpNow provides on demand, anytime, anywhere eLearning for all ages and users of diverse needs and background – an excellent resource to share with your students. With HelpNow, library users could access live tutors for homework help, skill building, and test preparation; use the Writing Lab and 24/7 Center to access help around the clock; prepare for the High School Equivalency and US Citizenship test; and more.
Brainfuse JobNow is a versatile online service designed to support every step of the job search process – an excellent compliment to your current workforce development resources and partnerships. As with HelpNow, library users could access live online coaches; these coaches can assist in resume and cover letter preparation, as well as preparing for job interviews, including live online interview practice from trained job coaches. Baker County Library District and the Oregon Trail Library District (serving most of Morrow County) are among the LEO member libraries who have continued to provide access to this service following the State Library pilot.
Throughout the past twenty years, LEO has worked with member libraries to bring collaborative, coordinated learning and entertainment options to rural communities. This has included arranging for discounted pricing for summer reading programs; coordinating the Big Read, where nine LEO member communities read Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, with complementary programs and activities related to themes of the award-winning novel; STARS (Science, Technology and Rural Students) science programs for all ages; Read Aloud sessions, where where area writers of all levels were encouraged to read aloud from their works; OMSI exhibits and programs for libraries; programs (and $15,000 worth of meteorites!) from the Cascadia Meteorite Lab at Portland State University's Geology Department were brought to rural schools and libraries in 55 Eastern Oregon communities; FINRA's "Smart Investing @ your library" financial literacy programs, which were held at 15 member libraries; and Books for Babies, where 40 public libraries received funding to expand their board book collections.
Major Grant Support: ARTPlace America
In an example of the convening role LEO can play for member libraries, over the course of 15 months, LEO coordinated a grant-funded project, titled “Harvesting Our Stories,” which paired artists and producers in Baker, Hood River, and Wasco Counties to tell the tale of the changing face of agriculture and the power creativity plays in keeping communities and cultures vital for the future. Through the project, LEO focused on helping participating member libraries highlight the role the arts and libraries have on rural economic development. In particular, the project focused on the region's transition from former 20th century dependence on natural resources (logging, mining) and traditional agriculture to an emerging economy of tourism that focuses on art, culture, and value added agriculture (niche foods, farm and ranch stays).