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Jim Scheppke (1991-2011)
State Librarian Jim Scheppke
Jim Scheppke began his tenure in 1991.
In 1991, the Board approved a mission change moving the Library away from acting as a public library for the citizens of Oregon, and towards becoming a special library that primarily met the information needs of state government employees.
In 1993, a Bill was passed in the Legislature to create a State Library assessment of state agencies for library services.  This assessment replaced General Fund money, as well as Federal Library Services and Construction Act funds, in the State Library budget.
Also in the 1993 Legislature a bill was passed to change an existing program of state aid to public libraries to the Children Services Improvement Grant program, funded at 25¢ per child per year.  Yet another bill passed that removed the statutory mandate that the State Library provide public library services for Oregonians without a local public library.
Another request was made by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to the 1993 Legislative Assembly for $3,311,937 as part of the Capitol Construction Program for 1993-1995.  In 1995 DAS began working with the State Library Board and staff members to plan the renovation project.  By early 1998 DAS had settled on seven million dollars to renovate the State Library, construction began in September of 1998.
In 1997, the Children's Services Improvement Grant program was renamed the Ready to Read Grant program; funding was increased to 75¢ per child.
In 1999, the Information Resources Management Division of DAS leased rooms on the third floor of the library for their Statewide Technology Education Program Services (STEPS) to serve state employees.  Also in that year, Web-Braille, downloadable Braille which can be printed or read with an electronic Braille reader, was first offered to Talking Book patrons.
At the close of 2000, the State Library Building renovation was completed.  In addition to renovation of facilities and office spaces, the Oregon Arts Commission Percent for Arts program created original artwork by Oregon artists Dennis Cunningham, Margot Thompson and Kim Stafford for the various areas in the library.
In 2004, Talking Books started offering Unabridged, a service which allows TBABS patrons to download digital audio books to their hard drive, or transfer to MP3 players. the first such service in the country.
2005 was a landmark year for the State Library which celebrated its 100 year anniversary.  That same year the Talking Books program removed Braille from their collection and began a partnership with the Utah State library to provide Braille to its patrons.
Also in 2005, HB 2118 was signed which created the Oregon Documents Repository to collect and archive electronic Oregon Documents.  The Repository went live in July of 2006.
In 2007, the State Library was designated the Regional Federal Depository Library. The State Library and the Oregon State Poetry Association (OSPA) agreed upon a MOU concerning a poetry collection housed at the State Library and a reading room for the Poet Laureate of Oregon.
Also in 2007, the State Library partnered with the Oregon Association of School Libraries to begin to develop a statewide Battle of the Books competition to turn students on to reading and to showcase the value of school librarians in Oregon schools.
In 2009, Talking Book and Braille Services celebrated its 40th anniversary at the State Library, and in September of that year the transition to the new digital talking books began, replacing 4-track cassette books.
In 2010, Jim traveled for the first time to Oregon's sister library in Fujian, China, to speak at the Fujian Library Association Conference and to tour public and academic libraries and meet with professional colleagues. He went with three other Oregon librarians who were participating in the Horner Library Exchange Project.
Jim Scheppke retired on December 31, 2011, after twenty years as State Librarian.
To view historic photos from 1991-present follow the link below:
Photos 1991-present