First Look: November 2019 Library Elections

At least 50 libraries were on the ballot yesterday, Tuesday, November 5th, with levies, bonds, and other referendum to stabilize or increase their funding for collections, services, staffing, and facilities.

At least 50 libraries were on the ballot yesterday, Tuesday, November 5th, with levies, bonds, and other referendum to stabilize or increase their funding for collections, services, staffing, and facilities.

The first look at any Election Night is always “unofficial” and subject to change, but we want to share the top-level results as we uncovered them. The majority of libraries of the ballot were located in Colorado and Ohio, making this less of a national and more of a regional snapshot. Of the 35 libraries where county Board of Election results are now available, 30 appear to have passed their ballot measures and 5 failed. Unfortunately, all 5 that failed were for new funding. Renewals accounted for 23 of the 30 that passed. Two of the measures for new funding that passed were city-wide General Obligation bonds. With 5 requests for new, dedicated library funding passing and 5 failing, it was a mixed night for the growth.

A notable win includes the establishment of the new Southwest La Plata County Library District in Colorado, the nation’s newest library district. The two public libraries in that part of the county were set to close following the County Commission funding cut-off. An incredibly dedicated group of local stakeholders lead the way to put the measure on the ballot and campaign for passage. EveryLibrary was proud to support them through our pro-bono campaign consulting and a direct donation to the Vote Yes committee.


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We were thrilled to see our friends at the Pine River Library District in Bayfield, CO pass their measure last night. After losing on the 2018 Midterms by only 9 votes (after a recount), the library leadership team re-evaluated the scope of the project and the library Yes Committee rededicated themselves to the hard work of building a coalition to get out the vote. It passed handily with 58% of the vote. The Portage Area District Library ran a new mil levy for the first time since 1992 and saw excellent local support with nearly 60% voting yes. Likewise, in Telluride, CO. the San Miguel Public Library District went out for new funding for the first time in 22 years and saw 73% of their voters agree. We want to congratulate the Pueblo City-County Library and the Eagle Valley Library District, two other libraries we supported directly, on passing their measures.

If your library is going to the ballot in the next 3 to 5 years, we would be happy to connect with your team to help review and evaluate your campaign planning. Please reach out to us. Early campaign planning, fundraising, and coalition building make all the difference.

Preliminary and Unofficial Results – November 5, 2019

Library City/County State What is on the ballot Votes For Votes Against Total Votes Cast % yes % no Pass / Fail
Ada Public Library Hardin County OH An additional tax for the benefit of Ada Public Library for the purpose of current expenses at a rate not exceeding 1 mil for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.10 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for 5 years, commencing in 2019, first due in calendar year 2020. 549 327 876 62.60% 37.30% Pass
Albuquerque   NM Large city-wide GO Bond that includes $8.8 million for public libraries, including a library in the International District. 56680 22301 78981 71.76% 28.24% Pass
Anythink Adams County CO Mill Levy (note that this is under Rangeview Library Dist on the clerk’s page, but tweet about Anythink please) 29507 34221 63728 46.30% 53.70% Fail
Ashtabula County District Library Ashtabula County OH ADD – 0.25 MILLS – TECHNOLOGY UPDATES + LIBRARY BUILDINGS – CPOT 4357 4401 8758 49.75% 50.25% Fail
Beekman Library   NY Increase Beekman Town contribution to library budget by $19.3K 1597 894 2491 64.11% 35.89% Pass
City of Peekskill Westchester NY Should the city increase its funding for the Field Library budget by $38,000 to $833,000 a year? 2096 1116 3212 65.26% 34.74% Pass
Delta County Library District Delta County CO Issue 7A asks voters to approve a 2.7 mill levy increase 4390 5786 10176 43.14% 56.86% Fail
Dorchester County Library Dorechester SC $30 million General Obligation Bonds for library construction n the Summerville, North Charleston + Ridgeville areas of Dorchester County. 11576 5798 17374 66.63% 33.37% Pass
Eagle Valley Library District Eagle County CO De-Gallagher 4618 2573 7191 64.22% 35.78% Pass
Flint Public Library Flint MI $12.6M bond for building renovation 9618 4039 13657 70.43% 29.57% Pass
FOREST-JACKSON PUBLIC LIBRARY Hancock County OH A renewal of a tax for the benefit of the Forest-Jackson Public Library for the purpose of current expenses at a rate not exceeding 0.7 mill for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to seven cents ($0.07), for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for a period of five (5) years, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021. 356 130 486 73.25% 26.75% Pass
Garfield County Library District Garfield County CO 1.5 mill increase – about $4 million dollars per year . They say that would help them make up for about 2 million dollars that they’ve lost since 2015. 6A also asks voters to waive any restrictions TABOR, or the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, places on their revenue. 5471 5138 10609 51.57% 48.43% Pass
Granville Public Library Granville/Licking OH Renew 5 year levy at 1 mill 2686 655 3341 80.40% 19.60% Pass
GRANVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY Licking County OH Property Tax – Renewal – 1 Mill, 5 Years, For the purpose of Current Expenses 2686 655 3341 80.40% 19.60% Pass
Gunnison County Library District Gunnison CO Raise property taxes by 1.9 mills beginning in 2020; relieve the library district of its TABOR limits; and counteract reductions in the district’s funding caused by state taxing regulations like the Gallagher Amendment. 2410 2094 4504 53.51% 46.49% Pass
Harris Elmore Library Ottawa County OH Renewal of 1.1 mills current expenses (5 years, 2020) 2116 802 2918 72.52% 27.48% Pass
Hurt/Battelle Memorial Library of West Jefferson Madison County OH Renewal – 1 mil 5 years 903 343 1246 72.40% 27.50% Pass
Kent Public Library Putnam County NY Increase by $39,536 the town’s contribution to the Kent Public Library budget, to $566,686. 1856 850 2706 68.59% 31.41% Pass
London Public Library Madison County OH Renewal – 1.5 mils 5 years 1526 485 2011 75.80% 24% Pass
Loveland Library Loveland CO sales tax (will benefit several city departments, including library) 8965 10163 19128 46.87% 53.13% Fail
Manitou Springs (City – for projects) Manitou Spring CO New 0.3% sales tax would go toward arts, culture and heritage including library 880 936 1816 48.46% 51.54% Fail
Mechanicsburg Public Library Champaign County OH Levy renewal 538 287 825 65.21% 34.79% Pass
Mechanicsburg Public Library Madison County OH Renewal – 1 mil 5 years 9 5 14 64.29% 35.71% Pass
Milton-Union Public Library Miami County OH Renewal 770 230 1000 77% 23% Pass
Moffatt County Library – 2A Craig CO 2A – The Craig measure is 2 parts because they have to approve the retail marijuana measure in order to get the sales tax. 1386 1125 2511 55.20% 44.80% Pass
Moffatt County Library – 2B Craig CO 2B – an additional sales tax of 5% on the sales of retail marijuana and marijuana products and an excise tax of 5% – libraries included as a beneficiary 1635 895 2530 64.62% 35.38% Pass
Pine River Library District Bayfeild CO Mill Levy 1875 1318 3193 58.72% 41.28% Pass
Portage Area District Library   MI A 0.5-mill property tax increase for 10 years. 4435 3037 7472 59.35% 40.65 Pass
Preble County District Library Preble County OH 1 mil replacement levy for 5 years 4280 3224 7504 57% 43% Pass
Pueblo City-County Library Pueblo CO Replace expiring mill levy 17699 12663 30362 58.29% 41.71% Pass
Rock Creek Public Library Ashtabula County OH REN – 1.5 MILLS – CURRENT EXPENSES – 5 YEARS 467 157 624 74.84% 25.16% Pass
San Miguel Public Library District Telluride CO increase of .75 mill levy 1380 508 1888 73.09% 26.91% Pass
Southwest La Plata County Library District LaPlata County CO Create a new library district and establish a levy 882 811 1693 52% 48% Pass
Warren-Trumbull Co Library Additional 0.4 mill Trumbull County OH Additional 0.4 mill levy 15314 10664 25978 58.95% 41.05% Pass
Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library Lake County OH Renewal 11238 6150 17388 64.63% 35.37% Pass

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