A Great Night for Our Libraries At the Ballot!

Yesterday was a great Election Day for the library communities that EveryLibrary backed! Seven out 9 of our libraries passed their measures.

From Rochelle Park, NJ., where the town will now have a permanently funded municipal library, to Kitsap Regional Library in Washington where $3.5 million in new annual operating funding will take that county system to the next level, libraries were strong on the ballot. Here are the preliminary vote results from November 7, 2017 for each of our communities:

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WIN – Moniteau County (MO) – a vote to establish a new library district and a vote to establish basic funding for unserved parts of the county, including the town of California, following a judge’s invalidation of the previous district in February. This is our second campaign in Moniteau County.

WIN – Hiawatha (IA) Public Library – a $1.7-million bond vote, as part of a $4.7-million funding plan for a new, larger library with $2 million in fundraising and a $1 million contribution from the city.

LOSS – Clearview Library District (CO) – a $25-million bond to build a new library and re-invest in the education, arts and culture, and business development work of the library.

WIN – Rochelle Park, N.J. – The town of Rochelle Park did not have a municipal library and has no access to interlibrary loan or other key library resources. A wonderful group of local residents is campaigning to set up a library with guaranteed funding of .3 mills, the “baseline funding” for libraries in the state.

Partial Pass* - Greensburg-Hempfield Area Library (PA) – a 1-mill dedicated levy to put the library budget on stable footing and avoid severe cuts now and closure soon. Two of 6 municipalities passed the measure and taxes will be levied there. The board is considering what to do next with their remaining 4 partner communities.

WIN – Kitsap (WA) Regional Library System – an $0.08-cent levy increase ($3.45 million annually) for operations, collections, programs, services and staffing across this county-wide system.

WIN – Dallas (TX) Public Library – an $11.5 million dollar bond package to build two new libraries and make facilities improvements across the entire system. This is one line item (Item E) in a larger city bond package, but must pass on its own. The team at the Friends of the Dallas Public Library spearheaded this campaign.

WIN – St. Clairsville (OH) Public Library – a vote to establish a 5-year levy for current operating expenses. This was one of the few remaining libraries in Ohio that only runs on state aid.

WIN – Henrietta (NY) Public Library – a $10 million dollar bond as part of a $12.5 million dollar project to build a new library in the heart of the town.

With these campaigns, EveryLibrary has now helped bring 72 libraries to the ballot and helped secure over $255 million in stable tax funding for these libraries. Since our start in 2012, we have been singularly focused on ensuring that libraries have the resources they need through voter-approved measures. As the only national organization dedicated to building voter support for libraries, we need your help to do it again in 2018.

Next year, we expect to support 20+ libraries places as “red” and as “blue” as the UP of Michigan, in the front range of the Rockies, and in the Bay Area in California. Because of our donors, we provide all our assistance to library leaders and local Vote Yes committees pro bono and for free. If you believe like we do that “any library ballot measure anywhere should matter to every library everywhere,” please take the next step and set up a monthly donation today. Your monthly contribution will let us get to work with our 2018 libraries tomorrow.

Thanks so much for your support.

John Chrastka
Executive Director

P.S. I’m proud of all our libraries, but very happy that Rochelle Park won. There is something very satisfying about helping to set up a new library in 2017….


* updated 11/9 to include 'partial pass' information. Please see http://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/12924057-74/before-the-tax-referendum-on-tuesdays-election-ballot-the-greensburg-hempfield-area for more information.