A Win for the Darby Library
We're very happy to report that the Vote YES for Darby Community Library committee succeeded in their campaign to secure an additional $30,000 annual operating levy for the library on yesterday's Election.
The unofficial total is 919 to 324. This new funding for the Darby (MT) Library will be put to work on collections, programs, staffing, hours, and facilities. It is a 'perpetual levy', which means that it is a new budget floor and will be available to add capacity year after year to the library's work in the community. It also means that the donations that come in from the Friends and local businesses, any grants from state or federal sources, and other donor support will not have to back-fill the budget. New funding is new leverage in so many ways.
We were very happy to work with Wendy Campbell, the Darby Library director, on building out her Informational communications. She understood from the beginning that a new levy would not be an automatic Yes in the community. She used this Election as an opportunity to talk about the expected and hoped for outcomes if the referendum passed. But what she also did was to talk about what the current outcomes are and would continue to be if the levy failed. Not everyone does that. Everyone should. It's not 'going negative' to tell the truth about how you and your team could work with a new budget (Plan A) and within the current budget (Plan B).
The team with the Vote YES committee came from a wide cross section of library stakeholders in town. Friends, Trustees, and residents from all over came together to share their endorsement of Plan A. We were very happy to be an early donor to the campaign, helping them by the yard signs and run the advertising on Facebook they needed to do. The story they shared with their neighbors about what the library levy could do for education in town, for supporting the business community there, for incubating new ideas across the community was shared in person at events, by phone and door-to-door, and through social media and the web. For the Friends, they new it was the biggest fundraising day of the year and they put their resources to work through the Yes committee. The team has our thanks for letting us share our experience and advice, and for putting their own knowledge and understanding of Darby to work on a great GOTV effort.
This is our 28th campaign and our 22nd win. Adding another $30,000 to our total of $55.4 million doesn't seem like a lot. But for the folks in Darby, it's about a 30% increase in funding. We were founded on the idea that 'Any library ballot measure anywhere should matter to every library everywhere'. Your donations make it possible for us to help in small places for big impacts, and in large communities for big impacts. Thank you for making a commitment to see us through our next 8 campaigns this fall as a new or renewing donor.
See also: NBC Montana coverage of the win
Read through our involvement with Darby