Another Campaign Donation on the Way
One of the best things we can do as a library PAC is to "bundle up" donations from folks around the country who care about libraries and put them to work on local ballot initiative campaigns. That's because 98% of library funding comes from local voters and legislators and that's where we put your donations to work.
That's why I am so happy to mail a check today to the Vote YES for the St. Clairsville Library campaign committee. This campaign donation will help them reach voters across their community for the library's first-ever levy renewal. Four years ago, EveryLibrary helped the library pass its first-ever local operating levy. We're investing this November in the local Get Out the Vote campaign because of all the great things the library has done with their funding.
For every dollar we raise for campaigns, we return over $1,600 in stable funding for libraries.
In Ohio, all libraries receive state aid, but most of them have a local property tax levy as well. Prior to passing the new levy in 2017, St. Clairsville was one of a handful of libraries that had to run solely on state aid. That new levy was dedicated to helping fund the programs, collections, services, facilities, and - most importantly - staffing to grow the library. Since 2017, the levy funds have helped ensure that patrons have timely access to popular titles and relevant resources, brought in and enhanced excellent programs for all ages to meet growing community demands, and upgraded technology and access to public computing.
The St. Clairsville Library team has done amazing work with the 1/2 mill levy. According to the library fact sheet:
Use of funds in the first 4 years included repairs/updates to heating and air conditioning systems; replaced a leaking roof, repairing falling paint/plaster in the lobby; converting existing light fixtures to cost-saving LED; moving Children’s shelving so there’s more space for storytimes and class visits; adding lobby shelving to hold new books right where you enter; completing maintenance and painting of parking spaces, upgrading computer networks and installing the latest Windows, Office, and security software; adding WiFi hotspots for patrons to borrow; upgrading the copier to support printing from mobile devices; doubling our budget for books, videos, and audiobooks; offering downloadable ebooks and movies; reducing late fees; making faxes free to send/receive; opening earlier to offer more access to the library; purchasing COVID supplies; providing 24/7 curbside lockers.
EveryLibrary's donation today is going to help the local library campaign committee talk with their neighbors and do voter-to-voter engagement about the levy renewal. We are the only national organization for libraries that makes these political donations and the only one working directly with the campaign committee volunteers. It is vitally important for the local campaign to support the library's message about the promises that were made and were kept in town. And it is a point of pride that we can connect donors from around the country with a library campaign like this one. There are yard signs to buy, ads in the newspaper to run, and posts on social media to boost. You can check out more about the campaign and its vibrant group of volunteers, please visit their Facebook page.
Your donations have helped us secure over 1.7 billion dollars in stable funding for libraries.
If you believe like we do that this kind of political action for libraries is important - and if you identify EveryLibrary as an effective organization working on the ground with folks like the Vote Yes campaign in St. Clairsville - I'd like to invite you to donate today. We'll put it to work on the next local library campaigns in other parts of America. I look forward to sharing good news with you about their levy renewal. It's one of the best small-town campaigns we've worked with and we have every hope for them on November 2nd.