Election Day 2016 for EveryLibrary Campaigns

Over $300 million in library funding was at stake yesterday for the 16 library communities EveryLibrary supported.

Over $300 million in library funding was at stake yesterday for the 16 library communities EveryLibrary supported.

Results on Election Night were mixed. While the results aren't official yet, it looks nine won and six* lost; one* is still 'too close to call' as of this writing.

The wins total up to about $90 million in new funding for those libraries. Several new libraries will be built, and a lot more will receive upgrades and renovations their neighborhoods deserve.  We are very excited for the towns of Norwood (Lone Cone), CO., Pleasant Hill, CA., Lombard, Il. (Helen Plum), Jasper, IN., and the County of Dorchester in South Carolina. Those library projects are about $74 million of the total.  The other part of the wins are for operating funds. The largest win was for Mid-Continent Libraries with a $12 million new levy to serve 3 counties in Missouri. It will be used for buildings and operations. We're happy for Basalt, CO. with $350,000 and Mancos, CO. with $96,000 in new funds each. The smallest operating levy was for Jeannette Public Library in Pennsylvania at $62,893 dollars. That Yes vote will keep the library open!

On the Loss side, we're very sorry to report that Douglas County, Oregon voted No on a special district library measure that would have ensured the library remain open. It's fate is uncertain now as the county commissioners there have promised to defund the library. The five* other losses will mean that new libraries will not be built in Crystal Lake, IL., Pacifica, CA., Brookfield, IL., Meridian, ID., and for Parkland Community Library in Pennsylvania. Nearly $85 million in construction and facilities money won't be invested in 21st century libraries in those towns - at least for now. Each one has the burden of putting a Plan B into action for their communities. We want to stand with them as they consider next steps.

EveryLibrary sent out thousands of dollars in direct donations to nearly all of these Vote Yes campaigns. For most, we were their first donor. They used our donation as a 'challenge' to raise more funding in the local community. And they put it to work buying yard signs and social media boosts to share their Get Out the Vote message. As a Political Action Committee for libraries, we can collect donations from folks around the country and donate to these local library campaigns. We are the only organization in the Unites States that is chartered to make these tactical, political donations for library campaigns. Our Guidestar profile tells the story of how we are transparent with this funding. And our campaigns' wins tell the story of how we are effective on Election Days.

We worked with some of these libraries for close to 2 years. Others we got to know in just the last few weeks. Those that didn't need to direct donation still got our pro-bono support, advice, and consulting. On the library staff side, we focused on building better, more engaging Informational Communications Campaign. On the local Yes committee side, it was to do Get Out the Vote right in their town, city or county. None of it was possible without our donor's support.
November 8, 2016 Wins -
Basalt (CO) Regional Library - $350,000 in new operational funds
Dorchester County (SC) - $30 million 2 new libraries and 1 facilities upgrade
Helen Plum Library (IL) - $22 million new library and operating funds
Jasper-Dubois County (IN) Library - $6.2 million new library with $1.9 million grant contingent on passage
Jeannette (PA) Public Library - $62,893 new operating funds that avoids closure
Lone Cone Library (CO) - $4 million for a new library with $1.5 million grant from state contingent on passage
Mancos County (CO) Library District - $96,000 new levy for operating funds
Mid-Continent Public Library (MO) - $12 million in new operating funds and facilities upgrades
Pleasant Hill (CA) / Contra Costa County Libraries - $4 million, 1/2 cent sales tax for library building and other uses
November 8, 2016 Losses -
Brookfield (IL) Public - $10.3 million for a new library and operating funds
Crystal Lake (IL) Public Library - $30 million for a new library and operating funds
Douglas County (OR) Library - $3.8 million for new special district library to avoid closure
Meridian (ID) Public Library - $12 million for 2 new libraries*
Pacifica (CA) / San Mateo County - $33.5 million property tax for a new library
Parkland Community Library (PA) - $10 million bond out of $14.2 million new library building project
Too Close to Call (11/9/16) - 
Nevada County (CA) Library - $2.1 million, 1/4 cent sales tax for new operating funds and facilities upgrades
Another great part of this year's library elections were that thousands of people around the country shared a #votelibraries message on their social media. The free VoteLibraries images were designed for any library campaign to use, and we've seen dozens of libraries outside of our core group put them to work. Between the social sharing and those organic campaigns, it's exactly how we intended it to go.
If it's time for you to renew your annual donation to EveryLibrary, please do. We have our first campaigns in January, February, and March 2017. If you want to make a monthly donation, now's the best time to put $10 or $20 a month to work building future wins. We're continuing to stand with our libraries that lost even as we celebrate the wins. You are the reason why we can even try to make it happen for libraries.

* updated 11/9/16 at 12:15pm cdt to reflect a loss for Meridian, ID.