Lib Politics Rodeo August 6, 2014

Since August 5th was a big day for libraries in primary elections across the country, and especially on the Michigan ballot, we waited an extra day so we could provide Rodeo coverage of all the election results.

Welcome to the Lib Politics Rodeo. Every week we will round up the previous week’s news on library politics and highlight some of the things that we are following or reading. Here’s what we have in our lassos this week…

Since August 5th was a big day for libraries in primary elections across the country, and especially on the Michigan ballot, we waited an extra day so we could provide Rodeo coverage of all the election results. Here are the results for library related measures found on 28 ballots, 26 of which took place in Michigan alone. Get excited, because libraries came out on top!

There was over $22.6 million at stake for 3 library campaigns we supported on their August 5th election day. EveryLibrary is excited to announce that Kent District Library, whom we endorsed earlier this summer, won their 10 year, 1.28 mils levy. This millage replaces a current .88 millage and adds an additional .4 mil to generate $20.06 million for library, ensuring stable funding for the excellent programs and services that KDL offers its community.

DeWitt District Library, who EveryLibrary also supported this year, won their 5 mil $646,000 levy for 15 years. This operating levy was a must-pass, as it was defeated in 2013. The millage will be used for operating expenses so that DeWitt can continue to serve it’s patrons effectively.

Another campaign we proudly endorsed in 2014 was that of Clinton-Macomb Township Library, who have won their $1.9 million levy lift with 57.8% of voters approving of the levy. EveryLibrary provided guidance for a Vote Yes committee and conducted information-only campaign training for library staff and we are thrilled that Clinton-Macomb have received good results.

Another important measure was Proposal L for the Detroit Public Library, and 79% of voters in Detroit supported the 3.9943 mills for 10 years for library services. Detroit Public Library can now remain open and continue providing services for folks who need them.

In Oakland County (MI), there were four wins and two losses. Clarkston Independent District Library won their 1.25 replacement millage- this is especially exciting as the library would have closed without this win. Bloomfield Hills and Walled Lake both won their millage proposals, and White Lake voters approved the 8 year renewal of a 0.4528 millage. Oxford Township lost their millage proposal, as did Addison Township Library, who were seeking a 0.25 millage.

In Ottawa County (MI), Blendon Township and Olive Township both won their millage renewals. Ostego County Library (MI) voters resoundingly approved of a renewal on a 6 year .4 millage. Capital District Area Library won it’s 4 year renewal of $78 per year millage. St. Clair County Library won their 0.7 mill renewal. Gratiot County Library passed a 0.5 mil county wide millage that will help fund all six of Gratiot county’s libraries.

Other wins in Michigan include the Chelsea District Library .32 mill, 6 year millage proposal as well as wins for Galesburg/Charleston Memorial District Library and Charles A. Ransom District Library, with approvals of 5 year, 1 mil and 10 year, 0.6 mils, respectively. Branch District Library (MI) won their 8 year, 0.5 mils proposal and Nottawa Township Library (MI) won their 6 year, 1.6351 mills proposal to fund operation of all library branches of each respective library. In Livingston County, Hamburg Township Library passed their 0.8 mil, 8 year tax levy and Pinckney voters approved of a 1.4562-mill tax levy for Pinckney Community Public Library.

Unfortunately, there were a couple of losses for libraries in Michigan. The Bedford Library proposal of a 5 year, 0.25 mil to pay for the library building was not passed. Saugatuck-Douglas Library who had both a millage and a bond issue on the ballot lost both of these measures. Freedom Township’s proposal to withdraw from the Manchester District Library Agreement was also denied.

Finally, there were a couple of non-Michigan primary election day wins for libraries. James Memorial Library (MO), whose tax increase proposal on the ballot was deemed as a must-pass for the library to stay open, was won by two votes. Castle Rock’s (WA) Proposition 1, an annual levy renewal that will raise $58,820 for the library’s 2015 budget, was also passed.

That’s it for the election coverage! Now onto other important business- you can help in the fight against Net neutrality at your library. EveryLibrary and EveryLibrary California will be joining partners besides Mozilla like reddit, Free Press, OpenMedia, IMLS / ALA, Media Alliance, and Engine Advocacy in order to educate the public about Net Neutrality and what it means. Join EveryLibrary and our partners to host a series of Internet Freedom “teach-ins” around the world. We have free training to help empower local organizers, activists and people like you. Together we’ll share best practices for explaining what Net Neutrality is, why it matters to your local community, and how we can protect it together. Then we’ll help local organizers like you host local events and teach-ins around the world, sharing. More on the EveryLibrary California blog.

That’s all for today. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!