Lib Politics Rodeo December 2nd, 2013
We've made some changes recently and will now be bringing you the rodeo on Monday morning instead of Friday. We will continue to round up the week’s news on library politics and highlight the things that we are following or reading. Here’s what we have in our lassos this week.
In the news:
There is an update on what is happening with Kentucky libraries. We should be hearing a final decision from the supreme court early next year. Read the entire article for background on what is happening. If libraries are not able to keep their funding at current levels, this could set a dangerous precedent for other libraries in the state.
This is an eye opening video on how losses at the ballot boxes can impact libraries and their communities. Voters in Kanawha County (WV) voted down a joint levy including the library and school district. The library would have received 3 million dollars had this measure not failed. The library did get the same amount of funding from the school district. However, recently the West Virginia supreme court ruled that the school board could no longer provide this. The school board has another levy that will become active in 2014.
Tolland (CT) voters approved a 2.6 million dollar bond to expand the Tolland public library. There's more good news for Tolland. Recently, the library was awarded a 1 million dollar grant to help offset the 2.6 mill.
There are some challenges facing libraries this month. In Cumberland County (PA) the library needs to cover state budget cuts, due to a recalculation of state funding, with a 3 percent tax increase. The library has been very successful at fundraising this year, but will need more stable funding. On December 17th, there will be an election in Corning (NY) for the Southeast Steuben County Library. A $960,000 annual property tax levy is on the ballot to establish stable funding for a library that relies on grants and a decreasing reserve. Because of a petition, voters will have to re-vote this month on a ballot measure for a 13 million dollar bond for a new library in Irondequoit (NY).
In other news, it is good that a library measure was not on the ballot in Wallsburg (UT) where town officials forgot to announce their annual election. The mayor and four council members will keep their appointments.
On our desks:
The American Communities Project has released a map that assigns one of 15 types to American counties. These types, based on demographics, can tell us a lot how voters may behave in these different types of communities. What type of community is yours? How does that type line up with past elections?
Are you considering a library ballot measure in 2014? EveryLibrary will be offering a month long workshop in April through Library Juice Academy that is designed to help library staff and citizen committees plan and execute effective Info-Only and GOTV work for their library measure. It will be held online through LJA and have both synchronous and asynch work focused on message development, voter data segmentation, opposition research, campaign techniques, volunteer engagement, coalition building, and fundraising. Join us is April!
That’s all for today. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!