Lib Politics Rodeo December 9, 2014

Howdy, it's great to be back at the Rodeo again. You'll see some changes coming to the Rodeo in the next few posts.

Howdy, it's great to be back at the Rodeo again. You'll see some changes coming to the Rodeo in the next few posts.

Our goal is to share more of the lessons we have learned in our work to increase political literacy in library staff, friends, trustees, and other stakeholders. Here’s what we have in our lassos this week…

Over the weekend Jeremy Johannesen, Executive Director of the New York Library Association, reflected on a recent veto by Governor Cuomo for a 'special legislative district' library Bill in Rhinebeck, NY.  This bill would have allowed citizens to vote for the creation of a library district in Rhinebeck. Citing overwhelming property taxes, the Governor lumped in a library district with others such as water and sewage. He has taken away the opportunity for voters to decide to support their library. This article states that local library funding has been supported 96 percent of the time in the last 3 years.

The citizens in the Township of Rochelle Park (NJ) may be facing a reduction in services from their local association (member) library. The library is currently part of the Bergen County Cooperative library system, but is not funded at the third of a mill level that is required by their membership agreement with BCCLS. The township committee, who does not believe the library needs funding higher than the current half the required amount, is in conflict with the over 100 citizens that have signed a petition for the library to become publicly funded at the third of a mill level or about $330,000 per year. The township committee has a working session tomorrow where they will continue to discuss this issue. The article reports that the current funding is not enough and the library has not been able to purchase new materials for the past 4 months leaving the members to rely on materials from BCCLS.

Just when you thought 2014 elections were behind us. Libraries got one last win this weekend in Iberia (LA). In a special election, voters passed a public library 6 mill millage by 58.3 percent. What a great way to close out 2014.

We just completed our 4 part series on Learning and Leverage in 2014. We take a deep dive in to “Librarian as a candidate”, tackling the opposition, information only campaigns, and using social media. In each post we put aside our assumptions and look at how things played out in the 2014 elections. Most importantly, what lessons we took away.  As we gear up for 2015 we plan to put our lesson to work for libraries on the ballot. Your continued support will help us increase political literacy that will be put to use in running successful campaigns.

That’s all for today. Join us next week for something a little different. Happy trails!