Lib Politics Rodeo February 24, 2014
Welcome to the Lib Politics Rodeo.
Every Monday 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…
Big Big News
Positive news out of Arizona. The House Bill 2379 that would have put a cap on how much the library could levy has been amended. Instead levy increases will need to be supported by a majority vote of the county board.
There is also news out of Miami-Dade this week. Libraries are suffering from a decreased library levy and need to have new funding in place by the end of this year. Mayor Gimenez would like to see the library become more efficient. He has not closed the door on a increasing the levy and has asked his task force to meet again. Last week was supposed to be the final meeting of the blue ribbon task force that was studying library needs and a new business model for library funding. The task force presented their findings in 4 areas: Services Needs, Service Model, Funding, and Advocacy/Awareness/Marketing. The task force recommended increasing the levy to maintain library services. There is also mention staff leaving the library due to lack of funding and security. The mayor will reconvene his task force another time and has requested a special report on the proposal to increase the millage.
Last week library supporters in Miami-Dade put out this advocacy article. It talks about the difficulty of selling a library during a ballot measure. Discusses the importance of also including librarians in the cost/benefit analysis of supporting the library.
A couple updates on items that were ion the February 5 Rodeo. Oregon City (OR) has a library ballot measure confirmed for the May ballot. Voters will decide to approve for the city to take out 6 million dollars in debt to be paid back by existing library revenue over the next 20 years (no tax increase). The library is currently in a 7,000 sq. ft. Carnegie building after loosing lease in 2010 on a 13,000 sq. ft. that could not support the weight of the books. There is more info on the library ballot measure in Duval County (Jacksonville, FL). It looks like the August vote is a straw ballot and will not be legally binding. If there is evidence of strong support for the library district this would move forward to a legally binding vote. The timing of that is unclear and it may not get on the ballot until 2016.
Thank you for following the Lib Politics Rodeo. We hope you will consider supporting EveryLibrary. Your donations can help us do several great things for libraries during election time. Help us help libraries have a successful and well funded year in 2014. In 2013, every $1 we spent on campaigns helped libraries secure $1,450 at the ballot box. That is $8.75 million in stable tax revenue for library collections, programs, hours, and staff. Even $5 can go a very long way. Donate now.
That’s all for today. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!