Lib Politics Rodeo February 5th, 2014
Welcome to the Lib Politics Rodeo.
Monday *this week it is Wednesday* 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
This new section of big big news is to share the big stories we are following in Library Politics. This is different from the more local news we follow on specific library ballot measures and will cover things like legislation or stories that have a regional or national impact.
This "State proposal would gut local libraries, Huckelberry, [County Administrator] says". In Pima County (AZ) House Bill 2379 will cap future library tax rates and limit library funding. This would result in the eventual closure of 8 libraries and staffing cuts at others. The bill did not go to the house this week for a vote, but it could still move forward.
In Duval County (FL), 25,931 residents signed a petition to put library tax district measure on the August 2014 ballot. The money would be used to fund the city's libraries. In Charleston County (SC) there will be a $103 million dollar library referendum on the November ballot thanks to the City Councilors who voted for it 8-0 to go to the voters. The money would be used for “technology upgrades, a new library would be built in the northern part of Mount Pleasant, and four libraries would be torn down and rebuilt.” Great to get that kind of support from City Council to let the voters decide on the library's first referendum since 1986. Also in Oregon City (OR), I have seen foreshadowing of this buried in news feeds from the middle of last year, but here is the first story to make it really real. There may be a $6 million library bond on the May 2014 ballot. Last week the commissioners asked the library director to prepare the ballot language. Commissioners will vote to put it on the ballot today. This is to expand the 100 year old Carnegie Library.
In the December 16th Rodeo we mentioned that the Manchester District Library (MI) would be seeking a renewal of their operating millage in November 2014. Now they are talking about the campaign timeline, ballot language, and the differences between a library’s information only campaign and a library ballot committee’s get out the vote work. This is a great snapshot of exactly where The Manchester District Library is with this measure. In Johnson County (WY) the City Council did not second a motion to approve putting a library expansion project on the ballot to be funded by a sixth penny tax. This 6th penny tax would allow the county to collect up to an additional 2% sales tax to fund the expansion project. A 6th penny tax measure has been on the ballot twice before (not related to the library) and each time it was defeated. They are hopeful that the commissioners will still choose to place this on the ballot in 2014. We too are hopeful for the Johnson County Public Library.
Don’t forget to join us in April for a month long course via Library Juice Academy. This course 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. Hope to see you in April.
That’s all for today. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!