Lib Politics Rodeo July 22, 2014

Welcome to the Lib Politics Rodeo. Every Tuesday 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… 

Welcome to the Lib Politics Rodeo.

Every Tuesday 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… 


There is a lot of news this week! Yeehaw!

If you missed last week’s special-issue Rodeo on Miami-Dade County’s Coalition to Save Our Libraries success in asking for $8 million in additional funding for the system, please give it a read.  It’s a great story about political action and effective grassroots organizing- and it isn’t over until September….

In last week’s Rodeo, we reported that Lake County (OH) commissioners passed a resolution to have the Auditor’s Office approve of proposed tax revenue from a 5 year, 1 millage renewal levy for Morley Library. We are pleased to announce that the revenue was certified and Lake County commissioners have voted to officially include the renewal levy on the November 4th ballot.

In the July 8th Rodeo, we reported that Stanwood (WA) was seeking to annex their city library into the Sno-Isle Libraries system. Last week, Stanwood City Council approved the second reading of the annexation ordinance. The ordinance will now go to the Sno Isle Libraries’ board, who will have the final approval on July 28th, after which the measure will go to Snohomish County elections to be placed on the November 4th ballot.

The Hampshire County Commission voted unanimously to put a 5 year renewal levy on the November 4th ballot for the Hampshire County Public Library and Capon Bridge Library (WV). The levy would generate funds to be used for maintenance of the historic library buildings and is expected to generate approximately $203,556.

Last Thursday, County Commissioners in Muskingum (OH) voted to include the renewal of their library’s 5 year, 1-mil levy on the November 4th ballot. The levy generates $1.6 million annually for the library, and if renewed, these funds will be used towards new literacy programming, a partnership with West Muskingum Local Schools and increased technology presence in the library.

Due to cuts in state funding, from which Coldwater Public Library (OH) has traditionally received 96% of its funding, Coldwater Library board members are seeking their first ever levy for the library. A 0.5-mill, 5-year levy would restore funding to 2007 levels, and was supported by village council members in a meeting last week. The library board members must provide the final ballot wording to the village council by the August 6th filing deadline for the levy to be included on the November 4th ballot.

On August 5th, voters of Freedom Township (MI) will decide if they want to remain part of the Manchester District Library Agreement. Freedom Township contributes approximately one quarter of the Manchester District Library’s budget, and if they vote to withdraw from the agreement, Freedom Township residents would have to pay a $125 fee to use the Manchester Library. Manchester District Library (MI) are currently seeking a renewal of their operating millage this November, as we reported in the February 5th Rodeo.

Last Thursday, the Borough Council in Watchung (NJ) voted on proposals to explore the building of a new library in their town or renovating the existing one. Many Watchung library supporters were unhappy with the proposals, stating they were expensive and would likely lead to a much smaller library. Earlier in the week, Watchung library supporters delivered a petition to the Mayor asking for the Watchung library to remain in their borough, as Council was considering joining Watchung’s library services with those of neighbouring Warren Township. It looks like a library will remain in Watchung, but time will tell what it will look like.

Finally, there has been a bit of a setback in Park Ridge (IL), whom we’ve been following for the past few months in the Rodeo. As we’ve reported, Park Ridge alderman approved of a referendum for the Nov. 4th ballot that would increase the annual library tax from .150 percent to .303 percent for the next four years to fund the Park Ridge Public Library. The levy calculation was based on the assumption that the “equalized assessed value” of the city would not change- however, it dropped by 17.8%. Alderman will vote to repeal the old referendum and approve a recalculated one, which would now ask to raise the library to .368 percent, on July 21st and again on August 4th for final approval to be included on the ballot.

EveryLibrary Happenings

Our very own John Chrastka spoke with the Illinois Technology Partnership about EveryLibrary for their #iamILtech feature this month. The discussion covers the critical importance of technology in EveryLibrary’s work as well as the role of technology in modern libraries. Thanks to the Illinois Tech Partnership for helping us share what we do.

If you are attending Library Instruction West this week, please join EveryLibrary Board member, Erica Findley, at the EveryLibrary Oregon BrewFest Meetup. This is a social get together where we can talk politics in libraries, or whatever is on your mind, while we sample some of the best brews that the NW has to offer. Admission is free. $7 mugs and $1 tokens are required for sampling.

We’re deep into summer and are hard at work on our campaigns, including 3 we announced earlier this month. Your donations will help us, help them.

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