Lib Politics Rodeo June 4, 2014

Welcome to the Lib Politics Rodeo. Every week 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…

This week the Rodeo was compiled and written with the help of our intern Rachel Korman.

Since June 3rd was a big day for libraries on the California ballot we waited one extra day so we could provide Rodeo coverage of all the election results. Get out your noisemakers. It was a good election day for libraries all around, mostly in California.

June election roundup: 

There were 6 library parcel tax Measures on CA ballots totaling at least $19.1 million in stable tax revenue. EveryLibrary assisted on three of them. Congratulations to the library staff and local ballot committees that worked very hard to run these campaigns.

EveryLibrary backed Measure G in Georgetown (CA) with a $500 donation while providing technical and campaign consulting support to the committee. Voters approved a 12 year renewal of an $85,000 per year parcel tax with 77.1 %  voting YES.  We also supported Measure L in South Lake Tahoe (CA) with a $1,000 donation and extensive training to the library staff on an Information Only campaign and provided the Vote Yes Committee with campaign consulting. Voters approved a renewal of a parcel tax that provides $420,550 annually in library funding with 78.5% voting YES. We were also on Measure B in Sacramento (CA) with training to the library staff and Friends Foundation volunteers on an information only campaign while supporting the social media outreach for the local vote yes committee. 72.9% of the voters said YES to augment the existing parcel tax by $12 per year for each household.

The other two to round out the 6 were strongly supported at the ballot box. Marin County's Measure A for a $49 annual parcel tax renewal for 9 years was supported by 77.7%. San Anselmo's Measure E for a $54 annual parcel tax renewal for 9 years was a win with 72.1% of the vote. San Jose passed Measure B to extend their current library tax for 25 more years. That was supported with 81% of the vote.

Also in California a 1/2 cent sales tax was supported with 67.7 % of the vote in Hayward. The library, among other departments will benefit from this. Out in Kingston (NY) 79% of the voters said YES to increase the library levy by 1.5%. This new funding will cover cuts made by New York State and a add small increase to cover rising personnel costs and strengthen the materials budget


Wareham Free Library (MA) is gearing up for a ballot measure on the June 17th ballot. Proposition 2 ½ will allow the Town of Wareham to get an additional $4.5 million in property taxes to fund town operating expenses and capital projects. The library is dependent on the town to provide its budget and there would be serious cuts to hours and services without the additional money. They are running a “must win” campaign. With very clear messages on the impact of a loss. They are handing out signs and pink flamingos to residents.

“The signs state different things such as “DID YOU KNOW … Teachers and students rely on the Wareham Free Library for project research and classroom materials” and “DID YOU KNOW … If Wareham Free Library closes, Wareham residents lose access to all other libraries. There will be no borrowing from anywhere else.” [...] Porter hopes the flock of 48 flamingos will help voters put some thought into the issue.”

This past Thursday, Mahoning County (OH) library trustees voted to replace their two current library levies with a single levy that will generate $1.3 million less for the library. Both existing library levies generate $10.6 million for the library each year. The trustees’ plan outlines that one existing levy will be allowed to expire at the end of the year, whereas the other existing levy will be reintroduced as a single five-year ballot measure with a levy increase on the November 4th ballot, producing a new total of $9.3 million for the library annually. The trustees’ proposition must be approved by county commissioners before it is officially put on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Heidi Daniel, director at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, supports the new levy decrease. She states that it will be a welcome tax break for residents- something the library feels will produce very positive reactions from voters. As well, since the library will not be undertaking more construction projects in the next year, and believes that the library will be able to manage with the new library levy- assuming state funding does not diminish.

Don't have EveryLibrary ALA Annual After Hours Party FOMO in Las Vegas. Put the Saturday, June 28th event in your calendars now. We hope you will join us along with out Co-hosts Mango Languages and Treehouse.  Hope to see you all there.

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