Lib Politics Rodeo March 3, 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…
There were some wins for libraries this week in the early elections of 2014. The Salem-South Lyon District Library (MI) millage increase to .0495 won by a landslide on February 25th by a 3-1 margin. Decreasing property values have caused a loss of revenue. With this increase the library will be able to stay open 5 days per week. Without it they would have had to drop down to 4 days per week. They will also be able to hire new staff and make improvements to the technology available to patrons. The increase will go into effect on July 1st, 2014. The library is expecting to get an additional $300,000+ in revenue for 2014. Also voters in Iron County (MI) passed a millage renewal for the in West Iron district Library. The library will continue getting 1.5 mills for five years starting in 2015. This is expected to raise about $400,000 in its first year.
Voters in Winfield (KS) passed a new sales tax on February 25th by 81%. $900,000 of this revenue will be used to make improvements to the library building including a dedicated young adult area and technology improvements. The remainder will be spent on city streets projects. The library is also using some additional money from its reserves and from fundraising. The Friends of the Library led the Vote Yes campaign which included yard signs and a mailer. The community demand for yard signs was so high that they ran out of them.
We also learned of 4 new library ballot measures this week. Sugar Grove (IL) will put a library tax levy increase on the March ballot. This increase will be paid through property tax and fund library operations. The Fenton Free Library (NY) will have a levy on the May ballot. A 70% budget cut in 2011 has left them short on funds. The $85,000 would be used for library operations so that hours and staff will not need to be cut. In Waterbury (VT) there will be a 2.59 million dollar bond on the June Ballot. It will fund the building of a municipal complex that will include the library. Town offices were destroyed in 2011 by hurricane Irene. The Bay County Library System (MI) will have a six year millage renewal on the August 5th ballot. opted to put it on the primary election ballot instead of November because they felt it would be more visible to voters. They would also be able to put it on the November ballot if the measure fails. The current millage expires at the end of 2014. This funding would support library operations and is for the same amount as the current millage.
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!