Lib Politics Rodeo May 27, 2014

May primary elections happened on May 20th in many states and we are happy again to see a number of wins for libraries. There were three for three wins in Oregon. Voters in Canby (OR) voted in favor of the city spending $9 million dollars to build a new public library and city administration building.

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…

This week the Rodeo was compiled and written with the help of our intern Rachel Korman. Rachel is out of Philadelphia and received her MLS this year. She is currently the Senior Circulation Assistant at the Drexel University School of Law.

May election roundup:

May primary elections happened on May 20th in many states and we are happy again to see a number of wins for libraries.

There were three for three wins in Oregon. Voters in Canby (OR) voted in favor of the city spending $9 million dollars to build a new public library and city administration building.The Canby Urban Renewal Agency, made up of City Council members, must authorize the project. However, they are likely to do so with this voter support. 55 percent of voters in Jackson County (OR) passed a ballot measure for a library district. The district and a new levy will go into effect July 1st. This is the first dedicated library funding for Jackson County library since 2007. Oregon City (OR) voters approved a $6 million dollar bond to expand the current Carnegie library. This will not increase taxes, the library needed voter permission for the city to expend more than $1 million dollars on a project. Construction is expected to be finished in the Summer of 2016.

Voters in Teton County (ID) approved a two year library levy to create a new branch library called the Driggs Branch.Voters in Newfane (NY) supported putting the library under the school district. This means that the school district can define the service area and collect taxes for the library. The property tax collected by the school will provide $125,000 per year in dedicated funding to the library. Voters in two of the four municipalities voted for the Springdale Free Public Library (PA) tax levy increase. Harmar and Sprindale Township voted NO with a margin of only one vote in Springdale Township. Cheswick and Springdale voted YES also by small margins.

There was a loss in Bonners Ferry (ID) where residents voted against both the general obligation bond and a permanent library tax override for the Boundary County Library. The bond was $8 million dollars for a new library. the tax override was for an additional $100,000 levy to fund library operations.


The Capital Area District (MI) libraries will have a millage renewal on the August ballot. Voters will decide to renew the current 4 year $78 property tax. Pomona (CA) is getting ready to place a library issue on the November ballot. Last week members of the Public Library board forwarded a recommendation to put a parcel tax on the ballot asking residents to pay $42 per year for the library. The ballot proposal is expected to go before the City Council on June 16. EveryLibrary will support the Save Our Pomona Public Library following the placement of this measure on the ballot. They campaigned for a $38 per year parcel tax in 2012 and lost. Currently the Pomona Public Libraries have no professional staff and are only open 29 hours per week.

While there is a current debate as to whether or not a referendum to raise property taxes in support of the Park Ridge Public Library (IL) should appear during the November 4th election, Alderman Joseph Sweeney is proposing that Park Ridge create its own library district to levy its own property taxes without having to rely on City Council. Park Ridge has experienced funding woes in recent years, and Sweeney, along with library officials and a few other aldermen, hope that having their own library district will give them more financial security in the long run. It is believed by some that the referendum on Nov.4th, however, may be the only viable immediate solution for Park Ridge’s funding deficit.

Those in support of the Baldwin Public Library (MI) bond, that appeared on the ballot in early May, believe that two opposition groups from Virginia influenced the election results. Free Congress Action and Americans for Prosperity, both based out of Virginia, sent out mailings and robo calls leading up to the election in Birmingham to try to halt support for the measure to support the Baldwin Public Library. A member of the group Birmingham Citizens for Responsible Spending, a major opposition group of the library bond in Birmingham, says that the Free Congress was working independently of Birmingham Citizens for Responsible Spending after an anonymous donation from a Birmingham citizen to help defeat the measure just days before the election. The same opposition member believes that the influence of the Virginia-based Free Congress did not have a significant sway in election results.

EveryLibrary is once again hosting the ALA Annual After Hours Party in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 28th along with out Co-hosts Mango Languages and Treehouse. We hope that you can join us for a night of fun with a DJ and open bar. Hope to see you all there.

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