Lib Politics Rodeo September 2, 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…
We announced on the blog last week that libraries in Jacksonville (FL) suffered a loss at the ballot box. The Save Jax Libraries committee worked tirelessly on a straw-ballot referendum to make the library an independent taxing district, and the measure failed by 3/10 of one percent. We supported Jacksonville libraries through the days leading up to the election, and will continue to support them as they work towards a fully funded library system in their city.
We reported last Tuesday that it was election day in Muskogee (OK) and that a $1.3 million bond issue was at stake for libraries. It was actually a bond for the Webbers Falls Public Schools district, whose libraries would benefit from the proposition. The bond was passed with overwhelming support, allowing Webbers Falls school libraries to soon see updates and possible expansions.
On September 4th, voters of Woodstock (NY) will be asked to approve a levy increase for their library to support their new budget. The current tax levy will increase 2% to support the new budget proposal, and will raise approximately $538,415.13 for the library.
More library funding issues will be on the line on the November 4th election ballot. Portsmouth Public Library in Scioto County (OH) are seeking a levy renewal this November 4th. It is a 1 mil, 5 year levy that will not increase property taxes. There will be a referendum on the November 4th ballot in Moreau, Glens Falls and Queensbury (NY) for voters to approve the proposed budget for the Crandall Public Library that would increase spending by $17,753 in 2015. The budget is only a 0.4 percent increase from previous years. The Athens County Library (OH) system is seeking their first ever levy this November 4th. The library is 100% state funded and has suffered funding cuts in recent years. The levy will be a 1-mill levy for 5 years.
Last week, the Clay County (FL) Board of County Commissioners voted to put a non-binding straw ballot issue on the November 4th ballot that asks voters if they want to have a future ballot measure to approve of a special library tax district for the Clay County Public Library. The special library tax district would insure more adequate funding for the library. The county would like to see what the public wants before moving forward with the official ballot measure.
Proctor Library (VT) lost a $1.1 million bond proposal last week, their second loss of a bond proposal in 5 months. Library Trustees were trying to pass the bond to expand and renovate the library in Ascutney, but an opposition group worked hard to defeat the proposal. The library has to wait at least another year to attempt to pass another bond, so in the meantime, trustees plan on applying for grants for funding.
Late last week, Maryville Public Library (MO) proposed a countywide public library district to the Nodaway County Commission. If the proposal is approved, the measure will be placed on the April 2015 ballot for voters to decide. If the proposal is approved, the resulting levy would decrease slightly for Maryville residents and rural residents will be assessed for the levy for the first time. The library’s budget could double from $266,000 a year to an estimated $517,000 as a result.
One of EveryLibrary’s 2014 campaigns is in support of the Northville District Library (MI), who are asking voters to renew their 0.2 mills, 7 year operating millage on this November’s general election ballot. The campaign committee is hard at work get the word out about the millage renewal, and they need your help! The campaign committee is seeking volunteers to help with their campaign work, and on September 9th, there will be a volunteer kick-off. Anyone looking to volunteer can contact Michele Fecht at [email protected] or visit the campaign’s website at supportndl.net.
If you live in the Portland, Oregon area, you have the opportunity to support EveryLibrary and be entertained *at the same time*. Tatas for Libraries, our fundraising event in PDX , is coming up on 9/20. It will be a genuine variety show with live music, comedy, poetry readings, and burlesque performers. Preferred seating is still available- and trust us, these are great seats. Your attendance will help us in continuing our work on our November campaigns. Show details and tickets.
This week, EveryLibrary board member Erica Findley and executive director John Chrastka will be at ASRL in Tacoma, WA for a full day campaign pre-conference. Erica and John will also be throwing a meet-up on the evening of September 3rd, so join them for a few drinks after the pre-conference sessions. Details for the meet-up can be found here.
That’s all for today. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!