Lib Politics Rodeo Top 5 Stories of 2013
As we wind down on 2013, we are reflecting in preparation for 2014. 2013 was a big year that saw both challenges and success. As far as Library Politics in the news well, there was a lot of it. That's what inspired this weekly roundup so that we could share the latest and greatest with you. Here are the top 5 stories of 2013:
#5 Second Chance for Camano Island Library
This is a new story to us, but was such a great story of community support for a library that we had to share it here. Residents of Camano Island responded to a guest editorial about the closure of their library. The editorial also asked if they would support a measure on the April 2014 ballot for the library. The response was overwhelming and hopefully we will hear about a YES vote in Camano this April.
The Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees and I heard an outpouring of voices, ranging from concern, frustration and sadness to distress over the impending library closure at the end of April. We also clearly heard a chorus of requests to give voters another chance to vote on the library bond measure.
#4 Lawsuit in Kentucky Could Roll Library Funding Back to the 70s
In our first Lib Politics Rodeo we started our coverage of this issue for Campbell County, Kentucky libraries by comparing this to the horror movie classic, The Blob. In April 2013 a circuit court judge ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought by a tea party led group that alleged libraries had improperly raised taxes for the last 30 years. This LJ article has a good background and also the news of a temporary tax reprieve that will keep library funding at its current level while case goes through appeal. Expect to hear more from us in January when the decision on the appeal will be made.
#3 Miami-Dade Libraries in Crisis
Last Summer we began to hear the news about Miami-Dade Libraries in crisis. They needed to balance their budget and they were expecting to close 22 branches which means that over 200 library staff members would lose their jobs. EveryLibrary, with help from our donors, helped reach out to local citizens asking them to share their concern over this with their Commissioners. We received some good news in September that the libraries would be safe for one more year. But the work is not done in Miami-Dade.
#2 Answering the Call in Lafourche
Lafourche was the Worst Library Election in 2013 with the best possible outcome. After local councilman Toups made some racist comments against library patrons, EveryLibrary started getting out the word about the ballot measure to redirect library funds to the prison thanks to help and donations from our friends. By reaching locals via paid ads on Facebook and getting media attention we feel we made a difference in the Worst Library Election in 2013. The voters said no.
#1 The Formation of the First Federal PAC for Libraries
OK Technically this happened in 2012, BUT it takes the number one spot in this year's round up. And could it really be New Year's without someone tooting their own horn? Great coverage of this thanks to American Libraries and Library Journal.
As you plan and resolve in 2014, we hope you will consider supporting EveryLibrary and EveryLibrary California. Your donations can help us do several great things for libraries during election time. Help us help libraries have a successful and well funded year. In 2013, every $1 we spent on campaigns helped libraries secure $1,250 at the ballot box. That is $8.75 million in stable tax revenue for library collections, programs, hours, and staff. Even $5 can go a very long way.
Have a safe and happy New Year. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!