Lib Politics Rodeo Top 5 Stories of 2014
Howdy everyone. 2014 is nearly done and so is our work for elections in this calendar year. In case you think we are contemplating complacency and resting our feet by the fire, know that we are reflecting on our 2nd year and adding to our 2015 to dos
The Lib Politics Rodeo reported a lot of activity in library elections this year. In it we tracked on over 200 library elections. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our beloved intern Rachel Korman who took the helm of the Rodeo for most of the second half of this year. These are our top 5 stories in 2014:
#5 That one time in Michigan where the Tea Party came out against the library...
Two opposition groups from VIRGINIA came out against a renovation bond for the the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan. Free Congress Action and Americans for Prosperity sent out mailings and robo calls leading up to the May election. A local opposition group said that the Free Congress was working independently of the Birmingham Citizens for Responsible Spending after an anonymous donation from a Birmingham citizen to help defeat the measure just days before the election. The bond was overwhelmingly voted down. We weren’t involved, but look to this as an anecdote for why the library and vote Yes committee need to be ready for opposition right up to election day. We are constantly taking these lessons learned to each election.
#4 California libraries swept June elections
In June 6 libraries passed parcel tax measures for over $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. This really made our mid year.
#3 Northvale, NJ gets a library...finally
It’s 2011 and Northvale has lost their library. A free reading room is opened, but as a free “library” it struggles to keep the doors open. In part one of our four part election series we dove into the 2014 Northvale, NJ election. We were an early supporter with training, coaching, and start up funds, but kept it under the radar because we knew it would give the local opposition ammunition. After a successful local petition drive we came out publicly with our support and they won. Congratulations Northvale!
#2 The great library Coalition of Miami-Dade
We continued our support of Miami-Dade (FL) libraries in 2014. The tl;dr is that the public campaign culminated with a march of supporters to a public hearing where the mayor appeared to have some trouble keeping his composure. In the end the Coalition, that we helped form with ULU, was successful in securing $52 million in library funding. Not the $64 million the wanted, but $22 mill above what the mayor had recommended. WE reviewed the Coalition work and the hearing in a special Lib Politics Rodeo.
#1 Library watch party
On November 4th we hunkered down and brought live election results to you for over 100 elections, 8 which we supported. This live version of the Lib Politics Rodeo was an unprecedented event with over 80 tweets in 5 hours. #librarywatchparty was the only source for full coverage of library elections.
As you have some time to revisit old resolutions and set new ones, we hope you will consider supporting EveryLibrary and EveryLibrary California. Your donations will help us work with our goal of 20-25 elections. Your money helps us travel to do training and consulting with local library ballot committees and library staff. It also helps us respond quickly for libraries who face unexpected or overwhelming oppositions. In 2014, every $1 we spent on campaigns helped libraries secure $1,600 at the ballot box. Even $5 can go a very long way.
We hope you have a safe and happy holidays and New Year. We will be back in 2015 with some exciting changes to the Rodeo.