Library Politics Rodeo July 29, 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… 

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 mentioned last week that Park Ridge (IL) alderman have to redo the referendum to increase annual library tax rates due to an unexpected drop in property value that impacted the calculated tax rates. On July 21st, Park Ridge alderman made the first formal approval of the restructured referendum question to reflect the tax rates- the new rate will be raised from .150 to .368, if the referendum is approved during the November 4th election. The second and final vote for the new referendum question will be held on August 4th.

We last reported on Castle Rock’s levy question in our May 13th Rodeo. Last week, City Council in Castle Rock (WA) officially approved for the annual library levy to appear on the November 4th ballot. The same levy is already on the August 5th ballot, but the appearance on the general election ballot will give it a second chance to pass if it fails in August. The levy will raise $58,820 for the library’s 2015 budget and needs a 60% supermajority to pass.

Blanding Library in Rehoboth (MA) will face cuts in hours and services due to last week’s failure to override the state’s Proposition 2 ½ property tax cap, which would have increased the average voter’s taxes by $300 this year. An emergency town meeting has been called for August 7th for selectmen to approve a new budget to reflect the cuts in government services.

In the June 4th Rodeo, we reported that Mahoning County (OH) library trustees voted to replace two current levies with a single levy and that they hoped would appear on the November 4th ballot. Last week, County commissioners approved the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County’s proposal of the two levies becoming a single initiative for the November 4th ballot. The levy that will appear on the ballot is now a 5 year, 2.4 mil levy which will generate approximately $9.3 million annually for the library.

In March, we reported that Gratiot County (MI) had proposed a county wide millage to appear on the August 5th ballot, but the amount of the millage had not been decided. On August 5th, voters will be asked to approve a 0.5 mil levy that will help fund all six of Gratiot county’s libraries.

In the June 24th Rodeo, we reported prematurely that Pomona (CA) City Council had voted to include a $42 parcel tax that would generate about $1.3 million for 10 years on the November 4th ballot when in fact they had only taken the first step to do so. This past Monday, however, City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution to place the measure on the ballot. Members of the group Save Our Pomona Public Library (SOPPL) have now begun preparations to launch a campaign to support the measure.

On August 5th, Detroit voters will be asked to approve Proposal L, an operating millage for the Detroit Public Library. Proposal L is a millage renewal that combines two millages totaling 4 mils that have been levied since 2004. The funds generated by these millages contributed approximately 86% of the library’s budget, and would generate $37 million annual for the library. The library is an incredibly important resource for many in Detroit, and without the renewal of Proposal L, it could be forced to close. We wish you luck on August 5th, Detroit.

 EveryLibrary Fun Times

We are pleased to announce that our ‘Xmas in July’ challenge was a success! Eleven new reoccurring donors of $10+/month answered our challenge, and as a result, our friends and supporters Aaron Dobbs and Ben Bizzle contributed $500 and $200, respectively. Many thanks for the support from our friends and donors- we can’t do it without you.

Last week, we announced the resurgence of our Great Library Write-Out for 2014-15.  This contest encourages librarians to write in non-library publications for a chance to win a cash prize. Unlike previous years, the Write-Out this year will allow submissions to online publications as well as print, and on top of the $250 contribution by PC Sweeney, anyone that adds $100 to the award will get to vote on the articles that were submitted along with EveryLibrary Board Members. The timeline for submissions is between August 1, 2014 and the first day of ALA Annual Conference on June 25th, 2015. For more details about this contest, visit our blog. Get writing!

As always, we are working hard to help libraries across the country run successful campaigns and win funding on Election Day. Your donations give us the tools to help them achieve this.

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