Revisting Ronan - Elections Matter
They were our third campaign and the first one we supported in an effort to become an independent, self-governed library district. Since that Election Day, new tax revenue has started to come in and that new revenue means that the library staff and board can begin to realize their vision for the community.
On May 7th, 2013, the Ronan Public Library became the Ronan Library District by a vote of 61% to 39%.
They were our third campaign and the first one we supported in an effort to become an independent, self-governed library district. Since that Election Day, new tax revenue has started to come in and that new revenue means that the library staff and board can begin to realize their vision for the community. Michele Fenger, the library director, sent a note along with a picture gallery to report on what the impact of that decision by the voters has been for the community:
Because of the Library District being voted in, we are able to do more for our community. In late February we hired 2 more staff members and are now open to the public 18 1/2 more hours per week (Mon-Fri 10 -7, Sat 10 -5). We will soon be adding more programming and are gearing up for an awesome Summer Reading Program. Having more staff will also allow us to participate in more community events. For instance we had a float in our community St. Patrick's Day Parade, we will be at the annual Baby Fair in April, reading stories to the children, we will be participating in local Chamber of Commerce events, and more to come.
The decision on the part of staff, elected leadership, and stakeholder volunteers that moved the question to the ballot included some hard discussions about the future of the library as a department of city government. But the decision has been a good one for the community. Stable funding for the library means better programs, services, hours, and collections. And the additional staff - a few more librarians - is incredible leverage for education, skills building, and the civic/social life of the community.
We supported the local Vote YES committee "Community Members for Ronan Library District" in their Get Out the Vote work. We helped them get organized and to make decisions about where to focus their volunteer time. EveryLibrary, through your donations, provided a $1,000 contribution that the committee put to work on classic person-to-person GOTV. We provided both campaign advice and technical assistance. As a national supporter, we didn't manage the campaign. We added capacity to their good work. With Ronan, MT., we're proud of the win and very happy for their new revenue.
Without the support of donors like you, we would not exist. In 2014, we're building on our success last year and moving ahead in support of about 21 campaigns. Each Ronan is a generational win for libraries. Please donate today to EveryLibrary so we have the resources to make these kinds of wins happen across the country.