Sugar Grove Public Library Passes Operating Referendum with 67% of the Vote!
Last night, the Sugar Grove Public Library passed its operating levy with an overwhelming 67% of the vote. This is great news for the library and the SGPL community, which has been struggling with funding issues for some time.
The library had not seen an increase in its operating levy since 2007 and had been forced to cut back on programs and services in recent years due to a lack of funding. Library officials had warned that without the levy increase the library would be forced to make further cuts and may even be forced to close its doors altogether.
This win for the library comes after a hard-fought campaign that saw library leadership and supporters working tirelessly to build support for the levy increase. Last month, the library was featured in a story in the Chicago Tribune, which highlighted the challenges facing the library and the efforts of its supporters to build momentum for the levy. With the building bond sunsetting, it was the right time to ask voters to continue the current level of library taxes but re-dedicate the purpose to operations.
In order to build awareness about the referendum, the library held a series of public meetings and outreach events and worked closely with community leaders and local organizations to ensure accurate and timely information was available across the community. EveryLibrary met regularly with senior staff and the board to help prepare for these events and conversations. The library’s Informational Communications campaign stressed the impact of passing this new levy, the nature of the ‘swap’ from the bond to operating, and also discussed what shortfalls would persist if new funding wasn’t available. The board’s messaging went beyond showing how the library is an essential community resource to telling the community about what proper funding could do to advance a shared set of values.
It's important to acknowledge the excellent work the Yes for SGPL committee did in reaching and activating voters to support the library's levy campaign. The committee was made up of dedicated volunteers and community leaders worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the importance of the library and the benefits of a fully funded levy. EveryLibary helped them develop and execute smart strategies to reach voters, including web and social media campaigns, direct mailings, yard signs, and endorsements. Their efforts were instrumental in building support for the library and educating voters about the value of a fully funded library. Their website, www.voteyessgpl.org, and Facebook page provided detailed information about the levy and the library's needs and served as a valuable resource for voters throughout the campaign. EveryLibrary’s direct support included the website and a donation to the committee for yard signs and mailings.
Their dedication and hard work were critical to the success of the levy campaign, and their efforts are a testament to the power of grassroots advocacy and community support. With this victory, the library can continue to provide the programs and services that its patrons rely on and can make necessary upgrades to its facilities to ensure that it remains a valuable community resource for years to come.
Our mission here at EveryLibrary is to work with communities like Sugar Grove with complex or challenging ballot measures and help enable their success on Election Day. As the national political action committee for libraries, we provided pro-bono assistance to the library board and the Vote Yes for Sugar Grove committee. EveryLibrary is dedicated to helping libraries and library supporters win elections, secure funding, and protect public support at the ballot box. We hope to ensure that every community in the United States has a properly funded public library.
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