Supporting KOLO for the Josephine Community Library
EveryLibrary is sending in our first $500 in support of the Keep Our Libraries Open (KOLO) committee this week in Josephine County Oregon.
KOLO is campaigning a .39 millage funding measure for the library system this November following a successful petition drive to place the measure on the ballot that wrapped up in May.
EveryLibrary provided some consulting and advice to the petition efforts, but it was successful due to the dozens of dedicated petitioners who gathered nearly 10,000 signatures. While only 8,500 were required, this extra level of pre-campaign engagement with the 82,000 County residents will build great momentum going into campaign mode.
"The petition drive to get the Special Library District on the November 4th ballot was a huge success. It was a tremendous effort of over 160 volunteers who collected signatures for months at every possible location and by going door-to-door. The vast majority of the responses from the public were positive as people willingly said 'yes, we need to support the libraries, and we need to keep them open, and this is the first step'.”
- Dick Cottrill, Petition Drive Chair
The Josephine Community Library is asking voters to ratify new public funding for the countywide system. Right now, the library relies 100% for operations, collections, programs and services on donations. This is extraordinary, but it is also - as they have identified - unsustainable for the long term. We agree. You don't run or grow a library all on soft money. As Library Journal recently reported: "If the initiative passes, Lasky has a long list of things libraries in Josephine County could provide that they don’t now, from dedicated children’s librarians and increased support for local schools to tech and business resources that could help make entrepreneurs in the county more competitive. If the measure fails, she said, volunteers will keep doing what they can, but hours and services at the four branches will remain limited and eventually start to shrink for want of resources."
“We’re at a crossroads. We’re dipping into reserves and can’t provide the services we need for these 82,000 residents. But our alternative is a closed library, and that’s something we won’t accept.”
- Kate Laskey, Director
The EveryLibrary team will be heading to Josephine County this summer to do a training and coaching series with the Josephine Community Library staff on Informational Campaigns. Our support for the KOLO Committee started in early 2014 and will carry through Election Day in November.
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