A Win in Great Falls, MT

We're happy to share that the Great Falls Public Library levy passed with strong community support on the June 6, 2023 ballot. 

The Great Falls Public Library asked for an additional $1,594,000 for library operations. This win demonstrates the community's commitment to investing in the growth and development of their local library. On KRTV following the win, Library Director Susie McIntyre expressed her deep gratitude to the voters of Great Falls for choosing to invest in the library, emphasizing the collective nature of the campaign's success.

With the additional 15 mills of funding, the library plans to enhance its services and make them more accessible to the community. Some of the proposed improvements include expanding early literacy programs, doubling the staff dedicated to youth services, and expanding the homebound program. The library also aims to increase adult programs and extend its operating hours to serve the community seven days a week.

This election was about accountability, transparency, and the freedom to read. Opponents of the measure expressed concerns about explicit materials. The library strictly adheres to the rules and laws of the state of Montana and does not distribute explicit sexual material to minors. Throughout the campaign, the library and its supporters emphasized the library's commitment to preserving freedom of choice. Personal preferences should not prevent others from accessing information or influencing the choices they make for their own children.

With 53% yes votes out of 13,000 votes cast, it was a closely contested special election. EveryLibrary, the national political action committee for libraries, was proud to have worked closely with the Great Falls Public Library team in the lead-up to the election. We were able to help orient and train library staff, trustees, and volunteers on effective campaign strategies. Our goal is to empower library leaders to plan and execute information-only campaigns that engage and inform voters. We were also proud to help the local Vote Yes Great Falls ballot committees in organizing an effective Get Out the Vote effort and digital outreach. 

EveryLibrary provides free campaign consulting and digital resources to dozens of "Vote Yes" committees each year. Across the country, tens of millions of dollars are at stake for public libraries in each election cycle, from bonding for new or remodeled building projects to changes in millages, levies, or taxes that directly impact staffing, collections, programs, and services. Because of our donors, EveryLibrary is able to offer this kind of professional, dedicated assistance to libraries like the Great Falls Public Library. If your library is on the ballot in the next three to five years, please reach out, and we'll be happy to talk about how we can help. 

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