EveryLibrary Supports Yes for NOLA Libraries and Vote Yes for River East Library in 2015 Elections
EveryLibrary is thrilled to announce our first two campaigns for 2015: New Orleans Public Library on May 2nd, and River East Library District (IL) on April 7th.
In both communities, EveryLibrary has provided training and coaching to the staff and board leadership on preparing an effective Information Only communications campaign. We are proud to endorse both the "Yes for NOLA Libraries" committee and the "Vote Yes for River East Library" committee while we provide them with tactical advising and strategic support.
On the face of it, the New Orleans Public Library and River East Library District in tiny Lakemoor, IL couldn't be more different. One is a major multi-branch urban library serving one of the fastest growing cities in the country, the other is a little library serving a small bedroom community an hour and a half north of Chicago. But both face similar problems if their ballot measures loose. "Plan B" for NOPL is to cut either 35% of their hours system wide or close up to 7 branches. River East is on the ballot for 33% of their funding, and "Plan B" there includes raiding their collections funding to do necessary facilitates repairs. EveryLibrary is proud to be working with both libraries because their Plan A's are similar too. In New Orleans, passage means opening the last branch closed post-Katrina, plus expanding hours, collections, services and staffing across the system. In River East, a win means expanding the collection and services while doing those repairs. One system serves almost 400,000 people; the other just under 6,000. We're in it to win it with both communities because of our donors' support.
New Orleans is on the ballot for the first time since before Hurricane Katrina. They are asking the voters to approve an $8.25 million increase to their current $9 million tax millage. That may seem like a lot, but the first $3 million of that money simply replaces funds they have used from their reserve for several years. And that reserve will run out in mid-2016. EveryLibrary has been a pro-bono resource to NOPL's staff and board for over a year helping them with the envisioning process for a vote and helping them anticipate an Information Only campaign. Across several visits, including the most recent for an all-staff training day, EveryLibrary has been there as an experienced and trusted resource on ballot measures. We are providing pro-bono library-centric advice and consulting to their Yes committee on this city-wide campaign.
River East is on the ballot with a $59,000 levy increase. This is equivalent to a 33% improvement in their funding. Right now, they face some significant repairs to the facility and a call from their community to enhance the print, DVD, and download collection. Neither would be possible without a change to their taxes. This is the 3rd time they are asking for voter approval. Most recently in November 2014, the measure failed 37% to 63%. In Illinois, libraries can only go out to the voters 3 times in 5 years. This is a must-pass for them. EveryLibrary started working with the staff and board there shortly after their last loss. We've provided pro-bono training and coaching to help them tell the library's funding story to the voters. In addition, we anticipate providing financial support to the local Vote Yes committee to help with voter engagement on social media, and tactical consulting on how to do effective Get Out the Vote work in their community.
Our donors make this pro-bono work possible. If you think the $8.25 million per year for 20 years matters as much for NOPL and NOLA as the $59,000 per year for 15 years does at River East, you're an EveryLibrary donor. Make the decision to help EveryLibrary get this work done for libraries both large and small. Donate today.