Over $300 million in library funding was at stake yesterday for the 16 library communities EveryLibrary supported. Results on Election Night were mixed. While the results aren’t official yet, it looks nine won and six* lost; one* is still ‘too close to call’ as of this writing.
The wins total up to about $90 million in new funding for those libraries. Several new libraries will be built, and a lot more will receive upgrades and renovations their neighborhoods deserve. We are very excited for the towns of Norwood (Lone Cone), CO., Pleasant Hill, CA., Lombard, Il. (Helen Plum), Jasper, IN., and the County of Dorchester in South Carolina. Those library projects are about $74 million of the total. The other part of the wins are for operating funds. The largest win was for Mid-Continent Libraries with a $12 million new levy to serve 3 counties in Missouri. It will be used for buildings and operations. We’re happy for Basalt, CO. with $350,000 and Mancos, CO. with $96,000 in new funds each. The smallest operating levy was for Jeannette Public Library in Pennsylvania at $62,893 dollars. That Yes vote will keep the library open!
On the Loss side, we’re very sorry to report that Douglas County, Oregon voted No on a special district library measure that would have ensured the library remain open. It’s fate is uncertain now as the county commissioners there have promised to defund the library. The five* other losses will mean that new libraries will not be built in Crystal Lake, IL., Pacifica, CA., Brookfield, IL., Meridian, ID., and for Parkland Community Library in Pennsylvania. Nearly $85 million in construction and facilities money won’t be invested in 21st century libraries in those towns – at least for now. Each one has the burden of putting a Plan B into action for their communities. We want to stand with them as they consider next steps.
EveryLibrary sent out thousands of dollars in direct donations to nearly all of these Vote Yes campaigns. For most, we were their first donor. They used our donation as a ‘challenge’ to raise more funding in the local community. And they put it to work buying yard signs and social media boosts to share their Get Out the Vote message. As a Political Action Committee for libraries, we can collect donations from folks around the country and donate to these local library campaigns. We are the only organization in the Unites States that is chartered to make these tactical, political donations for library campaigns. Our Guidestar profile tells the story of how we are transparent with this funding. And our campaigns’ wins tell the story of how we are effective on Election Days.
Basalt (CO) Regional Library – $350,000 in new operational funds
Dorchester County (SC) – $30 million 2 new libraries and 1 facilities upgrade
Helen Plum Library (IL) – $22 million new library and operating funds
Jasper-Dubois County (IN) Library – $6.2 million new library with $1.9 million grant contingent on passage
Jeannette (PA) Public Library – $62,893 new operating funds that avoids closure
Lone Cone Library (CO) – $4 million for a new library with $1.5 million grant from state contingent on passage
Mancos County (CO) Library District – $96,000 new levy for operating funds
Mid-Continent Public Library (MO) – $12 million in new operating funds and facilities upgrades
Pleasant Hill (CA) / Contra Costa County Libraries – $4 million, 1/2 cent sales tax for library building and other uses
Crystal Lake (IL) Public Library – $30 million for a new library and operating funds
Douglas County (OR) Library – $3.8 million for new special district library to avoid closure
Meridian (ID) Public Library – $12 million for 2 new libraries*
Pacifica (CA) / San Mateo County – $33.5 million property tax for a new library
Parkland Community Library (PA) – $10 million bond out of $14.2 million new library building project
Nevada County (CA) Library – $2.1 million, 1/4 cent sales tax for new operating funds and facilities upgrades
* updated 11/9/16 at 12:15pm cdt to reflect a loss for Meridian, ID.