It’s always hard to have a mixed Election Night. We want to congratulate Winter Park for passing their measures last night to build their new library, and we need to commiserate with Plainfield on their loss. EveryLibrary was proud and happy to endorse both campaigns. Both sets of staff and boards did years and years of planning, assessments, and community engagement sessions to build and share a vision for new libraries. Both Yes committees did great work door-to-door, at events, on the phone, and through social media to share their hope for libraries in their towns.
But both campaigns also faced serious opposition from folks who did not want to see any investment in libraries. In Winter Park, the objections came from several quarters, including people who thought the current library was ‘good enough’ for the folks it served. We are glad the campaign’s pro-community message was heard. In Plainfield, there was local and national opposition, with the Koch Brothers funded Americans for Prosperity doing robocalls against the library as part of their ‘any tax is a bad tax’ agenda. If this is part of the new political landscape for libraries in 2016, we know that we have even more to do to help our communities anticipate – and overcome – ideological opposition like this.
We can only support our local library communities because of you and our other donors. Your donations make a difference to us. We’re not funded like the Koch Brothers. Our work is to train and support our campaigns as they send positive messages out into their community. When we can be there at the beginning with the boards and staff, and can be there through to Election Day with the Vote Yes committees, it does make a difference for each campaign.
We’re on the ballot with another 20 campaigns in 2016. If you can make the choice to be a monthly contributor, you will help take us all the way to November. If a one-time donation is better for you, thanks for helping us re-fuel. Please join us in congratulating Winter Park on this win. We won’t leave Plainfield after this loss. If they want to re-run it, we’ll stand with them. With your support, of course….