EveryLibrary is celebrating our 3rd anniversary this week with two big announcements: the launch of our new journal, The Political Librarian, and our support for our next campaigns this fall. Since we started in September 2012, nearly 1,000 individual donors and two dozen corporate sponsors have made it possible for us to help support 27 library communities, win 21 of those campaigns, and secure over $55 million in stable tax revenue for our communities. As we look ahead to the end of 2015, we are happy to announce our support for 9 communities on the ballot for Election Days in September, October, and November. We’re hoping to add another $25 million to the win column for libraries all across the country:
The Darby (MT) Public Library is on the ballot on September 15th for a $30,000 perpetual levy lift. If it passes, there is new funding for staffing, collections and programs, and facilities. If it fails, needs renovation doesn’t happen and per-child/per-family contact stays lower than it should be. (update: Darby won with a 75% YES vote)
The Cedar Rapids (IA) Public Library is on the November 3rd ballot with a $1.9 million levy lift. We are providing extensive tactical support to the staff and trustees, plus ongoing work in helping the YES committee finish their petition drive and their GOTV work.
The Meridian (ID) Library District is on the ballot with a 66.7% needed majority on November 3rd for a $12 million building bond for 2 buildings. We have trained their staff on Info Only outreach while providing editorial support to their communications. The local YES committee is launching this week online while planning an extensive neighborhood level GOTV campaign.
The Millbrook Free Library in New York is on the November 3rd ballot with a 414 measure at $130,000 per year. This is a supplemental levy and will fix a structural deficit for the library. We have done extensive Plan A / Plan B communications training with their staff and board to talk about what happens if the measure doesn’t pass. We have provided early money to their Say YES to Millbrook Library committee and are helping them gear up to talk widely around town about voting for the 414.
The Eugene (OR) Public Library is on the ballot with a special 5-year, $2.7 million levy (at $3 per household) on November 3rd. Eugene was a fantastic host city for OLA 2015 and we want to support them well. We have done in-person training and Plan A / Plan B messaging support for staff. The local YES committee is coming together around social media and neighborhood level GOTV, and we have pledges a $2,000 “challenge” to help with their fundraising.
The Washington County Cooperative Library System in Oregon is up for an $8 million levy renewal (about 33% of their funding) on November 3rd. We’re impressed with how the staff are engaging a wide range of community stakeholder, organizations, and agencies across a diverse geographic service area. We’ve provided messaging support to the staff team and are proud to endorse the People for Libraries committee in their campaign.
That’s six communities, but we are on the ballot for nine. Like in earlier election cycles, we talk about some of our communities very publically. Others we keep confidential until after the election is over. It’s important for us to work in a way that is appropriate to the local political climate. But we always report out after the election because our commitment to you, our funders, is to talk about where your money has been spent, how it went, and what we learned for other libraries.
We work, for free, with library staff and boards to train and coach them on effective Information Only communications campaigns. Your support means we can provide the pro-bono advising and consulting that the local Vote YES committee needs to do voter to voters campaigns that can tip the election for the library. Plus, because of our donors, we can provide cash grants to the YES committee to jumpstart their local fundraising.
Thank you for your support as a donor, as a volunteer on our outreach and campaign support, and by sharing on social media. There is almost $25 million at stake at these elections (on a one-year basis). Thanks for helping us help them win. Thanks for becoming a donor or renewing your donation today.