Lib Politics Rodeo February 3, 2016

1128_voting-800x480News from around the #libraries #politics world

Residents of Winter Park, Florida have the opportunity  to vote for a $30 million bond referendum to help fund a proposed 50,000 square foot library during upcoming the March 15th general election. Tax money from the referendum and a $2.5 million-dollar contribution from the library will go toward covering a $29.9 million price tag on the entire project. John Chrastka was able to provide early guidance on how to move forward with the bond referendum, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel back in July 2015. The new library will provide a larger space for the book collection, dedicated computer labs, rooms for meetings and studying as well as additional parking.

A disagreement with the Kern County elections office over signature gathering is stopping the proposed sales tax to help fund the local library system. Originally, 13,269 votes were needed to get the tax onto the ballot. Because the disagreement had caused a delay in the work of the Advocates for Library Enhancement, they are now asking the five members of the Kern County Board of Supervisors to pit the tax measure on the ballot. EveryLibrary was in Bakersfield in the spring of 2015, visiting with library stakeholders, staff and leadership during the process of bow to best fund their library.

In Harper Woods, Michigan taxpayers will be asked to support a millage renewal to continue funding the Harper Woods Public Library during the November 8th election. This is not a new tax, rather it is a renewal of the library millage that voters approved in 2010, but is set to expire in 2017.

Other Happenings

EveryLibrary is keeping a close eye on the proposed Nebraska Bill LB969, which has horrible implications for Nebraska libraries. This proposed bill would require all Nebraska’s cities and villages to “control their libraries.” In effect, taking the management of the library out of the hands of the librarians and into the hands of the mayor and the city council.  Be sure to read John Chrastka’s recent post on how this will negatively effect Nebraska’s libraries and sign and share the petition to keep politics out of Nebraska’s libraries.

At the close of 2015, we received some good news out of Washington DC about federal money going to support libraries: when congress passed the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package on December 18th, 2015 libraries benefited. Funding for  the Institute of Museum and Library Services, will bump to $230 million, up slightly from $227.8 million in FY15. Funding for school libraries received an increase of $2 million. Increases were also made to funding for Native American Library Services, the National Leadership Grants for Libraries and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program.

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