Last week we tracked seventeen library related elections on the ballot. Fifteen took place on May 5 and two on May 2. Twelve out of sixteen measures passed, meaning that 75% of libraries secured stable funding last week. Here is the breakdown of the results.
- New Orleans Public Library (LA): An overwhelming 75% of New Orleans residents passed the 25 year 2.5-mill levy. We have been working with the local ballot committee and the library in New Orleans for over one year on this campaign. We are proud of the work they were able to do in securing over 8 million a year in funding for the next 25 years. Library Journal covered the campaign this week detailing our strategic support and the great work of NOPL.
- Akron-Summit County Public Library (OH): Almost 70 percent (16177) of Summit County voters approved a .5-mill tax increase, the library’s first big increase since 2008. Just over 10 percent of registered voters turned out to vote.
- Barberton Public Library (OH): 62% of voters approved a proposed 5 year tax levy that included a 1.37 mill renewal and a .58 mill increase, for a total 1.95 mill. If the vote had failed the library would have lost 36% of their operating budget.
- Marvin Memorial Library (Shelby County, OH) Marvin Memorial Library’s request to Shelby area voters to approve an additional 1.75 mill, five-year levy for current expenses was approved by 63 percent of voters 657-381, in final, unofficial totals Tuesday.
- Lane Libraries (Butler County, OH) Voters who reside in the Fairfield, Hamilton, New Miami, Ross, Talawanda, and portions of Edgewood school districts continued their support for the Lane Libraries, which had a 0.75-mill renewal levy on the ballot. According to final, unofficial vote totals from the Butler County Board of Elections, the levy renewal passed with 78 percent for the levy and 22 against. The levy will generate $2.5 million annually for the library.
- Midpointe Libraries (Butler County, OH) : Voters in the Midpointe Library district overwhelmingly approved renewing the five-year, 0.75-mill levy that will help cover operating expenses for the system with libraries in Middletown, West Chester Twp. and Trenton by an unofficial vote of nearly 81 percent for to 19 percent against.
- Garner Public Library (IA): The voters of Garner have voted overwhelmingly to pass a referendum authorizing general obligation bonds to repair the library and potentially add more amenities to the facility for its patrons. By a vote of 386 – 60 (8% to 13%) the referendum now clears the way for the work to be done.First built in 1977, the Garner Public Library is in need of renovation. On Tuesday, voters in the library district spoke in favor of the renovation authorizing the city to issue the general obligation bonds. The project is estimated to cost $1.5 million and will add 8,000 square feet to the building.
- Adrian Library District (Ottawa Co.,MI): Voters in Adrian backed a 10-year, 2.5-mill tax levy proposal to generate about $900,000 annually for the Adrian District Library by a vote of 723 to 464 (%61 to %39.) The levy will replace a 1-mill levy dedicated to the library, representing a net increase of 1.5-mill.
- Findlay-Hancock County Public Library (OH): Findlay and Hancock County voters overwhelmingly renewed a 0.5-mill, five-year operating levy for the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library in Tuesday’s primary election. The vote was 4,849 in favor (84 percent) and 957 against (16 percent). The levy was first approved in May 2010, with 64 percent of voters approving. It offset an annual loss of about $725,000 when the state cut library funding in 2009. The levy revenue allowed the library to return to full operations. The levy accounts for about 24 percent of the library’s budget.
- Rodman Public Library (OH): More than 80 percent said yes to the library, passing the eight-year, 1.5-mill levy. The measure had 1,820 votes for and 354 against. The levy, which is expected to generate $775,640 annually. Just under 12 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the election.
- Louisville Public Library (OH): 74.24 percent of voters(1,556 to 540) approved Louisville Public Library’s 1-mill tax renewal, which will generate $314,796 a year over its five-year life cycle.
- Gloversville Public Library (NY): Voters approved the proposition to levy a tax of $276,321. The budget includes a 2.1 percent increase in the tax levy.
- North Merrick Public Library (NY) By a vote of 101-47, residents passed the North Merrick Public Library’s 2015-16 budget which will take effect July 1. The library’s tax levy will increase 3.54 percent, more than double a cap the state set.
- Cromaine Library District (MI): The Cromaine District Library bond proposal was defeated by 3,609 votes to 3,017 as of 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. This does not include the absentee votes that must be factored in. It was the library’s third attempt at reaching out to the community for support by approving a ballot proposal to fund a major expansion of the library’s main branch, which dates back to the 1800s. This defeat means that the Crossroads branch will be closing in about a year and some of the money saved will be used for much needed renovations at the main branch.
- New Hampton Public Library (IA): New Hampton voters rejected a $1.5 million bond referendum. 339, or 69.9 percent, voted no while 146, or 30.1 percent, voted yes. The measure needed a 60 percent approval rate to pass. Less than 25 percent of registered voters cast ballots. If the referendum had been approved, the Library would have done a $2.1 million expansion project adding 7,900 square feet to its current 8,000-square-foot space.
- Van Buren Library District (MI); By a vote of 2,986-3,526 (%54 to %46), voters rejected a request for .2 mill for Van Buren District Library beginning this year and continuing indefinitely to fund operations.
- Baraga Public Library (MI): With 1054 voting against and 698 voting for, voters rejected a .5 mill levy for the Baraga County Public Library.
Residents of Dunkirk (NY) will vote in a special election on June 23 for a special tax to fund the Dunkirk Free Library. The property tax will raise $350,000 which would be the annual budget for the library separating it from school district funds. Another Washington County library system will likely be on the ballot this November 3. This one is for Ohio instead of Oregon. The 1-mill 5 year renewal is about one third of the systems operating budget and will cover 5 branches in Marietta, Beverly, Barlow, Belpre and New Matamoras. The measure must be certified by the Board of Elections.
The 0.6-mill property tax increase for the Flint public library has been pulled from the August ballot. There was some miscommunication about the mayoral race and the library may have been on the hook to fund the whole election.
Thanks to our generous supporters we have recently partnered with the Creative Action Network to bring you high quality images for use in your campaigns. Six artists designed the pieces at EveryLibrary.org/VoteLibraries and they are also available for purchase as posters and tote bags at the Creative Action Network “VoteLibraries” site. All proceeds will go to support EveryLibrary and the individual artists.
We can’t wait to see you at ALA Annual 2015 in San Francisco where we are co-sponsoring two awesome events. The first is the ALA Think Tank Pre Party and Fundraiser on Thursday, June 25 at 8pm at the Center for Sex and Culture. All proceeds will go toward supporting this rare archive and social education center. RSVP on Facebook and buy a ticket now. Then on Sunday, June 28 at 8pm we will be partying and fundraising with Queery at the Make Out Room. All proceeds from this event will go toward the GLBT Historical society. Tickets are not yet available, but you can RSVP here.
That is all for this week. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!