November Elections on the Horizon

Vote LibrariesEveryLibrary has 8 campaigns on the ballot November 4th, 2014.  It’s our 5th Election Day this year.

Our 8 ballot measures run the gamut from establishing a new town library, reestablishing a library’s public funding, setting up an independent district, renewing two basic-operating levies and increasing one levy for operations, getting bond authority to remodel facilities system-wide, and passing a building initiative for a new main library.  We’re proud of our work across the country. And we are only able to support these library communities because of our donors.  Our public endorsements for November 2014 include:

Pomona Public Library, CA
Measure PPL to reestablish public funding for 10 years
Save Our Pomona Public Library committee (SOPPL)

Josephine Community Library, OR
$990,000 levy and new district authority
Keep Our Libraries Open committee (KOLO)

Cranston Public Library, RI
$1.2 million remodeling bond
Citizens for Cranston Public Library committee

Park Ridge Public Library, IL
4 year $550,000 levy increase
Citizens for Park Ridge Public Library committee

Paulding County Carnegie Library, OH
$490,000 annual operating levy renewal
PCCL Levy Committee (Vote4PCCL)

Northville District Library, MI
4 year $440,000 levy renewal
Committee to Support the Northville District Library Millage Renewal (YES to NDL)

We’re keeping 2 of our eight campaigns confidential until after Election Day because the local ballot committee feels that EveryLibrary’s support could become a distraction in the local media or among the opposition.  That’s smart and strategic.  They have our support – both tactical and financial.  We promise to share about them win or lose after November 4th.  [Editors note 20 Nov 2014:  Read about our support for Northvale, NJ. as they campaigned for voter approval of a new Municipal Library (approx $330,000 levy) and for Eastern Shore Public Library in Virginia as they campaigned for a $3.5 million bond to build a new building.]

For libraries with staff and trustees, we’ve been out to train on best practices for Information Only campaigns.  Library leadership have a plan for the library.  We help the library root its communications and outreach in that plan.  On public time with public money, they have a responsibility to talk about how this new or renewed tax will benefit the community and what are the consequences of a loss.  This outreach includes ‘at the desk’, online, and, most importantly, to stakeholder groups, agencies, and organizations.  We have a regular coaching relationship with all our libraries.  It’s not just train the trainer.  But two of our libraries don’t have any staff right now.  A key messages for those two Vote YES committees is to restore the professional librarians to their communities.

For our Vote YES committee work, we’ve pledged direct funding support to many of the campaigns.  Our goal is to provide “seed money” to the YES campaigns.  We’ve asked them all to conduct a challenge or matching fundraising appeal using our early support.  EveryLibrary also provides varying levels of advice and consulting to the YES campaigns.  We’ve helped with committee filings, voter data analysis, message development, social media outreach, opposition engagement, and Get Out the Vote work.  All of this work is pro-bono because of our donors.  Our direct donations are used for buying yard signs, doing social media advertising, sending postcards, and getting pizza for volunteers is because of our donors.  We’re unique in the library advocacy space because of our donors.

As of this writing, we have 41 days until Election Day.  In the mean time, we’re coaching and advising these 8 campaigns.  We’re also starting to gear up for 2015 library ballot measures.  If you know someone who is on the ballot in the next 6 months, please introduce us.  If you are in a position to help fund our campaign work, we’d appreciate it.  So far, we have helped secure over $40 million at the ballot box for libraries. Winning these campaigns will add another $5-$6 million to that total.  For every dollar we’ve invested in campaigns we’ve returned $3,300 to local libraries in the form of stable tax revenue.  If you want to see that happen this year and next, become a one time or reoccurring donor.  As little as $10 a month is a massive help to our work.

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