It was a good night last night in Michigan for our library campaigns. We are happy to report that 3 out of 4 of our library communities passed their ballot measures! EveryLibrary’s pro-bono campaign advising and consulting was only possible because of our donors. With your support we were able to donate when the campaigns needed funding and to be involved in each campaign as they wanted the help.
Congratulations today to Herrick District Library, Leland Township Library, and Allegan Library on their wins. For Herrick, they renewed their basic funding levy. It accounts for 85% of their funding; they would have closed if it had failed. Leland Township passed a referendum that re-organizes the library and stabilizes its funding. Allengan will be building a new wing on their historic library to bring it into the 21st century. We will continue to stand with and support Lyon Township Library as they evaluate this loss and decide on next steps.
This is a strong showing for libraries in a state whose electorate is becoming increasingly suspicious of tax measures, where the library can be lumped into the ‘any tax is a bad tax’ category too easily. It follows the uncertainty this winter of SB571, the election ‘gag order’ on librarians and other public employees. We fought alongside Michigan Library Association to #vetoSB571 precisely because the public needs to hear from their library boards and staff about what the tax measure will do. Knowing the facts about the library’s plan cuts through rumors and makes a strong base for honest conversation about taxes in town.
EveryLibrary backed these library communities in the face of local opposition, fundraising challenges, and confusing ballot language. If you believe – like we do – that we should all come together and stand together for library funding, then join with hundreds of others in donating today. We have another 12 libraries on the ballot around the country between now and November. Your support as a monthly donor will give us the resources we need to help those libraries face their challenges on the way to the ballot.
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