Friday, September 7, 2012

Libraries have their own PAC

Ashland Library in Ashland, Ore.
Library in Ashland, Ore. Image by Curtis Cronn
Licensed for use under Creative Commons with some rights reserved 
EveryLibrary, the first and only national political action committee (PAC) for libraries, launched this week. Its objective: ballot initiatives and measures for local libraries.

An announcement dated Sept. 4 stated that “The organization, found online at www.everylibrary.org, will fundraise nationally to support local library ballot committees and PACs, and provide them with technical support and consultancy on how to run – and win – at the ballot box.”

This is timely news for the Ashland Library, which has a levy on the November ballot.

Measure 15-113 would renew a levy that was originaly approved in November 2008 and expires in summer 2013. According to an explanatory statement for Measure 15-113, the levy authorizes the City of Ashland to levy up to 21 cents per $1,000 assessed value each year to provide enhanced library services.

The levy would, at a minimum, provide 16 additional open hours per week for a total of 40 hours. The levy would finance three additional full-time employees or the equivalent and enhanced outreach programs for teens, seniors and children. Measure 15-113 would renew the levy through June 30, 2017.

According to John Chrastka, executive director of EveryLibrary, “EveryLibrary is built on the idea that any library ballot initiative anywhere matters to every library everywhere.”

“EveryLibrary will allow us to raise funds and support specific ballot measures that keep libraries open and thriving,” Chrastka said. “Elections are the ‘last mile’ of library advocacy and this new PAC is an amazing opportunity for our community to talk directly to voters.”

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