You might remember the Christian County Library Campaign because we alerted you to the illegal tactics used by the opposition. Many of you responded with donations to help us fight back, allowing us to spend hundreds of dollars of your donations on educating the local voters about the importance of libraries and setting the record straight against that untruthful flyer that was illegally put in area mailboxes. Through the support of many of our previous individual donors and through the ongoing support of our major donors we were also able to provide pro-bono political consulting to the local campaign committee about how best to win their campaign.
Erika Blair, a member of their campaign committee said, "This was my first time working on a campaign, and without some of the resources from and chats with EveryLibrary, I would have been lost!" We are proud to be able to offer these resources to these campaigns.
I’m very excited to announce that this campaign won a ballot initiative on Tuesday! In fact, proponents won by a strikingly overwhelming margin to support an expansion of library services. Nearly 70 percent of the voters in the Tuesday election agreed to renew the tax levy of the Christian County Library. Christian County Library officials said the library tax levy was one of the lowest in the state. In the past decade, voters have rejected requests to increase local funding for libraries but not this time.
The increase approved Tuesday is expected to expand library services across Christian County in the following ways:
- A library branch in Nixa, established in an existing building with approximately 7,000 square feet of space.
- A 5,000-square-foot library branch in Sparta to serve eastern Christian County, to be constructed on land already owned by the library.
- A 5,000-square-foot branch in Clever to serve western Christian County, to be constructed on land already owned by the library.
- Improvements and expansion at the current location in Ozark, including features like additional meeting space, a drive-through, and a more functional layout that would provide space for expanding the collection.
- Additional jobs. Library staff is projected to eventually double under this plan, to approximately 18 full-time positions and 41 part-time positions.
Thanks very much for your support of this and other library campaigns across the country. EveryLibrary is grateful for your participation, because, together, we are making a difference. We invite you to continue your support with a regular gift of just $5 a month. You are important to us and to ensuring that libraries remain pillars of their communities.
Katy Pattison, Assistant Director in Christian County Library said "EveryLibrary helped us to create a message that resonated with our conservative community, and during the height of our campaign when we started to see some opposition take shape, it was comforting to know we had an expert in library campaigns that we could reach out to anytime."