We’re very happy to announce that your hard work paid off! Signing the petition and sending in those emails make a big difference, the city leadership has taken closing the library off the table. It feels especially great to win this one. We were extremely proud to work with the hard-working Friends of the Library, who organized local activities to support the library in Mary Esther. We are also thankful to the good people at the Florida Library Association for writing letters of support and working so well with all of us to get a strong coalition together to win this fight.
But, I think it will be best said by the Friends of the Mary Esther Library that you helped support. Here is a letter from the Friends Secretary, Michelle Rachie, on behalf of the Friends group;
“Thank you, Mary Esther Public Library supporters! YOU made a difference! At the budget workshop, our City Council committed to supporting our library and keeping the library open! This was only possible because of the large public outcry showing support through petition signatures, phone calls, drop-in visits to City Council members, and a standing-room only crowd of library supporters at the Mary Esther budget workshop meeting.
“To understand the impact you made: The City of Mary Esther is a small community of less than 2,000 households. We often hear people say the Mary Esther Public Library is the gem of the city. Indeed, our library is the educational and cultural center of our community. The library-loving community was stunned when our City Council proposed closing the library due to budgetary shortfalls. With less than two weeks until the next budget workshop and decision on keeping our library open, our tiny (but mighty) Friends of the Mary Esther Public Library jumped to action to save our library. We sent out a direct mailing to all city residents promoting the library, used a social media campaign, printed yard-stake signs, and printed signs for the budget workshop meeting.
“One of the best decisions the Friends of the Mary Esther Library made was involving EveryLibrary! The EveryLibrary rapid-response team was able to help “turbocharge” our public outreach through various means and resources. In particular, the on-line petition signatures through EveryLibrary was a key advantage in both helping us get the word out quickly, articulating the importance of library-supporters being at the library meeting, and in enabling library-supporters to have their voices heard directly to the City Council!
“The bottom line: your support of the Mary Esther Public Library made a difference. In closing, we would like to share a favorite quote by Margaret Mead: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’”
The Friends of the Mary Esther Public Library
Many of you made donations to EveryLibrary, and your financial support allowed us to spend hundreds of dollars on an organized digital campaign to help ensure that we educated the local community members about how important the library was to the community of Mary Esther and to garner more signatures to support the library. This won’t be our last fight against library closures. We would love to help anytime a library is threatened across the country.
Patrick "PC" Sweeney