EveryLibrary Helps Libraries Win Funding

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We helped McCall Public Library pass a bond to fund a new building; we checked in them one year later.

EveryLibrary supports libraries facing funding challenges free of charge. When the McCall Public Library in McCall, Idaho, faced the daunting task of getting the city to pass a bond they reached out to us. They needed to replace their aging 4,000-square-foot building with a new 16,000-square-foot two-story building that would better meet their communities needs.

The library’s staff knew that getting the city’s support could be challenging, and they needed help figuring out how to proceed. That’s where EveryLibrary came in. We supported McCall Public Library through consultation, technical assistance, and direct campaign funds (our donors helped us with this). We also worked with local campaign volunteers. None of these services cost Mccall a penny. In mid-2021, the bond passed on only its second try.

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Recently we reached out to McCall Public Library’s Library Director, Meg Lojek, for updates one year after their victory. Here’s what we learned.

Plans are still moving forward. McCall is facing many of the same challenges occurring all over the country. To build the new, more extensive library, the city’s parks department needed to move, as the library needed that space. So the parks department created a new building. While that happened, changes in everything from the supply chain to labor and material shortages to inflation drastically changed the project’s scope. What started as a $7 million project rose to $10.4 million in only a year.

Library staff worried the city wouldn’t continue to back the project. However, in June 2022, the City Council met to discuss the project. The city manager and consultants put together a presentation and package of information to help the council decide whether or not to proceed. The treasurer, working under the city manager, presented a plan of how the city could go ahead with the new library and manage the additional, unavoidable costs. The council, in turn, voted (unanimously) to continue.

Your donations help support libraries across the country. 

In late June, the library added a new, ADA-compliant entrance into the existing library to tide them over until the new building is ready. By fall, the city had demolished the old park facilities, and the foundations were poured for the new library. The plan is to be able to move into the new space in March 2024.

In the meantime, library staff continue to fundraise and apply for grants to bridge the financial gap. But the good news is they have enough funds to start the project, two years to build up the rest, and they have the city’s support.

EveryLibrary is thrilled to have participated in McCall Public Library’s successful bond initiative. We’re delighted that our donors have allowed us to do this at no cost to the library, allowing their limited funds to go into their building and programs. If you’re interested in donating to our efforts on behalf of libraries like McCall Public Library, please visit our donate page.