June 18, 2018

A Winning Story: Big Successes, with an Eye To Winds of Change | Editorial

A full 90 percent of all library referenda tracked by political action committee EveryLibrary and LJ passed in 2017. It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the astounding support that number represents as it encompasses results in both blue and red states, cities large and small.

How to Win at the Ballot Box | Budgets & Funding

The past two years have seen more than 100 U.S. libraries place budget referenda on their local ballots; LJ tracked 54 wins out of 79 measures in 2016 and 31 wins out of 36 in 2017. LJ reached out to several libraries that succeeded with their initiatives in the past decade to find out how they did it.

Found Money | Budgets & Funding

When bequests are managed from donors who have been identified for years, foundations and libraries know that certain funds are coming and why. But occasionally a quiet patron, someone who perhaps hasn’t drawn attention to themselves, can be one of the most generous of benefactors.

Breaking Records at the Polls | Budgets & Funding

Libraries saw unprecedented success in the voting booth in 2017. Can we keep the momentum going?

Keeping Up | Budgets & Funding

The financial news for libraries in 2016 was for the most part positive—overall, budgets are up modestly—but many, still rebounding from the recession and working to keep pace with needed capital improvements and technology requirements, still feel that they’re just getting by. Libraries, particularly smaller systems, continue to meet the challenge of working with what funds are available. But unexpected or one-time expenses for a library of any size can still result in tightened purse strings. Also, the rising costs of benefits for employees, as well as the uncertainties of the health-care marketplace, are an increasingly common concern.

Gaining Ground Unevenly | Budgets & Funding

LJ’s 2016 survey of U.S. public libraries, distributed geographically by size and type, reveals that while libraries continue to regain lost ground, recovery is gradually slowing—and not evenly distributed. Libraries reported moderate gains in overall budgets—an across-the-board increase of 3.2%, representing funding from all sources. Combined with a slight drop in inflation rates—.5% over the 12 months ending in November, compared to .8% for the preceding year—this is still smaller than last year’s overall uptick of 4.3% but welcome nonetheless.