Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 10:35 pm
Hats off to the Worthington community who passed a 2.2-mill operating levy for Worthington Libraries on Tuesday, November 5.
The permanent levy, which replaces a 22-year, 2.2-mill levy passed by voters in 1992, will generate an estimated $3.9 million annually for the library system, which includes three locations. The Library also collects property taxes from a 2.6-mill permanent levy passed in 2005.
The campaign to pass the 2.2-mill operating levy began with the development of a new strategic plan for the Library, which featured extensive community involvement and was adopted by the library's board of trustees on January 23, 2013. The strategic plan became the blueprint for the library's levy campaign, which began with the formation of a campaign committee in July. The committee included 60 people representing all areas of the library's service district and was chaired by Beth Sommer and Lynn Nadler, both former library trustees, and Rick Bradley, president of the Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries.
As part of the campaign, the library board and Worthington Libraries Director Chuck Gibson, spoke with dozens of community organizations throughout Worthington. They provided details about the library's current financial situation as well as the significant increase in both programming (up 68 percent) and circulation (up 32 percent) since 2005, the last time the Library was on the ballot with a levy request.
On election night, a group of library supporters and staff gathered in a local restaurant to await the results. The polls closed at 7:30pm and the election was officially called, with all precincts reporting, at approximately 10:20pm.
Levy co-chair Sommer was quick to thank the library staff, saying, "This levy passed because of you, because of your dedication to providing quality service each and every day."
Director Chuck Gibson echoed Sommer's statement and also pointed out the tremendous commitment of the library board, who attended countless meetings and speaking engagements, in addition to their full-time jobs, in recent months. "The library's success this evening is based on everyone working together the staff, the board and the community. Residents of Worthington clearly love their library, and maintenance of this funding will make sure the Library remains a vital part of the community for many years to come."
With funding secure, the Library will focus on implementing its 2013-2015 Strategic Plan with a specific focus on:
- Providing residents with excellent materials and services
- Creating innovative outreach programs and specialized outreach activities
- Offering advanced technology training to residents of all ages
- Helping children succeed in school
- Giving people opportunities to have fun and learn together in a warm and welcoming environment
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