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THIS IS THE 11th year that LJ has collected data on library referenda for public library buildings and the fourth year that data have been collected on operating levies. Overall, voters chose to support library service with an influx of needed cash. Although libraries didn't receive all the money requested in this year's referenda, they can be comforted in knowing that capital outlay and operating funds will continue to be available in the future.
The number of library referenda reported in FY97 decreased over FY96 for both capital outlay and operating funds. Operating levies went down from 75 to 67 this year, and capital campaigns dropped from 64 to 58 ballot measures. Still, both the operating levies and the capital campaigns are at or above their multiyear averages of 66.5 campaigns per year for operating levies and 49.5 campaigns for capital campaigns.
When a single ballot measure is specifically designed to raise funds for both operating and capital outlay purposes, the referendum is listed in both sections of this article. However, if an operating levy was general purpose and simply allowed some funds to be expended for capital outlay purposes, the referendum is reported in the operating levy section only.
Of the 58 referenda (see Table 1) held in search of capital funds between July 1, 1996 and June 30, 1997, 49 campaigns (84%) were successful, with only nine failing. As Table 2 shows, this is above the average success rate of 80% for the combined data collected for the last 11 years (1987-97).
TABLE 1. REFERENDA FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY BUILDINGS 1997 Vote Community Library For Against ALASKA (*)Kenai Kenai Community Library 49% 51% ARKANSAS Pine Bluff Pine Bluff/Jefferson Cty. Lib. 56% 44% Pine Bluff Pine Bluff/Jefferson Cty. Lib. 51% 49% CALIFORNIA Berkeley Berkeley Public Library 67% 33% Oakland Oakland Public Library 78% 22% (*) San Diego San Diego cty. Authority 59% 41% COLORADO Castle Rock Douglas PL District 52% 48% Fort Collins Fort Collins Public Library 69% 31% CONNECTICUT Glastonbury Welles-Turner Mem.Library 67% 33% Hebron Douglas Library of Hebron 82% 18% Orange Orange Public Library 67% 33% GEORGIA Brunswick Brunswick-Glynn Reg. Lib. 67% 33% ILLINOIS Downers Grove Downers Grove PL 52% 48% Northbrook Northbrook Public PL 54% 46% IOWA Norwalk Norwalk Public Library 78% 22% Pella Carnegie-Viersen PL 62% 38% KANSAS (*)Hays Hays Public Library 19% 81% Topeka Topeka & Shawnee Cty. PL 51% 49% LOUISIANA Franklin St. Mary Parish Library 51% 49% (*)Houma Terrebonne Parish Library 38% 62% Kinder Allen Parish Libraries 84% 16% MASSACHUSETTS (*)Anonymous Anonymous 48% 52% Chelmsford Chelmsford Public Library 62% 38% Lancaster Lancaster Town Library 62% 38% (*)Newburyport Newburyport Public Library 47% 53% Pembroke Pembroke Public Library 72% 28% Quincy Thomas Crane PL 100% 0% Tisbury Vineyard Haven PL 59% 41% MICHIGAN Berkeley Berkley Public Library 65% 35% MINNESOTA Willmar Willmar Public Library 52% 48% NEVADA (*)Pahrump Pahrump Community Library 47% 53% NEW HEMPSHIRE Chesterfield Chesterfield Public Library 66% 34% Hopkinton Hopkinton Town Library 76% 24% Lancaster William d. Weeks Mem. Lib. 73% 27% (*)Merimack Merrimack Public Library 35% 65% Northfield Hall Memorial Library 100% 0% Plainfield Philip Read Memorial Library 65% 35% Rye Rye Public Library 85% 15% Troy Gay-Kimball Public Library 51% 49% Greenport Floyd Memorial Library 77% 23% NEW YORK Massapequa Massapequa Public Library 64% 36% Northville Northville Public Library 60% 40% Rochester Brighton Memorial Library 71% 29% Southhampton Rogers Memorial Library 72% 28% Suffern Suffern Free Library 76% 24% OHIO (*)Circleville Pickaway County PL 46% 54% Westlake Westlake Porter PL 56% 44% OKLAHOMA Edmond Metropolitan Library System 62% 38% RHODE ISLAND North Kingstown North Kingstown Free Library 85% 15% TEXAS Garland …