TACOMA – The Pierce County Library System’s Board of Trustees will discuss its restored levy ballot measure, results from recent services and programs, and other issues at the Board’s meeting at Pierce County Library’s Administrative Center and Library, 3005 112th St. E., Tacoma, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 3:30 p.m.
Restored levy: On Nov. 6, Pierce County voters will cast ballots for Proposition No. 1 a levy lid lift to restore the Pierce County Library’s levy rate to its full legal amount of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. To the owner of an average home assessed at $320,000 this would be approximately a $32 increase in 2019.
At the October Board meeting, Library leaders will update the Board on activities the Library has been conducting to inform people about the ballot measure. Using the Library’s customary communications channels, staff informed thousands of people of the ballot measure at events in libraries and communities.
- The restored levy would maintain services including open hours at 20 locations and online library resources; 1.5 million books, e-books, movies and other materials; staff to support learning with thousands of classes and events; computers, Wi-Fi and technology; and community spaces.
- Without the restored levy, the Library System would further eliminate and reduce services including the hours libraries are open; the number of books, movies and other materials; and classes and events; as well as close two to three libraries.
- In 2006 voters passed a restored levy, and The Library System has met or surpassed all of the levy promises with funding that was projected to maintain services for up to six years. The Library has stretched that funding for 12 years. Since 2006 the Library’s service area population has grown by 16 percent to 602,000 people, and the number of people with library cards has grown by 63 percent to 323,000 people.
- The restored levy is on the November ballot because costs to operate and maintain library services and libraries are increasing at a faster and higher rate than revenues.
Service and program results: At the meeting, the Board will also learn about results from recent services and programs.
- Summer Reading: 19,000 children and adults read 14 million minutes and donated 3,610 pounds of food to the Emergency Food Network.
- Teen Library Corps: this summer the Library launched its first teen summer volunteer program this summer with an impressive response from Pierce County teenagers—113 teenagers gave 1,615 volunteer hours to help serve summer lunches, register children for Summer Reading, perform puppet shows, and conduct other activities.
- Strategic Plan focus on e-books and downloadable audiobooks: June-August 2018, the Library highlighted an area of its Strategic Plan and increased awareness and use of e-books and downloadable audiobooks, which resulted in nearly a 20 percent increase in the number of people checking out those items (June-August 2017: 19,674; June-August 2018: 23,477) and the number of e-books and audiobooks downloaded (June-August 2017: 267,359; June-August 2018: 314,456.)