If you were able to attend one of our Coffee with Your Librarian sessions about the Pierce County Library System’s restored levy, thank you for being a part of some exciting and interesting discussions. The Library’s measure on the November 6 general election ballot is the result of conversations we’ve had with our communities during the past couple of years.
This spring, I had the pleasure of working with a Community Advisory Committee comprised of leaders from throughout the Library’s service area. After thoughtful review of both the Library’s funding and input from thousands of residents, the committee recommended that the Library System ask voters to restore the Library’s levy to its full authorized amount, which is 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. This would be an increase of approximately 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed property. To the owner of an average home assessed at $320,000 this would be approximately a $32 increase in 2019.
The restored levy or levy lid lift on the ballot would maintain library services. I’m often asked what that would look like. Maintaining services would keep the open hours at the Library System’s 20 locations, continue 24/7 access to online library resources and a full calendar of the classes and events that you and your neighbors attend each year. Restored funding would ensure you and your families find the books, e-books, audiobooks, and movies you want to borrow and also allow us to continue to provide technology and community spaces such as public meeting rooms.
When I’m out in our communities, I hear many first-hand accounts of how the Library has touched lives – from helping Veterans returning to the private sector find and get jobs to making sure students have just the right resources to write school essays. More than anything I hear how much Pierce County residents value their libraries and consider them the heart of their local communities.
Without a restored levy, the Library System would reduce services. This would include a 10% reduction in the hours libraries are open; a 14-21% decrease in the number of books, movies, and other materials purchased; and a 40% reduction in classes and events offered. We would also start a public process to close two to three libraries in the next few years.
We realize this is an important measure and it is up to voters to decide. We appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about the ballot measure to serve growing and changing communities. Please consider stopping by one of our two remaining Coffee with Your Librarian open houses to share your thoughts and get any additional questions answered. And while you’re there, we hope you enjoy light refreshments generously provided by our Friends of the Libraries.
South Hill Pierce County Library
15420 Meridian E. 98375
Tuesday, Oct. 9 @ 1:30-3 p.m.
DuPont Pierce County Library
1540 Wilmington Drive 98327
Thursday, Oct. 11 @ 4-5:30 p.m.
Thank you for letting us serve you and your community. Learn more about the restored levy at levy.pcls.us