April 24 ballot measure would maintain funding for library operations

Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory
Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory

Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory
Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director

I am always happy to hear from community members about their Sno-Isle Libraries experiences and appreciation for:

  • Preschool programs to prepare children for kindergarten
  • Support for student learning
  • Popular materials such as books, DVDs and downloadable resources
  • No-fee computers and other technology for learning and enjoyment for all ages
  • Bookmobile services for seniors, disabled and others who cannot come to the library
  • Support and assistance for military families

They also ask me questions about the library operations levy measure on the April 24 ballot.

Many people are surprised to learn that Sno-Isle Libraries depends on local property taxes to fund library services. The fact is that 98 percent of our daily library operations are funded by this levy.

Nine years ago, voters approved a levy intended to support Sno-Isle Libraries for five years. Through careful budgeting and use of our reserve funds, we have made that levy last nine years.

Now we face a dilemma. Current library funding no longer covers the costs of daily operations and maintaining services.

Voters have two choices on the April 24 ballot. Rejection of the library operations levy would require us to reduce our budget by $2 million in 2019 and even more in subsequent years. This will impact all 23 community libraries and bookmobile services, through fewer staff positions, reduced open hours, and cuts in the materials and services we offer.

Voter approval of the library operations levy would provide us with sufficient funding to continue our current level of services through 2025.

Thank you for studying these issues and taking the time to submit your ballot. If you have questions or concerns about Sno-Isle Libraries, please do not hesitate to contact me.