Library Funding Success Stories, part one
hat elements contribute to the successful outcome of efforts by libraries to reach new financial goals? Are there common, identifiable factors that lead to success?
These and other questions are often asked when a library is facing a need to find resources beyond those in its current budget. This new NCompass series will feature public libraries throughout Nebraska that have succeeded in their efforts to acquire additional funding, particularly in the face of difficult or complicated fiscal situations. This first column features South Sioux City, a community that persisted in spite of two fairly recent defeats of tax issues.
South Sioux City tried in 1995 and 1997 to pass its first sales tax. Both times the measures were defeated by narrow margins. In the 1997 initiative, according to Library Director William Kendra, local supporters of the library were in favor of a new library, but the ballot's packaging of this effort with attempts to revitalize the downtown apparently doomed it to defeat. How did South Sioux City overcome this reluctance on the part of local voters? They put together a more palatable package that passed by a nearly 2 to 1 margin:
The latter two issues were joined on the ballot, and both had to pass in order for that ballot issue to be approved. Kendra says that the capital improvements tax is expected to generate approximately $250,000 per year.
When asked to speculate on why the vote was so successful this time, Kendra noted the following contributing factors:
Some conclusions that might be drawn are:
We invite you to share your library success stories. To share your experience in acquiring additional funding, contact Richard Miller, 402-471-3175, 800-307-2665, Fax: 402-471-2083 or e-mail: Richard Miller.
Create Bookmark Lists for Customers
he article below was excerpted from George Strassler's What A Tangled Web column in the December 1999 edition of Straight-Talk from the Northeast Library System:
Instead of reviewing a lot of URLs this month I am going to give you a creative idea that I swiped from Mary Jo Ryan and Kit Keller at the Nebraska Library Commission and from Jesse Berst's Anchor Desk column at www.zdnet.com/anchordesk.
Scenario: Mr. Snake assigns a biology class project on reptiles. You, the information specialist, know where to find the material they need on the Web. Try this: Bookmark the sites you have selected on your browser. Then use one of the online bookmark storage sites to store bookmarks at a central Web location from which you, or anyone, can access them from anywhere. Try:
Give the patron the URL of the storage site and they can reach all the bookmarks from the library, home, or school. Think what you can do for businessmen, investors, or farmers. The possibilities are endless, and you and your library come off as heroes.
You can also store your own bookmarks as a backup. Password them if you don't want others to access them. I tried BaBoo and Clickmarks and while BaBoo was a bit easier to use, it was slower than sludge. Clickmarks is a bit nerdier, but fast and really quite easy. As an example of these storage sites, see the URLs in this column at www.clickmarks.com/click/gstras/?VN=0.
Dr. Geo. Strassler, firstname.lastname@example.org
South Sioux City Public Library Board plan for their successful