By Nila McGinnis
Proposition 1 is a ten cent property tax to support a county-wide library. If passed, the proposition will establish a public library district in Lincoln County and bring access to internet, classes, books, and eLibrary opportunities to every citizen of Lincoln County.
With the passage of Proposition 1, a new library branch could open as early as 2019. The library will cost only $28.50 per year for a $150,000 home in terms of current property tax values.
Patti Silvey and Karen Panther, members of the Lincoln County Friends of the Library and volunteers for the campaign to bring a tax-funded library to Lincoln County, presented their platform to the Winfield Board of Alderman last month. Panther commented on the opportunities a library would bring to the community. “It’s about resources,” she said. “A library will provide job resources, help people apply for jobs, allow people to access the internet, and encourage reading in a safe space for our children.”
Winfield Mayor Ryan Ruckel voiced his support for the initiative, and said that if passed, the community of Winfield would be receptive to hosting a branch of the library in town.
Patti Silvey remarked that the benefits of a library district would greatly outweigh the cost to taxpayers. “In a house worth 150,000 in Lincoln County, this initiative would cost households less than 30 dollars per year in taxes. The benefits to having a library here are so important, and we are one of only a small few counties in the state that doesn’t have a public library. The small libraries we have are wonderful, but we want to be able to expand, apply for state grants and state funding, and provide a wonderful resource to residents here.”
Elain Eversmeyer Henderson, a former Superintendent for the Silex School District, says that she is full-heartedly supporting the proposition.
“Libraries are a foundation of our democracies,” she commented. “We want to bring the community together as a place for all to flourish.”