It’s Time to Stand Together for Our Library

ballot yesWe know that having access to good a good library with the right resources is a quality of life issue for Darby. Libraries in good repair, with the latest technology will make a positive, multi-generational impact on our kid’s education, on the readiness of the workforce for 21st Century jobs, and all sorts of community outcomes that need a place like a library to be nurtured and grow.  That’s why we are voting FOR for the 3 millage increase.  It’s a smart way to spend our public resources, because our libraries serve everyone.  All of the funds will go directly to the library (not the town).  We want our librarians to have the resources they need and we want our town to have the library we deserve.

The Darby Community Public Library BIC is asking for your support of the 3 millage increase so the library can deliver on these four promises:

#1 Repair and maintain the building with dedicated funds. Use of the library has grown by over 200% since the library opened in 2004. Your FOR vote is essential for keeping the library building safe and enjoyable for all of its users.

#2 Purchase books, periodicals, and audio books with a dedicated book budget that is not based on donations. Current and well-chosen materials support a well informed community. Your FOR vote is needed to ensure access to a rich collection.

#3 Keep the library open five days a week for community access and a safe after school environment for children. Without increased funding library hours will need to be cut and that means the library will be more difficult or impossible to access for members of our community. Your FOR vote is needed to ensure that all of our neighbors, even those with non traditional schedules, can continue to access the library and its services.

#4 Provide staff to support patrons, services for children, computer assistance, and other valued library services. The staff is the lifeblood of the library. Without them we wouldn’t have story times, personalized book recommendations, tech tables, teen workshops, our countless other services that help our community members enrich themselves with education and entertainment. Your FOR vote is needed to maintain the current level of staff support that we rely on and enjoy.

Join with over 1,000 of our neighbors that have voted so far and return your ballot marked FOR the millage increase by this Tuesday, September 15. Ballots must be received (not postmarked) by 8 pm. Ballots can be hand delivered to the Ravalli County Election Office, 215 South 4th St., Suite C; Hamilton, MT 59840.

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Internet Access is Essential

Vote YES logoDarby has a higher rate of Internet access compared to households nationwide. According to broadbandmap.gov 99% of households have access to Internet technology. However, according to an independent study only 87% of households have a working Internet connection. The Darby Community Public Library provides essential public computers and Internet access for those people who don’t have access to them in their homes.

In 2013-2014, library computers were used over 8,000 times for creating resumes, job searching, online job applications, homework assignments, etc. Professional library staff assisted patrons with technology questions and provided one on one help to patrons with these online activities. In order for the Darby Community Public Library to continue to provide this essential resource, we need YOUR help.

Ballots are in the mail this week asking voters if they support a 3-mill increase for library funding. This will fund increased staff support of library technology and provides about 1/3 of the library’s annual budget. Help secure the next generation of library services by voting YES for Darby Community Public Library! Ballots are arriving in homes this week and must be in by September 15.

How Does the Library Impact Lives?

Vote Libraries ToolboxThe PEW Research Center recently asked Americans what impact the closing of their public library would have on them. The top answers in How Americans Value Public Libraries in their Communities:

  • Americans value public libraries as institutions that enrich their communities. Nine out of 10 Americans say closing their public library would impact their community and 94 percent believe that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community.
  • Libraries afford users access to information and resources that they may have a hard time finding elsewhere. 95 percent of Americans agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.
  • Library services are especially valued by marginalized and undeserved communities. Minorities, women, and adults living in low-income households place the greater value on public library services. For example, 56 percent of adults living in low-income households say libraries are very important in terms of providing youth programs.

At Darby Community Public Library, evening hours and after school programs mean a safe place for our youth to continue learning. More staffing to support our patrons and new technology means unemployed workers can use library computers to search for and apply for jobs. Up to date collections mean that users will have the best tools to enrich their lives. These services have a profound impact on our community and need increased and stable funding.

There will be a ballot measure on the September 15, 2015 ballot, asking voters if they support a 3-mill increase for library funding. This will provide about 1/3 of our annual budget and we need your help to secure the next generation of library services.

Vote YES for Darby Library! Ballots will be mailed and voting begins August 26, 2015.

The Library is Everywhere You Need it

ainting of woman reading ebookDo you prefer to read and learn online? Wish you had access to your favorite titles from home, twenty four hours a day?

Darby Community Public Library has tons of resources online for you to borrow anytime. The Montana Library2Go has ebooks and audiobooks of all types from bestsellers to business & career titles.  There are research databases to help you with reports and improving your business. There are also the Darby Diaries if you want to explore the personal history of our great community. The library also gives you access to the statewide personal tutoring, test prep, and jobs center, HomeworkMT.

You can access these resources from most devices like your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC, from anywhere in the world. Whether it’s homework, finding a job, or personal enrichment, Darby Community Public Library has you covered. Your library is everywhere you are.

There will be a ballot measure on the September 15, 2015 ballot, asking voters if they support a 3-mill increase for library funding. This will provide about 1/3 of our annual budget and we need your help to secure the next generation of library services.
Vote YES for Darby Community Public Library! Ballots will be mailed and voting begins August 26, 2015.

The Library as Opportunity

geyser event soda pop geysers 4 (1)According to a 2013 PEW study*, “95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed”.

Government and healthcare agencies increasingly require people to submit essential forms online. Likewise more corporations only accept online job applications. Often these forms cannot be obtained in print and traditional mail or appointments for in person help may increase wait times that can be unmanageable for some without access to the internet.

Over the summer children need to stay engaged to continue learning and be prepared for the return to school in the fall. E-books or online learning apps supplement other summer activities, but purchasing or subscribing to the resources can be expensive and prohibitive when there is the additional burden of increased childcare costs over the summer.

Darby Community Public Library provides access to these resources to anyone in the community who needs them. Whether applying for a job, filling out essential forms, or providing summer learning, many Darby residents depend on the Library to deal with these important aspects of our lives.

There will be a ballot measure on the September 15, 2015 ballot, asking voters if they support a 3-mill increase for library funding. This will provide about 1/3 of our annual budget and we need your help to secure the next generation of library services.

Vote YES for Darby Community Public Library! Ballots will be mailed and voting begins August 26, 2015.

*How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities, PEW Research Center, 2013.

Access to Computers and the Internet in the Library

computer room
The computer room in Darby Community Public Library is a very busy place. In addition to the computer room, the library circulates five laptop computers for patron in-house use. Other library users bring in their own computers and electronic devices to connect to the Internet using the library’s free WiFi access.

The Darby Community Public Library provides technology for use by our community. This includes not only computers, but reliable high speed Internet access, and basic productivity software. These resources can be used by anyone in the community who do not otherwise have access to technology or by families who may have only one household computer and need more capacity during crunch times.

In the 2013-2014 year, Darby Community Public Library users accessed the library’s high speed Internet from mobile devices 1,015 times. Currently, the 14 public access computers in the computer room have 168 weekly users. We know this is an essential service to the community and the library needs your help to maintain its technology services.

There will be a measure on the September 15, 2015 ballot, asking voters if they support a 3-mill increase for library funding. This increase will help insure that staffing is available to help with computer assistance and that technology is maintained and upgraded regularly.
Vote YES for Darby Community Public Library! Ballots will be mailed and voting begins August 26, 2015.

Access to Essential Technology

VOTE YESA report from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, sponsored by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, details why access to computer and the internet is essential in our libraries:

More so than with other types of use, users with access to computers and the Internet at home, school, or work are still heavy users of library computers for educational purposes. This is particularly the case with doing homework where household competition for computer access may interfere with timely accomplishment of assignments. Users also expressed the efficiency of using library computers for education when additional materials or help from librarians is needed.

A Yes vote on the millage increase for Darby Community Public Library means more computers available for our users. It will also help staff get the training they need to provide the best support possible whether you need computers to complete homework, apply for job, fill out online forms, or manage your finances. We want a new generation of library services for Darby and we need your help on election day. Ballots will be mailed and voting begins August 26, 2015.

Vote YES for Darby Community Public Library!