The St. Louis County Library Board of Trustees approved a tax levy ballot issue at its meeting on April 16, aimed at long overdue renovations and replacements of the library’s aging facilities and enhancements to programs, collections and services.
The measure, which will appear on the November 2012 ballot, is the first increase the library has requested of voters since 1983.
According to Jennifer McBride, St. Louis County Library Communications Manager, the tax levy is not County-wide.
"It will impact the areas served by the St. Louis County Library system," she said. "Not the nine member municipal library district."
University City is not part of the St. Louis County Library system. The is a member of the Municipal Library Consortium of St. Louis County.
MLC members include University City, , Ferguson Municipal Public Library, , , , , Valley Park Public Library and .
St. Louis County Library
St. Louis County Library recently contracted to update the district’s Facilities Master Plan. The findings, which are posted on the library’s website, indicate the need for capital improvements in order to meet growing community needs.
The tax levy would allow SLCL to address immediate challenges to its branches including leaky roofs, outdated HVAC, and other costly problems, while offering a plan for the next 10 years, to include new branch buildings, enhanced areas for children and teens, more meeting space for community groups and more comfortable and welcoming facilities.
St. Louis County Library was the busiest library in Missouri in 2011, circulating over 12 million items.
“We’ve been thrilled by the library’s growth and the active participation of the whole community," said Library Director Charles Pace. "We’re excited about building a solid future for the library so we can continue to provide quality programs and resources that St. Louis County residents rely on.”
Pace said the Library Board is confident that, despite difficult economic times, voters will support the value of the library system to children, families and seniors and understand that buildings more than 30 years old need significant repair or replacement.
The proposed increase would cost the average homeowner in the St. Louis County Library service area around $17.10 a year based on the County’s average $158,000 home.
An independently funded tax campaign, required by law, will begin soon. More information about the ballot issue can be found at www.slcl.org/libraries-matter.