Vote Libraries Is About Keeping Library Doors Open Like Mary Esther, Florida
In July of 2017, the City Council members discussed the possibility of permanently closing the Mary Esther Public Library and denying the residents access to important informational and educational resources as a means to balance the budget. Luckily, thanks to your support and from supporters like you we were able to fight back and keep the library's doors open.
Support from people like you allowed us to raise the resources we needed to petition the local council and rally the community to fight back these cuts. In fact, in a letter from the staff and supporters of Mary Esther Library, they wrote the following;
“Thank you so much for your assistance to the Friends of the Mary Esther Public Library and our library during our recent budget/closing battles. Your rapid response turbocharged our public outreach allowing us to get visible signatures/support to our city council members articulating the importance of library supporters being at the meeting. On such short notice having your help every stop of the way was key to a successful outcome.”
This campaign was so important because the Mary Esther Public Library is incredibly important to the residents or Mary Esther. In fact, as Mary Esther Mayor Chris Stein said, “We don’t have a pool, tennis courts, ball field, a Fort Walton Landing or anything of any value. The only thing we have is the library.”
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Florida libraries are also a critical part of the infrastructure of our communities and an excellent investment of tax dollars. Recent studies have shown that:
- Florida’s public libraries return $8.32 for every $1.00 invested from all sources.
- For every $3,491 spent on public libraries from public funding sources in Florida, one job (in the economy, not just in libraries) is created.
- For every dollar of public support spent on public libraries in Florida, Gross Regional Product (the value of all goods and services produced in the state) increases by $10.57.
- For every dollar of public support spent on public libraries in Florida, income (wages) increases by $22.97.
Besides being such an outstanding investment in tax money, libraries are part of a holistic approach to reducing crime and creating economic stability in communities by promoting literacy. Adults and children with low literacy levels are far more likely to commit crimes, earn lower wages, rely on welfare, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Libraries like Mary Esther provide the services that Americans need to support themselves and earn better, happier, and more successful lives.