This November, Henderson residents will make a decision that will decide Henderson Libraries’ future. You will be asked to vote on a small tax rate increase that will allow the library district to continue to serve the Henderson community. The situation is dire; without the community’s support, libraries will close and programs will be lost. Will you choose to rescue Henderson’s libraries?
Here’s some information you should know before you vote:
HOW ARE HENDERSON’S LIBRARIES FUNDED?
The Henderson library district is funded mainly by property taxes, which are determined based on the property’s assessed value. As property values have declined in Henderson, so has the revenue that supports the public library system. The libraries have lost more than $2.5 million in revenue over the last few years, leaving a large gap in the budget used to purchase materials such as books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, e-books and more used every day by patrons.
WHO USES THE LIBRARY ANYWAY?
Currently, more than 143,926 people have a Henderson library card. Last year alone, more than 1,812,475 items were checked out, and over 41,412 people attended free programs offered by Henderson Libraries last year. Henderson Libraries serves as a community hub where people job hunt, work on school projects and more on the district’s 200 public computers as well as have in-depth questions answered by library staff. In addition to its book collection, Henderson Libraries offers music, movies and an ever-growing list of e-books to patrons for free.
AREN’T LIBRARIES OUTDATED?
The numbers speak for themselves. People use libraries to find jobs, educate themselves and their children and find answers to all kinds of questions. Seniors who are unable to leave their homes have the ability to access library materials through outreach services. With or without libraries, these needs will still exist, but who will meet these needs is unknown.
WHY ARE YOU ASKING FOR THIS NOW?
It’s a matter of survival. We are not looking to grow; we are simply interested in keeping the doors open.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?
We want you to vote YES and rescue your library. This will mean a 2-cent increase per $100 in assessed property value. Currently, the district receives 5.75 cents per $100 in assessed property value, which is less than any other library district in Southern Nevada. For a home with a property value of $100,000, the increase would be $7 per year.
HOW WILL MY MONEY BE USED?
If the initiative is approved, your tax dollars will be used to stabilize the operation of Henderson’s six library locations. All existing locations will remain open and continue to meet the needs of the community members they serve.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T VOTE YES?
Without this tax increase, the Galleria and Malcolm libraries will close. Fewer library materials will be purchased, causing longer wait times for popular titles. Library hours will be reduced, and programs like services for homebound seniors, pre-kindergarten and family literacy will be reduced or discontinued entirely.
If the libraries close, it will be too late to save them.