Voters say "Yes!" to Their Library

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Courtney Lewis
Voters say "Yes!" to Their Library

(Kansas City Missouri) – Voters said yes! 

Kansas City Public Library officials say they are moving forward with plans to implement upgrades of both services and facilities after approval of the first increase in the Library’s property tax-based levy in 22 years on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. With 89% of Kansas City precincts and 97% of Jackson County precincts reporting at 10:30 p.m., the proposed 8-cent levy increase was leading 51,242 votes to 10,359 -- an 83% majority.

The Library’s district includes Kansas City and portions of western Independence and Sugar Creek.

Director Crosby Kemper III thanked residents “for supporting the Library and believing in us.

“The success of the Library is because of our wonderful patrons and strong community,” he said. “With this yes vote, the Library will be able to provide even greater access to books, computers, classes, and programs.”

He was echoed by Jack Holland, senior vice president of the Kansas City investment firm George K. Baum & Company and treasurer of the Vote for Your Library Committee. “It is very gratifying to see that voters understand how important the Library is to our civic infrastructure,” he said. “This modest additional funding will assure that the Kansas City Public Library will continue as one of the great libraries of our nation.”

The 8-cent increase will provide an additional $2.8 million dollars annually. Kemper said it will enable the Library to expand hours, modernize technology, renovate or replace existing branches with up-to-date facilities, and add to branch collections.

The Library, with 10 locations in the greater Kansas City area, totaled more than 4 million in-person and online visits in 2017-18. Checkouts of books and other materials totaled nearly 2 million.

Among the organizations, institutions, and businesses endorsing the levy increase were the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Council of Kansas City, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, Freedom Inc., the Carpenters District Council, Hallmark, JE Dunn Construction, Commerce Bank, and Kissick Construction, plus The Kansas City Star, The Examiner, and The Kansas City Call.