Library operations levy lid lift

Submitted by the San Juan Island Library

On the Aug. 6 Primary Election ballot, there will be a proposition for a lid lift of the San Juan Island Library’s operational levy. If approved, this levy will fund the ongoing operations of the Library. The Library plays an important cultural role in the community, providing a high level of service and access to information, resources, and fun. The library needs to lift its annual revenue in order to maintain this high quality of service.

All junior taxing districts, including the Library, can increase annual tax revenue by no more than 1% per year. Due to inflation and the rising costs of staffing and resources, this 1% increase does not cover increased annual costs. For this reason, all junior taxing districts must periodically ask for levy lid lifts to raise the base rate of their operational budgets. The Library has been frugal and strategic with its annual funding but there are now several areas in which the Library operations budget is strained past what is sustainable.

The Library delayed asking for its next levy lid lift for longer than usual. The Library last asked for a levy lid lift in 2011 and committed to making it last for six years, 2012-2018. The Library used its funds carefully and made the funds last an additional six years past that original commitment. However, the library’s funds have been stretched as far as they can with reserves nearly exhausted. The Library needs additional funding in order to sustain operations at current levels.

Community members enjoy having a library that provides community gathering space, an outstanding collection that provides education and entertainment, programming and cultural experiences, professional development, individual learning, internet access, small business and organization meeting space, and more. For some community members, the library is the sole way to access these resources on tight budgets. Although the levy lid lift represents a small financial cost to community members, the provided resources and cultural space heartily repays the original investment.

More information about this Operational Levy Lid Lift can be found at There will be a community meeting at the Grange on March 14 at 5 p.m. with others to follow in late spring and summer.

We encourage all registered voters to vote. You can register to vote at Ballots will need to be postmarked no later than Aug. 6, 2024 or you may turn in your ballot on or before Aug. 6, at the ballot drop-off box at 350 Court Street.