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Last night the Jasper Library Board listened to a special presentation from John Chrastka, the Executive Director of EveryLibrary non-profit organization, who addressed the board with a power point presentation but also interactive discussion with the Friends of the Library members, along with other community members and officials.

The goal of Chrastka’s presentation held at the Jasper Public Library Annex was to achieve the public’s voice on their opinions on the Jasper Culture Center which would include the public library component. The public varied greatly from members of the Jasper community, some of which included a Purdue Extension employee, a superintendent, city employees, among others involved with different entities. All gathered to listen to Chrastka talk about his experience as a consultant and the advice he would provide specifically for the Jasper Public Library concept as well as an outlook of elements that constitute a successful library referendum.As the Jasper Library is preparing for various stages towards achieving a referendum to accumulate some of the funding for the Jasper Culture Center, Chrastka plays an important role as a consultant to this project. Chrastka is the founder of the Every Library non-profit organization which helps libraries win bonding, tax, and advisory referendums, ensuring stable funding and access.

Following Chrastka’s presentation the Jasper Public Library Board held a separate meeting to review strategies for a successful campaign to potentially execute in Jasper. As the board started the dialogue with Board President Dean Vonderhiede stating that he felt optimistic about progress towards the project and other board members chimed in with questions sought from their guest speaker. Chrastka says advice pertaining to the library side of the Jasper Cultural Center project should be guided by involement from the community.

For this project Chrastka reached out to the board first before coming back to discuss collaboration. He includes that the attempt of the Jasper library referendum back in 2011 was indeed unsuccessful. This was one of the reasons EveryLibrary reached out in order to help with the new approach the Jasper library is making. Chrastka also describes how an Information-Only campaign functions.

Chrastka adds that it’s a voters right to choose between the two categories mentioned and an important discussion to have with Jasper voters. He also notes that the steps into guiding these discussions with the community is where EveryLibrary consulting comes in with the purpose to effectively speak on the issues of getting voters to support the Jasper Cultural Center project.

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