Library advocates make a difference
The City Council approved and Mayor Gloria signed an FY22 city budget which returned $5.9 million that was proposed to be cut from the Library Department budget. Library advocates played a key role in this win. The Library Foundation, working with the Friends of the San Diego Public Library, the Library Commission, and other partners in the LibrariesTransformSD coalition also successfully advocated for significant new city investments for materials, programs, and staff training.
Thank you to all of you who stepped up to make your voices heard. It made a difference.
These wins are significant as San Diego Libraries are reopening to in-person services while also providing innovative virtual programming. However, the fact that Library advocates are forced every year to fight proposed major cuts in funding points to the need for long-term solutions to how the city invests in this important asset.
During a Budget Review Committee meeting, Councilmembers agreed the Library needs to be prioritized (watch highlights of that meeting HERE). “The Library should be at the top of priorities in the budget,” said Council President Jennifer Campbell. Councilmember Vivian Moreno pointed out, “Libraries are the only place students in my district can access the Internet or even have a safe place to study.” Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera said the Library is “one of the few places people are treated with dignity and given access all without cost, no matter where they sit on the social ladder.”
The Library Foundation is committed to working with our public and community partners to address “systemic divestment in the Library,” as Councilmember Elo-Rivera labeled it. “We need to…treat our Libraries as the sacred spaces that they are and provide them the investments our Libraries deserve,” he said.
We will need our existing advocates’ help and new supporters to address these ongoing funding issues. Please make sure you are signed up to be an advocate and reach out to Mayor Gloria and Councilmembers to let them know you support reform in how San Diego invests in its Libraries.
How you can help
SIGN UP TO BECOME A LIBRARY ADVOCATE:
If you have not already signed up to be a LibrariesTransformSD advocate, please visit here. We will keep you updated throughout the budget process about concrete steps you can take to stand up for your Library.
SEND AN EMAIL TO MAYOR GLORIA AND YOUR COUNCILMEMBER:
Visit HERE to send an email asking for no Library budget cuts, needed new investments in materials, staff training, and programs, and support for a change in the Library’s staffing model.