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Library advocates make a difference


Patrick Stewart, Library Foundation CEO

ADVOCACY | SAN DIEGO BUDGET | LIBRARY BUDGET |


We heard very promising news at the May 6 Budget Review Committee meeting on the Library budget.

As you know, the Mayor’s Proposed Budget included a concerning $5.6 million in Library cuts or a nearly 10 percent reduction. Thanks to efforts from Library advocates, our concerns over these cuts were heard.

At the meeting, the Mayor’s office announced they will work with the Council to restore the Library budget when the Revised Budget is released on Tuesday, May 18. (Visit HERE for a KPBS story on the hearing)

We thank the Mayor for listening to all the heartfelt Library supporters who testified, sent postcards and emails, and called. We’re encouraged he is committed to working with the Council to restore the Library budget.

We also appreciate the entire City Council who spoke passionately about the importance of the Library and their commitment to budget restoration and support for new investments in materials, programs, and staff training.

Please help us continue this momentum by:

  • Calling your Councilmember to thank them for their Library support and encourage them to:
    • Make no cuts to the Library budget.
    • Make long-overdue new investments in materials, staff training, and programs.
    • Support Library efforts to overhaul an unsustainable staffing model which relies heavily on hourly, non-benefited workers.

LibrariesTransformSD advocates are calling for the Mayor and City Council to:

Make no cuts to the Library budget 

  • The city cannot make a 10 percent cut in the Library budget as proposed by the Mayor at a time when San Diegans rely on Library resources to get back in the classroom and back to work.   
  • San Diegans need and deserve a strong, thriving Library system, particularly during the pandemic recovery. Toward that end, we support an overhaul of the Library’s staffing model that allows the system to fully reopen and be better prepared to serve public needs. 

Make long over-due new investments in materials, staff training, and programs 

  • We enthusiastically support the Mayor’s proposals to:  
    • Add $750,000 to support the purchase of electronic materials such as e-books and audiobooks.  
    • Add $200,000 in ongoing funds to support system-wide library programs that ensure equitable access to high-quality programs.  
    • Add $500,000 in one-time expenditures to support the Do Your Homework at the Library programs including summer and out-of-school time camps.  
    • Make long overdue investments in staff training.  

Support Library efforts to overhaul an unsustainable staffing model which relies heavily on hourly, non-benefited workers 

  • Nearly one-third of Library staff are non-benefited hourly workers who are difficult to attract and retain, as well as costly to train.   
  • The current staff model is not good for the Library or for the non-benefited hourly workers or their families.  
  • The Library Department needs support and flexibility so it can make long-term adjustments and build a stronger Library for the future. 

 

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.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THESE KEY DATES:

Mark your calendar for these key dates below. We will keep Library advocates informed of opportunities to influence the final budget throughout this process.

  • Tuesday, May 18 — Release of Mayor’s May Revised Budget.
  • Wednesday, May 26 — City Council final budget modification priority memos due to the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst.
  • Monday, June 14 — City Council final approval of FY22 Budget with any final modifications.