San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria's Fiscal Year 2022 Proposed Budget includes cuts to library hours and services.
The San Diego Public Library Foundation, a non-profit organization created to provide private support to the library system in San Diego, rallied many citizens to show up virtually to Thursday's city budget hearings to speak in support of their local libraries.
In its efforts to rally supporters, the Foundation says over 100 community members sent letters in support of the library to the Mayor and City Council members over the weekend.
During the hearing, there were passionate comments from both Councilmembers and community advocates in support of restoration of the Library’s budget. The CEO of the San Diego Public Library Foundation, Patrick Stewart, also presented.
“We acknowledge and thank Mayor Gloria, the office of the IBA, and San Diego City Council for a Library Department budget hearing this morning that strongly encourages the restoration of proposed cuts to the Library’s budget," said Stewart to the Council. "It was clear that the long overdue investments in materials, e-resources, and programming were recognized as necessary additions to the Library’s ability to effectively serve the community. However, we encourage City Council to recognize the department’s need to organize staffing in a manner that effectively and sustainably supports the ability to reopen and deliver these core, essential services for years to come.“
Mayor Todd Gloria's proposed 2022 City of San Diego budget, released April 15, includes a 10% cut in the library system's budget, the most of any city department, according to the Foundation.
"Making cuts to the Library budget is inherently inequitable," said a release from the San Diego Public Library Foundation. "Lower-income communities rely on libraries much more than other communities, and will be most impacted by the reduction in funding. Especially as the city navigates recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, Libraries are going to be needed and relied upon now more than ever."
The Foundation has shared a list of other ways library supporters can get involved on their blog here.
“We thank Mayor Gloria for long overdue investments in materials and programs but remain disappointed in the significant Library budget reduction. We are saddened when we think about the impact this reduction will have on the many San Diegans who rely on the Library,” says Stewart. “We’re calling on the Mayor and Council to make no Library budget cuts and encourage our Library advocates to do the same at Wednesday’s Council hearing.”
About The San Diego Public Library Foundation
The San Diego Public Library Foundation was created as a catalyst for creating stronger communities through investment in the San Diego Public Library system. It helps provide access to resources supporting literacy, work readiness and lifelong learning, helping to ensure equal opportunities for success for all. The foundation works within the community to raise funds, build partnerships and honor its patrons and donors. Since its inception in 2002, the San Diego Public Library Foundation has raised more than $130 million in private funds to augment and support library programs, collections, expansions and services. For more information, call 619-238-6695 or visit supportmylibrary.org.