The Office of Independent Budget Analysis (IBA) came out with their 179 page analysis of the mayor’s proposed budget. As you know, the mayor has proposed to rip over 7 million dollars out of the library department budget by pairing libraries which will only be open 18.5 hours per week. This is the severest percentage cut of all general fund departments.
Here are the library options which the IBA has presented to the city council, which will vote to accept or reject the mayor’s budget. This is the option that we must demand that Councilman Faulconer and all other council members support:
Option 1. FULLY RESTORE BRANCH LIBRARY HOURS TO CURRENT SERVICE LEVELS.
If we do not advocate for this, here are the choices you are likely to get from our city council if we do not strongly and unequivocally intervene :
Express Libraries: Under the Express Library concept, one branch library in each Council District would be open four hours each day, five days a week, (20 hours!) offering limited services, most of which would be self-serve. Proposed Express Branch locations are:
- University Community
- Ocean Beach
- Kensington-Normal Heights
- Mountain View/Beckwourth
- Carmel Mountain
- Allied Gardens/Benjamin
- San Ysidro
Express Libraries would be minimally staffed; services that would not be available include:
- Meeting rooms
- Book drops/return
- New material purchase
- Reshelving of materials
*As items that are checked out are returned to other locations, collections will decrease.
Listen up OB and beyond, this least costly reduction to our library system will essentially KILL all of these 8 locations. No new materials, no book drops/returns, and no reshelving of materials in your library. No children’s programs, maybe no librarian. Welcome to self-service world! Are you liking it?
The next option is even worse— express libraries and pairings. I am not going there.
Bottom line- Ask Councilman Faulconer which option HE is going to vote for on Saturday April 30, noon at the OB Library.