San Diego’s libraries are back on the local issues burner, as the City of San Diego begins a new round of meetings that seek community input on the City’s budget. And this means the libraries and other social services. The community input meetings begin this Wednesday evening, Feb 4, in Council District 4. The City Council Budget andin conjunction with the Mayor’s office are taking the leadership on these meetings. Citizens will have an opportunity to speak to the Council and will fill out a survey about the importance of City services. (If you wish, you may be able to defer your time to another speaker who can make a longer presentation (4-6 minutes).)
Library supporters are urging citizens and staff to attend one of these meetings, and want many library supporters at each district hearing, and especially want a strong library presence on Feb 4. Organizers say If there is no hearing scheduled in your district, please consider attending that meeting.
Here is the schedule of community-input meetings:
Wed., February 4: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Council District 4
Joe & Vi Jacobs Center
404 Euclid Avenue, 92114
Mira Mesa Library
8405 New Salem Street, 92126
Sat., February 21: 9 a.m. – Noon Council District 3
Hoover High School Auditorium
4474 , 92115
City Admin. Building – 12th floor
202 C Street, 92101
Thur., February 26: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Council District 7
Lewis Middle School 5170
Greenbrier Ave., 92110
Anna Daniels, one of the key city-wide organizers to save the libraries is asking supporters to do the following:
1. Bring a sign that says “LIBRARY SERVICES ARE ESSENTIAL! Branch Libraries- ESSENTIAL; Main library- ESSENTIAL; Library Youth Programs- ESSENTIAL NO MORE LIBRARY CUTS” This sign reflects the survey choices for libraries and reinforces our message of no more library cuts.
2. Thank Councilman Young for taking the lead on these community hearings. Speak about the significance of your location and the library cuts and threats of cuts already made in the past years
3. Wear a “badge” from the Library Foundation that identifies you as a library supporter ( www.supportmylibrary.org)
4. Make and distribute a handout to your neighbors who are also attending the hearing who are perhaps present because of a different issue. Libraries should be everyone’s issue. Our audience is not only the council but our community members.
5. We need articulate speakers at each hearing to say “We know that the best way to support our branch library is to make sure that we have support for our whole library system which has undergone too many cuts already. People need libraries more than ever- we are losing our jobs, our housing and our health care. We are turning to our libraries for services and information.”
Anna reminds us that “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” And that we were successful last November in avoiding library closures, and we can make a difference again.
The following is a message from the San Diego Public Library Foundation (repeating much of above):
Budget & Finance Committee seeks public input
Meetings will help form FY10 budget
- Any cuts in Library services, hours or resources is unacceptable.
- Library services are needed now more than ever with circulation up nearly 13 percent in December alone (versus December of last year).
- All Library services are essential.
- The Friends of the San Diego Public Library strongly support the library system. This includes our neighborhood libraries and the central library.
At these meetings, the Committee is planning to distribute a survey (San Diego Speaks) to gauge the public’s perception of City services. The Friends encouraged respondents to rate all Library services (including branch libraries, main library and library youth programs) as “essential.”