San Diego Library Supporters Urge Push-Back Against Cut-Backs

by on May 4, 2021 · 1 comment

in San Diego

From Library Advocates:

The Independent Budget Analyst recently released her review of the FY22 Proposed Budget. The IBA identified a $5.6 million Library budget cut, noted that a majority of Councilmembers supported maintaining Library Department service levels, and addressed the Library’s current, unsustainable staffing model.

We remain concerned about these significant cuts and call on the Mayor and Council to make no Libray budget cuts, address the Library’s long-term staffing needs, and make overdue new investments in materials and programs.

We need your help NOW to prevent these cuts and protect our communities:

  • Participate in the first City Council Budget Review Committee hearing this Wednesday, May 5 at 6 p.m.:
  • Submit your written comments by May 4 HERE. Listed below are the talking points you can use in your comments to Council.
  • Speak at the May 5 meeting. Join the webinar meeting by computer, tablet, or Smartphone at THIS LINK. Enter your name and email address to join the meeting.
  • Join by using iPhone one-tap: US: +16692545252,1604171840#
  • Join by telephone: Dial 1-669-254-5252. When prompted, input Webinar ID: 160 417 1840#

Please join us in 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 the non-benefited hourly workers and their families.
  • The Library Department needs support and flexibility to make long-term adjustments and build a stronger Library for the future.

As additional updates and opportunities for engagement become available, we will communicate and provide updates here.

Patrick Stewart
San Diego Public Library Foundation

Joan Reese
Friends of the San Diego Public Library

Wendy Urushima-Conn
Board of Library Commissioners

P.S. You can also send an email to your City Councilmember urging them to make no further cuts to the Library budget and make long-overdue investments in materials, staff training, and programs.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

denine May 4, 2021 at 11:54 am

At present, I would just like to see our libraries open back up. I’m struggling to understand why the OB branch remains closed.


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