NEWS

Libraries need critical support

Libraries need critical support

Dear Friends,
By now you’ve probably heard that the Mayor’s proposed budget, which was recently released, includes drastic cuts in library funding and services for the next fiscal year – the full extent of these is not yet clear.

Please see the first of the advocacy alerts below from LibrariesTransformSD (of which the Friends of the Library is an integral part). If you didn’t also receive this message directly, you can sign up to be added to the distribution list by visiting https://www.librariestransformsd.org/.

Updates will be coming out with specific suggestions of ways that you can help advocate for our libraries during these challenging times.

Please share this message with your family, friends, neighbors and with anybody and everybody you know who cares about the library.

Thank you!
Joan Reese


Dear library supporter,
As anticipated, recent economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis have had a catastrophic impact on the City of San Diego’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget. Yesterday, the Mayor provided his Fiscal Year 2021 budget recommendations to close a projected $250 million deficit. We commend the Mayor and city leaders for their leadership during a very difficult time.

In total, slightly more than $7 million in proposed Library cuts have been recommended by the Mayor. This represents a 13 percent overall reduction in department resources. This will be an unprecedented budget cycle and services citywide will be impacted. The budget will continue to evolve with the May revision as deficit numbers become clearer and public input is considered.

We are speaking with library staff to better understand the full impact of these reductions but do know they currently include:

  • Elimination of Sunday and Monday hours at all 36 Library branch locations. All libraries are proposed to be on a five-day schedule Tuesday through Saturday.
  • Closure of the Mountain View/Beckwourth Library.
  • Elimination of more than 96 full-time-equivalent positions. These reductions are primarily associated with the hour reductions and include hourly employees and currently vacant positions.
  • Reduction of $200,000 for equipment installation, building material replacements, maintenance and repair services.

We share your concern regarding the magnitude and impact of the proposed cuts. This means our involvement and advocacy will be more important than ever. It is our intention to keep you informed as this fluid process evolves. We also invite you to visit LibrariesTranformSD.org for updates and future suggestions on how you can become involved.

We look forward to working with the community and the City of San Diego to build a strong future together.

Sincerely,
Patrick Stewart
CEO
San Diego Public Library Foundation

Joan Reese
President
Friends of the San Diego Public Library

Wendy Urushima-Conn
Chair
Board of Library Commissioners

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