Press Release April 22, 2022

Mayor’s library budget a step in the right direction but falls short

Patrick Stewart, CEO of the Library Foundation SD

On Friday, April 15, Mayor Todd Gloria announced a new proposed budget that will allocate funds to increase and improve San Diego’s Public Library system.

I join our LibrariesTransfromSD partners to commend Mayor Gloria for halting the historical trend of divesting funding from a critical public service – our library system. Thank you for your proposal to fund resources that will enhance programs and services and invest in the library’s dedicated staff.

We hope this proposed budget begins the transition away from the year-after-year pattern of under-funding our library system. We thank the City Council for their unanimous support for additional library investments, especially in communities most often forgotten.

San Diegans need and deserve a strong, thriving Library system. This was proven during the pandemic and remains true during pandemic recovery.

Library advocates make a difference by sending postcards and emails, calling their representatives, and speaking at meetings.

As the city focuses on infrastructure, we remind city leaders that libraries are an essential part of the city’s social infrastructure and public health. Investments in libraries reduce crime, boost school success and create connections to jobs and economic sustainability. Increasingly, libraries and librarians are on the frontlines of homeless support.

This budget is a step in the right direction, and more needs to be done. Even with these budget additions, the Library Department remains significantly underfunded compared to similar municipal library systems in California and across the nation.

We hope to see:

  • Converting employees in the popular Do Your Homework @ the Library program to positions with benefits,
  • Continued investments to bring library materials and resources budgets up to national standards,
  • Spending to address long-recognized deferred maintenance and branch infrastructure needs, and
  • Ensuring all branch locations have access to 21st-century technology.

LibrariesTransformSD Coalition