Just in case you were wondering “does it really matter if I show up to support my library” – the answer is YES! In May, your fellow community members attended the City Council’s Budget Hearings. Check out their committee website for the summary of comments from the public meetings. There is an Instant Polling Result under the latest update box at the top of the page.
Some interesting data points:
Taken from Seattle Central Library Economics Benefit paper: understand how budget cuts affect your local branch…reduction of hours, circulation and support.
Budget Cuts have Reduced the Library’s Operating Hours in Recent Years
In response to annual budget cuts in effect since 2001, The Seattle Public Library has reduced operating hours at the Central Library and all branches in the system, in addition to making non-personnel cuts and reducing the amount spent on collections. With both the 2002 and 2003 budgets, the entire Library system was closed for two non-contiguous weeks.
Hours at branch libraries have been more significantly reduced, with most libraries now open from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10:00 am to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, and 10:00 am to 6:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Some branches are open 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, and others are closed.
The Central Library’s current operating hours, totaling 58 hours per week, are shown in Exhibit 3. Prior to the reduction in operating hours imposed in 2001, the Central Library was open 70 hours per week, from 9:00 am to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
For more information check out the Tracking the General Fund: How the City Gets and Spends