We’re lucky we live in a city with strong Council and Mayoral support for libraries. Our newly expanded library system is healthy and vibrant this year. Library use is up 158% since the expansion. In neighborhoods across the city people are accessing a variety of resources: jobseeking info, computers and wi-fi, ESL classes, storytime, books, dvds, academic support. In hard economic times our libraries are needed more than ever to provide resources that families and individuals can no longer afford.
Other cities are facing less support and worse economic circumstances. On November 7 the Philadelphia Enquirer reported the proposed closure of 11 of 54 branch libraries. In August, the mayor of Long Beach, California proposed closing the downtown library. Author Ray Bradbury, among others, is leading the outcry.
The proposed Seattle City Budget continues to experience new shortfalls. Wed, Thurs, and Friday of this week Councilmembers will discuss the rebalanced proposed City budget. Councilmembers Nick Licata, Richard Conlin, and Tim Burgess filed a “Green Sheet” requesting the addition of $800,000 to the library’s proposed collections budget in 2009 and 2010. Friends of The Seattle Public Library support this increase. The increase brings the library’s collections budget nearer the library’s projected need for 2009. Please join us in emailing support this week. Your email can be very short and simple. For example:
I support Councilmember Licata’s proposed increase to the Library collections budget.
Have a question or want to help advocacy in other ways? firstname.lastname@example.org