Council Votes Increase For 2008 Materials Budget

[Friends Post from Nov-07]

Good news, Friends! On November 19, 2007 the Seattle City Council adopted a $2 million increase for The Seattle Public Library`s 2008 materials budget.  In addition, the council set a significant new funding guideline for future library materials budget proposals.

The 2008 budget increase stems from the 2006 Friends of The Seattle Public Library campaign. In 2006, at the beginning of the biennial budget cycle, the Friends testified that materials circulation was climbing and funding levels were inadequate. City Council responded by adopting a Statement of Legislative Intent requesting that the library present the ideal level of resources needed to accommodate the growing library system and resulting patron demand. This materials analysis, presented in June, 2007, identified a $2.5 million gap in funding.

By October, patrons and supporters of The Seattle Public Library began to speak up about their concerns over lengthened hold list queues and strained resources.  Media reflected the concern and blogs started to talk about the issue. On October 10 and 30, patrons from across the city came down to Seattle City Hall to testify about the need for increased funding. On November 13 the Budget Committee recommended a $2 million dollar increase in materials funding in 2008. In addition, funding guidance was adopted for future library materials budgets, setting a baseline increase of $1.5 million above the mayor’s 2008 proposal.  The full council unanimously approved these recommendations on November 19, 2007.

To become informed on the issues:

  • November 7, 2007 Seattle Times opinion piece by Friends President Mimi Winslow and Library Foundation President David C. Williams.
  • November 6, 2007 Seattle Times article about our library collections issues.
  • City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck’s and Friends [immediate past] President Hollis Williams’ opinion piece from October 30 Seattle Post-Intelligencer.