Online sites in support of Proposition 1, the August 8 Library Levy, have launched on Facebook and the web. Please “like” the Facebook page and share your support for the library with your friends. Volunteers are organizing the campaign for the Library Levy and endorsements are mounting. Consider personal or organizational endorsement for Prop 1 or express your support by joining volunteers in the campaign for stronger and more accessible libraries.
Proposition 1, the Library Levy, will raise 122.6 million dollars for the library over seven years if it passes in August. It will counter the impact of budget cuts, ongoing since 2009, by providing for daily maintenance, greater security and much needed major repairs to the library system. It will preserve core services, restore more open hours and raise money for collections and technology.
Have you gone to your library to find the doors closed? 22% of the levy is allocated to restoring thousands of open hours lost in budget cuts. All neighborhoods will then once again enjoy open libraries on Sundays and the entire system will avoid the one week closures that have inconvenienced patrons and alarmed library supporters the past several years. Columbia and Northgate neighborhood libraries will also return to their seven day schedules if the levy passes. This will be welcome news to families who have found it increasingly hard to visit their neighborhood libraries. The shortened hours and library closures have been especially hard on children, older generations, working families, the unemployed, and low-income individuals and families who rely on library resources.
Have you been frustrated by long wait times for popular titles or wondered why you couldn’t find a title in the library’s collections? 14% of the levy provides funding to rebuild and expand the library’s collections. Budget cuts have hampered efforts to meet the demand for books and other 21st century formats: digital books, podcasts, online databases, DVD and CDs. A 13% reduction in the library’s collections budget since 2009, has caused shortages of titles in digital and print collections, long wait times for popular books, and smaller hold limits. Passage of the levy would be welcome news to both print and digital readers and will increase holds to 50 per person.
Seattle voters have an opportunity to make our libraries strong and accessible once more. Please talk with your neighbors and friends about the need for this levy and consider volunteering on the YES! campaign. The library needs your help lifting awareness about this important levy. Most importantly, vote on August 8th and say yes for libraries.