WE FIGHT FOR LONG-TERM PUBLIC FUNDING FOR STRONG LIBRARIES
Did you know that local libraries are funded almost exclusively by cities and counties? And because of that, communities make the difference by advocating and voting for local, earmarked funding.
It comes down to us, and in San Francisco, we have voted to fund our libraries and keep them financially strong. 98% of the San Francisco Public Library’s budget comes from city sources. The strong funding base we enjoy today is the result of decades of community advocacy work through Friends that has secured the Library Preservation Fund as well as city bonds to rebuild the Main Library and renovate 24 branch libraries (the Branch Improvement Program – BLIP)
Library Preservation Fund
Library Preservation Fund is the voter approved funding formula that we are dedicated to protecting and promoting in perpetuity. In 1994, Friends launched an ambitious ballot proposition (Prop E) earmarking funds through a property tax assessment to ensure consistent, designated funding for the Library. The measure passed by a solid margin and the Fund was established for 15 years. Friends led a second successful ballot effort in 2007 to renew the Fund for an additional 15 years, garnering 74% of the vote.
Friends’ continues to educate the public about the significance of the San Francisco Library Preservation Fund that is the key to long-term financial and infrastructure health of the Library. We are ready once again to extend the Fund due for renewal in 2022 and we need you with us to win again for the Library! As the campaign, develops, we will keep you informed.
Friends’ Advocacy Program educates the public about major issues regarding library funding, locally, state-wide and nationally. At times, Friends will take a position on a legislative matter and encourage Library supporters to take action as well. At those times, we will post information on this page and issue an Action Alert. Stay up to date by signing up for our newsletter!
Sustainable Public Funding
San Francisco is a leader nationally in mobilizing community support behind strong and reliable city funding for a premier urban library. Through Friends, San Franciscans have demanded, and voters have delivered, stable ongoing resources that led the San Francisco Public Library to be heralded as the Gale/Library Journal’s Library of the Year. Friends have supported winning campaigns around establishing the Library Preservation Fund, the rebuild of the Main Library, and the development and implementation of the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP).
Friends’ Advocacy Program
continues its work to showcase the accomplishments of the SFPL and to advocate for its needs in ensuring robust public funding and support. While the vast majority of our library funding comes from local sources, Friends also supports the efforts of other library systems, and works with our partners to advance state and federal legislative efforts relevant to libraries.
San Francisco Library Preservation Fund
San Francisco’s successful Library Preservation Fund developed by Friends and overwhelmingly supported by San Francisco voters (twice!), has been the key to long-term stable financing and the overall infrastructure health of SFPL outside the usual short-term constraints of annual budget fights. The Library Preservation Fund is currently 42% of San Francisco Public Library’s annual budget, a critical foundation that allows for increased programs, events, book collections, latest technology, free Wi-Fi, and dedicated space for communities. Friends will again be on the campaign trail in the coming years to make sure San Franciscans see the wise investment they have made through the Library Preservation Fund, appreciate its financial value, and continue its electoral support. Please visit our Advocacy page frequently and sign up for updates to keep informed. on ways you can help us in these endeavors.
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