Our effort to create a Library District to ensure sustainable funding for our library is picking up steam — and we need your voice to help us keep up the momentum!
Last month, the Library District Advisory Committee (LDAC) met to make its recommendations, and on Tuesday City Council will hold a study session, with Boulder County Commissioners planning to hold a similar meeting on Thursday (more details on these meetings below).
Before then: Please contact Boulder City Council and Boulder County Commissioners to express your support for better libraries and to urge them to uphold their commitment to form a library district and let the community vote on funding this fall.
(For talking points and writing tips, see below)
Last month, the Library District Advisory Committee (LDAC) made its recommendations on the scope of the proposed district and its potential funding (a mill levy between 3.7-3.8 mills, which would generate approximately $19-$19.5 million annually).
On Tuesday, Council will hold a study session to review:
- the process and procedures to form a library district by resolution;
- LDAC’s recommendations for the intergovernmental agreement that will address transfer of facilities and other administrative nuts & bolts ;
- upcoming key dates for actions needed to form a library district, including district formation in early April and a community vote on funding in November 2022;
- and a process and timeline for reallocation of current library funding should voters approve a property-tax increase to fund a library district.
Boulder County Commissioners will hold a similar meeting on Thursday.
Make Your Voice Heard
Contact City Council Contact County Commissioners
If needed, use the talking points below for your email, but do customize them and use your own framing and words.
My name is ______ and I live in _______. [Share your personal Boulder (or any) library story, and what libraries mean to you]
I support a library district because... [pick 1-2 items from below! Keep it brief!]
- the library cannot meet the communities needs and expectations without intentional investment.
- the library system needs an adequate workforce to replace the 60+ jobs that were lost. It needs funding to expand hours and re-open the branches impacted by COVID-19 budget cuts.
- the library needs funding to expand and grow into the communities that currently don't have access — places like Gunbarrel and Niwot.
- our library needs a long-term funding solution that isn't impacted so gravely by economic downturns.
- a library district is a tried and true method sustainably funding outstanding libraries throughout Colorado. The majority of public libraries in the state have elected this form of governance. Communities as different as Pueblo and Fort Collins and Colorado Springs and Estes Park have decided that a district is the best way to govern and fund their library.
- the library is a central part of city life, but also draws people from farther outside the city with its programs, events, and public space.
- Boulder Public Library is among the most popular places downtown. It convenes cultural events, programs for people ages 1 and up. And it does this for free, because that is what public libraries do.
- despite the drastic cuts as a result of the pandemic, which have been a culmination of decades of underfunding, the library continues to be a critical resource to our community, helping to provide free public remote Internet access, making digital resources and ebooks available online, and providing limited on-site services.
- as we have seen with budget cuts to the planned North Boulder Library, thee existing setup will never deliver adequate funding to meet the city's net-zero goals, and fully staff that location or any of the other existing branches. What will we do the next time there is an emergency or economic downturn?
- public libraries are important for kids with limited access to resources at home. We saw this during the pandemic, where some families in Boulder were unable to connect to virtual classes due to unreliable or lack of internet access. The Boulder library immediately got a grant and sent out over 400 wifi hotspots with unlimited data to these families at the beginning of the pandemic. This is an incredible under the radar story of community resilience that shows just how powerful a role our library plays in this community's social infrastructure.
- Boulder library is one of the few safe and public spaces where community members can dialogue about issues of social justice like race, policing, and privilege.
- the library has consistently offered programs that bring our community together to challenge, inform, and educate.
I urge City Council/County Commission to support the Library District Advisory Committee's recommendations and let the voters decide.
The Boulder Public Library is more critical now than ever before, but it needs your support to continue to grow and thrive. Please lend your voice by telling elected officials to support the library district initiative. Help us deliver a library system that meets the community’s needs and expectations now and in the future!