The Denver Public Library faces a potential $2.4 million budget reduction for 2013

Last month, the Denver Public Library received a $2.4 million budget reduction target for 2013 from the City Budget Office.  As in past years, all City agencies, including DPL, are given an initial budget number and are required to submit their ideas on how to reach their target.

The Library’s 2012 budget from the City’s General Fund is $32,104,500, which funds 18 of the 23 branches at only four days (32 hours) a week; four branches at six days (48 hours) a week; and one branch at four days a week and four hours on Sunday (36 hours). The Central Library is open 52 hours a week, with weekend hours from 1- 5 p.m. The new branch opening in Stapleton this summer (which was built with voter-approved Better Denver Bond funds) will be at a service level of 32 hours – or open only four days per week.

While we were able to avoid additional budget cuts in 2012, DPL has faced reductions year-over-year for half a decade, resulting in reduced hours, materials and technology budgets.  A $2.4 million budget reduction in 2013 would mean even fewer service hours and/or the closing of some branches.  No one wants to see that happen.  We are committed to working together with the Mayor and City Council to find long-term sustainable funding solutions for the Denver Public Library and the entire City.

Written by Shirley Amore on May 17, 2012

Comments

Anonymous on May 18, 2012

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What needs to be done to STOP the budget cuts? a petition? or what?

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Once again we're seeing that the politicians care more about building sports facilities than keeping educational facilities open.

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If the City of Denver would enforce its leash laws, particularly in CIty Park, and charge for use of dog parks, enough revenue would be generated to offset at least some of the budget cuts. Politicians these days seem to care more about dogs (and about building sports facilities) than keeping educational facilities open!

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That would be like collecting pennies to pay off the national debt. Drastic, long-term measures are required to provide stable funding for the library.

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That would be like collecting pennies to pay off the national debt. Drastic, long-term measures are required to provide stable funding for the library.

Anonymous on May 18, 2012

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Just close weekdays and open weekend.
Hire all temporary H2-B visa holders.
Lay off all middle managers, librarians but hire free of charge intern to shelve the books.

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Great idea and it sounds like a winning formula for success. Instead of just doing it for the library, expand it to other city departments. Let's lay off all the fire fighters and police officers while we're at it.

Anonymous on May 19, 2012

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At your recent funding breakfast, a gentleman spoke about the DPL Friends Foundation. It's time you utilize more money from your own foundation to shore up deficits. Denver citizens have adjusted their schedules accordingly and can live with reduced hours, supplies. What we cannot live with is a tax increase. Cost of living expenses have far exceeded current incomes for the lower and middle classes for years now and wage increases have not kept up with these more costly necessities either. Do not ask the public to cover this burden when you have funds within your own organization. City libraries in general do not have the luxury of their own funding organization; they cannot afford to have one. The DPL cannot afford to have its own foundation either. Do the right thing: look inside your own organization for funds --- not outside to the citizens who have supported the DPL system for years.

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I agree that reduced hours are acceptable. I've been alive for a quarter of a century, and I've never seen libraries open the amount of hours identified here as necessary. When WAS this magical heyday when public libraries were open so many hours? My whole generation, at least, has fully adapted to the way it is now. It's fairly common sense that the library will have closed days, and that you can't try to go there at 10 at night like the grocery store. It's like the post office or the doctor's office, or the DMV. If people really want to be able to go to the library before dawn and in the middle of the night, they can go to almost any university library. In the meantime, the vast majority of us will continue to go to the public library at reasonable hours and accept with a minuscule sigh of regret when we see that it's closed on a particular day of the week, and go another day, and move on with our lives. The library does not need to concern itself with eliminating all minuscule sighs of regret. It would, however, be good to spread out the hours more so that in addition to there being evenings, which DPL has invested in, have some early mornings, too. Some people can come in early in the morning; some can come in in the evening. A huge, huge number can come in at some point during the rest of the day. It's really not necessary to be open all day and all night every day of the week at the cost of cutting essential functions elsewhere.

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