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.


By the way the correct grammatical usage is, number of hours, and not amount of hours. It is obvious you are not a long time library user.
I've been alive two score and seven years and have seen libraries open fairly regular hours my whole life. In fact, even yesterday (a Sunday) I went into a library in Parker. Arapahoe and Douglas Counties seem to keep their libraries open fairly regular hours (In Parker: 9-9 Mon-Thur, 9-5 Fri-Sat and Noon-5 Sunday). In fact, compare the open hours between Arapahoe's Eloise May Library and Denver's Hampden Heights.
Douglas and Arapahoe are independent library districts, which is why they can provide hours like that. That's what Denver is proposing. Many other library systems still have limited hours, though, due to funding problems (Jefferson, Longmont, Boulder, etc.).

We've actually done a comparison of the Denver Public Library hours vs. the hours of Library Districts on the Front Range, and of other U.S. Library Districts.

As you will see, DPL's service hours are significantly lower that all other libraries that have stable funding through the formation of a tax-funded library district.

As I read the anonymous comments, I am struck by the narrow attitude displayed. I understand the value of low taxation rates because I pay taxes as well. However, Denver, because of it's large business base, has comparatively low taxes for individual households. Yes...someone has to pay...but I always remember that those taxes pay for the privilege of living in a great city. When I was a kid, the Denver libraries were open all of the time. But more importantly, they gave me the world and a great merry-go-round to read on (you will only understand this if you have lived here a long time). Someone paid for me to enjoy all of the books, the great programs, and a place to meet my friends...because the library was a great place to meet your friends and go explore the stacks and I want to pay for the next generation to have a great library system. Why is it that so many people simply think about just themselves when it comes to paying for a great place to live(called taxes by some) when we should be thinking about our future. Yes, I know some people say that higher taxes will bankrupt our children's future...but that is an entirely different discussion. I love the culture of the library, and I for one want to pay to keep it's future vital in our community.
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.
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.
What needs to be done to STOP the budget cuts? a petition? or what?

The Denver Public Library Friends Foundation has started a petition to help garner support for library funding. Here's the link:


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

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