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.
Well I don't know how the library really works because I don't work there and don't know ins and outs. But I do believe that people should be special tax for DPL and make sure that 100% goes to the DPL. Americans are starting to think that everything the gov't provides should be free and nobody wants to pay for it. Colorado has one of the lowest tax rates in the country so people complaining that taxation is extremely high are exaggerating. I do agree that most materiel should be towards the educational. It would be interesting to see the DPL charge 10 cents for commercial materials like Hollywood movies and CD's. It's unfortunate to see how DPL has come to since the 90's due to budget restraints. But I guess there should be a reform in taxes so everybody pays their due towards the CO gov't to build better public schools, universities and libraries...
I for one would pay extra to create a library district, rather than dealing with where the axe will fall each year. As it is now, with the hours that central is open, I have 11 hours during the week when I am not at work. Montbello, which is a neighborhood library allows me 11 hours during the week and Green Valley Ranch is off limits to me unless I play hookie from work. Contrary to popular opinion, I am in the central library much more often than the neighborhood libraries as neither of the neighborhood libraries represent my interests with the material offered. I do not own a DVD player or CD player unless you count this 12 year old computer, so I check out books only and occasionally hit the genealogy section.
The majority of the comments here are either pointing fingers at who is to blame for the state of the library budget or pointing out what is a waste of DPL dollars; none of which I find helpful in finding an answer to the current crisis of the budget shortfall. We all have opinions about how the library should be run and what materials should be purchased. Come to the meeting, listen to the ideas and help to work out an answer...assigning blame and pointing fingers doesnt solve anything.
I agree that there are not levels of government that you must contend with at these "district libararies' and depending on which scale you use to measure them they will come out better than municipal libraries. However, one of the real good reasons for levels, or at least some level, of government is the accountability issues. I live in Denver but must do business, i.e., do research in a Library District, that reflects the more affluent and domiant public. If we define class as elitist then there is plenty of "class" in the district but not in the city. Many who live and work in downtown Denver love DPL because they use it and do not live in Denver. How about some regional revenue sharing like the NFL does?
Sorry, I love DPL, I have been using it since 1957, fell in love with the librarian at that time, I am the equivalent of the "gym rat".
Will DPL now be to Denverites what the Fire Department was Gene Cranick's home in Obion County, Tenn., that went up in smoke.