On Monday, November 14, the Denver City Council will vote to pass the City's 2012 budget. After much discussion and negotiation, we are anticipating that the Library's budget will essentially remain flat for 2012. If approved, we will have the same service levels as 2011 (outlined in my last blog post), and the new branch in Stapleton will be open 32 hours per week.
Also, you may have seen in the Denver Post recently that Mayor Hancock opposed Councilman Chris Herndon’s potential amendment to increase funding for the Denver Public Library in 2012 in order to support additional hours at branches that serve the poorer neighborhoods in Denver. At the November 7 City Council meeting, Councilman Herndon decided not to bring this amendment forward.
Today, Mayor Michael Hancock announced that the Denver Public Library will not have to close any branches, or further reduce service hours in 2012, which is great news for the short-term. However, we are still in dire need of a long-term sustainable funding solution to ensure the best-possible service to the Denver community.
The $32,104,500 budget proposed by Mayor Hancock would provide funding to maintain 2011 service levels: 18 of the 23 branches will be open four days (32 hours) a week; four branches will be open six days (48 hours) a week, and one branch will be open four days a week and a half day on Sunday (36 hours). The Central Library will be open 52 hours a week, with weekend hours from 1-5 p.m. In addition, the budget funds the new branch in Stapleton, at a service level of 32 hours per week.