Message from City Librarian: 2012 Budget Update

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. And while the Mayor did not support this amendment, he is however a strong supporter of libraries, and maintains his commitment to finding a long-term funding solution, rather a quick fix for only some of the branches in 2012.

Although we are not receiving additional funding for service expansion in 2012, we are pleased that we are not closing any branches. It is apparent that the Mayor and City Council recognize the importance of libraries and the dire need for a long-term sustainable funding solution.

We will continue to work with the City administration and the public on finding the best solution to ensure the future of Denver Public Library. We expect more direction from the Mayor and his Structural Financial Task Force in early 2012.

Written by Shirley Amore on November 9, 2011



The City Librarian is the library's most visible advocate. The question is whether she is a good or adequate advocate.

Certainly, she deserves thanks for not closing branches or cutting hours and working within the budget given to her. Apparently she made reasonable management decisions. This is what one expects a manager to do and if they do it well, one praises the person for being a good manager.

Where she is failing is in getting adequate funding for the library. This is not a matter of management -- deciding how to spend what the city doles out, it is a matter of advocacy -- getting the city to give the library what it needs to operate. In this area, I see little progress, little reason for optimism, and little evidence of skill.


I'm sure that the City Librarian will be happy to hear that the City Librarian's Spokesman has a very high opinion of the City Librarian.

Anonymous on November 15, 2011


I don't understand why doing something about the problem in the short-term prevents the mayor from seeking a longer-term solution. They are not mutually exclusive.

Moreover, there's no guarantee that there will be a longterm solution or that the mayor will even support one next year.

You are either being so tactful when discussing the mayor's position that it borders on dishonest, or you are quite gullible, probably too gullible to handle this issue.


Hi There-- We can't speak for Mayor Hancock, and specifically why he made that decision. However, we do recommend that you send the Mayor a letter with your questions and concerns.

He responds to inquiries sent to:


I have written to the Mayor's office and its response is nearly a verbatim restatement of what is in this blog post: no short term fix because the library needs a longterm solution. It doesn't make any more sense coming from the Mayor's office than it does from Shirley's blog.

Perhaps you could explain what Shirley thinks. The blog post implies that trading no immediate relief for something less than a promise to do something less than ensure long term funding is somehow necessary. I can't see why that would be the case.

If I've read the post incorrectly and that's not Shirley's position, what is her position on that point?

I hope you can explain.

Anonymous on December 13, 2011


Is there a DPL hosted webpage or website that provides a comprehensive information source on the issues at hand regarding the DPL and short term and longer term funding and budget? If voters are to make their voice known via a referendum, for goodness sake they should have the opportunity to be well informed.

It seems to be a very useful investment of resource time to develop a single point of reference for both the public and elected officials to become aware of the nuances of the issue and potential solutions, along with the benefits and weaknesses of various options.

The DPL is a very, very important treasure to continue to benefit the Denver community. It would be smart to leverage technology to share the most unbiased, factual data possible. I.e., a central clearinghouse webpage. If this already exists. Hooray. Please provide the link. If not, I hope this thought is considered. Thank you.

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