The City of Boulder relies on sales taxes to fund city services. In 2020, our library suffered disproportionately due to a series of budget cuts and economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sad reality is that the Boulder Public Library has faced funding challenges for many years. Since its inception in 1974, the Boulder Library Foundation has raised funds to fill these funding gaps. Over the last five years, the Foundation has committed more than $1.5 million to fund 90% of the programming that makes our library the incredible community resource it is.
In 2021, the library will not return to its pre-COVID operational capacity.
- The Main library and the Meadows branch will operate on reduced hours – primarily for pickup of holds, with limited browsing and limited access to computers.
- NoBo will begin curbside pickup of holds by appointment only.
- The Carnegie local history collection is closed with minimal virtual access.
- George Reynolds Library branch will remain closed.
- Access to the physical stacks is off-limits, and the materials budget has been reduced by around $100K.
- The BLDG 61 Maker Space is closed with limited visual access to technology and resources.
- Valuable resources like Prospector have been discontinued.
- In-person programming will not resume, and public meeting rooms will not available for public use.
A library district would have provided a safeguard against many of these adverse effects. Despite the challenges and limitations experienced in 2020, peer libraries funded as library districts are now all open and fully operational.
“On April 20th, Boulder City Council will hold a public hearing on library funding. Tell Council that YOU want them to form a library district – – the best way to secure sustainable, long-term funding for our library. With stable funding from property taxes, library districts retain sufficient staff to meet patron demand; our library continues to struggle to support even essential services.”
The Boulder library Foundation fully supports the formation of a library district, and we echo the voices of the Boulder Library Champions. They are working to secure sustainable funding for our library. If you would like to support ongoing efforts to secure sustainable library funding, you can do so in the following ways:
- Share this blog with your friends, neighbors, and social media networks;
- Sign up to speak at the April 20th meeting here.
- Email council members to show your support for the formation of a library district.
- Submit a letter to the editor or a guest opinion to the Daily Camera or Boulder Beat News, or Boulder Weekly; (letter template here).
You can make an impact and join us as we seek to attain sustainable library funding for our beloved Boulder Public Library.