FY 2015-2016 & FY 2016-2017 BUDGET ISSUES AND DETAILS
The FY 2015-16 budget of $117.1 million for the Library is $7.6 million, or 7 percent, higher than the FY 2014-15 budget of $109.5 million. A significant portion of this increase is due to increases in the Department’s set-aside and baseline revenues. The Department is appropriating additional funds to cover increases in salary and fringe benefits costs as well as an increase of $0.9 million to the Collections budget, and depositing funds into the Library Preservation Fund to reserve funding for future fiscal years.
The FY 2016-2017 budget of $126 million is $8.9 million, or 7.6 percent, higher than the proposed FY 2015-16 budget of $117.1 million. Like FY 2015-16 a significant portion of this increase is due to increases in the Department’s set-aside and baseline revenues.
As the Library’s budget grows, we are continuing our budget focuses on ongoing support for public-facing services.
The Library’s proposed budget reflects its commitment to providing welcoming facilities by continuing to invest in post-occupancy facility improvements, and enhancing the capacity of the Library’s custodial unit. Other investments include the Library’s partnership with the Department of Public Health, which connects Main Library patrons with social services and housing resources.
Strong Library Collections
The proposed budget continue to invest in strong library collections, which represent approximately 11 percent of the operating budget. Print books remain the primary material format, but the library is expanding its investments in eResources, including eBooks, eMusic, eVideo, databases, and eLearning. Other investments include youth materials, materials in international languages, and periodicals. In FY 2015-16 the collection budget will increase an additional 7.4 percent over the FY 2014-15 budget. Future increases for FY 2016-17 will be solidified in the subsequent budget cycle.
Equity and Shared Prosperity
In addition to its strong collection in multiple formats and languages, the Library provides free educational and recreational programming to residents of all ages. Every month, the Library hosts more than 400 story-times and events for children and their caregivers; specialized programming and events for teens; and more than 100 literary, workforce development, and recreational classes and programs for adults. The Library also offers a Family Pass, enabling families to visit 24 local museums and attractions for free.
The proposed budget will continue to offer scholarships for patrons 18 years-old and older to earn an accredited high-school diploma and a career certificate through Career On-line High School, the only program of its kind. Diploma completion requirements are combined with coursework for a career track for each student. This program bolsters the library’s Family and Education Zone goals while also expanding its role to include workforce development and helping to reach people who have not succeeded in traditional educational settings.
Over the last few fiscal years the library expanded hours systemwide, ensuring that all neighborhood branch locations are open to the public a minimum of 45 hours per week, six days per week. Additionally, the Main Library has incrementally increased operating hours in the Deaf Services Center, the History Center and the Library for the Blind and Print Disabled to provide access to those specialized service centers for the same 60 hours per week the Main is open to the public. The proposed budget continues to invest in public service hours to ensure access to these valuable services.
Additionally, beginning in FY 2014-15 the library expanded patron access to public Internet computers from one hour per day to two hours per day to allow patrons additional time to complete tasks such as working on resumes or job searching. In FY 2013-14 the public utilized nearly 656,000 computer hours and those numbers are will surely increase due to the increase of an additional hour per day on the Library’s public computers. In addition, the Library piloted a new welcome card in 2014-15 to ensure all library users, even those without permanent addresses, would be able to access public computers and the Library’s electronic resources.
The City’s continued investment in a strong library system ensures that San Franciscans not only have equal access to information, but also free educational and recreational opportunities that make San Francisco a more affordable place to live.