I’m not sure even frequent users of the Santa Barbara Public Library give much thought to where the library’s funding comes from. While the library is included in the city budget, the allocated funds have been reduced drastically, and in the coming year it is projected that the library will take another huge hit.
Regular users will feel the impact in that the library will only be open five days a week. The library is understaffed, and yet they don’t have the money to rehire the hourly employees they had to let go. The library has done a phenomenal job during the pandemic continuing to offer services and digital resources, but while free to the public, the funds have to come from somewhere.
The City Council will be discussing the budget on June 9. Please take the time to write the mayor and councilmembers and ask them to reinstate some of the libraries’ much needed funds. https://www.santabarbaraca.gov/contact/council/default.asp
You can also attend the meeting and speak for three minutes or less. Additionally, you can donate to the S.B. Friends of the Library, which raises funds to support programs and books. Go to our website at https://friends-sblibrary.org/ for more information.
Barbara Cronin Hershberg is president of the Santa Barbara Friends of the Library.