OAKLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY NEEDS YOUR HELP!
WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT OPL?
Lots! Here are just some of the things Oakland Public Library gives to Oakland:
- Safe community spaces
- Great programs
- Literacy and education
- Free computers
- Free tax and legal help
- Free tools, seeds, music
- Free books, newspapers, magazines, movies
- Expert, welcoming staff
BUT OPL IS AT RISK.
Starting in July 2015, OPL’s budget will be short by $2.5- $3.5 million per year. For ten years, OPL’s funding has come partly from the City’s General Fund and partly from Measure Q, a parcel tax that was supposed to expand library services and add a sixth day of service at all library branches. When Measure Q passed in 2004, the City paid for about 2/3 of OPL’s budget and Measure Q paid for about 1/3. Since then, the City has steadily reduced its support of OPL; now it pays for only a little more than 1/3 of OPL’s budget, and Measure Q pays for almost 2/3. Next year, the Measure Q reserve funds will be gone – but OPL still needs money for all the great things it does for Oakland.
In June 2014 the City Council voted to set aside $500,000 from this year’s budget surplus towards OPL’s 2015-16 budget deficit. This is a great first step towards maintaining current Library services, but it is only a first step. Even if the entire two-year deficit was paid out of the General Fund, the Library’s budget would still not be back to the level of services promised when Measure Q was passed by voters. Library branches would still only be open five days a week, the Bookmobile would remain out of service, and the Second Start Literacy Program would still not be operating at full capacity. Oakland deserves better than that; the Library needs a stable funding source.
Unless the City steps up, OPL will have to close branches, and may even have to stop buying books and movies for those branches that stay open.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
1. Join a group supporting OPL:
- facebook.com/saveopl (Save Oakland Library Facebook page)
- facebook.com/OPLadvocate (Library Advisory Commission Facebook page)
- twitter.com/OPLAdvocate (Library Advisory Commission Twitter handle)
- OaklandLAC@gmail.com (OPL Advocate email list)
2. Tell the Oakland City Council what’s so great about OPL and why the City should pay for it:
- Dan Kalb, District 1: firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-238-7001
- Patricia Kernighan, District 2: PKernighan@oaklandnet.com, 510-238-7002
- Lynette Gibson McElhaney, District 3: D3intern@oaklandnet.com, 510-238-7032 (Chief of Staff Zachary Wald)
- Libby Schaaf, District 4: email@example.com, 510-238-7004
- Noel Gallo, District 5: firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-238-7005
- Desley Brooks, District 6: email@example.com, 510-238-7006
- Larry Reid, District 7: firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-238-7007
- Rebecca Kaplan, at large: email@example.com, 510-238-7008
3. Pass this information on to 5 friends.
Print our “What’s So Great About OPL?” PDF Handout and distribute it!
Please stay tuned for more developments and ways you can help.