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.
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 $1,000,000 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.
Even though Council set aside $1,000,000 of this year’s budget surplus for next year’s library budget, it is not enough. Unless the City further steps up, OPL will have to close 6-8 branches OR stop buying books and movies AND close 3 branches.
HELP US GET THE BUDGET WE NEED TO KEEP OPL GREAT!