Message from City Librarian: Branches Won’t Close in 2012, But We Still Must Plan for the Future

Today, Mayor Michael Hancock announced that the Denver Public Library will not have to close any branches, or further reduce service hours in 2012, which is great news for the short-term. However, we are still in dire need of a long-term sustainable funding solution to ensure the best-possible service to the Denver community.

The $32,104,500 budget proposed by Mayor Hancock would provide funding to maintain 2011 service levels: 18 of the 23 branches will be open four days (32 hours) a week; four branches will be open six days (48 hours) a week, and one branch will be open four days a week and a half day on Sunday (36 hours). The Central Library will be open 52 hours a week, with weekend hours from 1-5 p.m. In addition, the budget funds the new branch in Stapleton, at a service level of 32 hours per week. (Note: the construction of the new branch in Stapleton is funded by the 2007 Better Denver Bond and is due to open in mid-2012).

Even though we aren’t closing branches or further reducing hours in 2012, we will still be operating well below the minimum service standards set by the Library Commission. Denver residents need and deserve better than part-time libraries. Without a more reliable source of funding, our budget will continue to be threatened with service reductions in the future.

Discussions regarding long-term funding and potential ballot initiatives for the DPL will resume after the City’s Structural Financial Taskforce presents their recommendations this fall. The Library looks forward to working in partnership with the City Administration and Denver residents to find a sustainable funding solution for the city’s beloved libraries.

To learn more about the 2012 budget, you can attend the Library Commission’s Public Hearing on Tuesday, September 20, 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Central Library, Level 7 Training Room.

Mayor Hancock's 2012 Budget Letter and Full Proposal

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