During our visits to City Council members and staff on Wednesday we were disappointed to learn that all but one did not recall seeing the Library Trustees full request for funding, as had been presented to the public at Trustees’ meetings and to the Federation of Friends of the Library — so many of whom turned out for the oversight and budget hearings in support of the full request.
In addition, the Council Budget Director also had not seen it and was as dismayed as we were that she was seeing it for the first time at this late hour. It seems clear that council members voting on the Library budget were not aware of the public’s top priority – being open.
The bulk of the $10M request for increase over last year is for restoring hours to branches and to MLK. You can see the breakdown on the DCPL website.
We emphasized to Council members that the Library is an incomparable value and that the first priority of library users is that the facilities be open.
We urge library advocates to take moment to send a note to your representatives before the second reading of the budget on Tuesday. You can see a sample letter here to edit or send as is, and you can choose your recipients.