SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – On Tuesday May 28th, Joint Powers Authority Board (JPA) of the Santa Clara County Library District unanimously approved placing a special tax measure on an August 2013 mailed ballot that would continue existing library funding at current rates to help maintain and protect local library services and programs.
“We know how important local libraries are to each of our communities,” said President Ken Yeager, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “Without these funds, our libraries would not be able to buy needed books and up-to-date research materials and would have to cut programs for children and seniors.”
If adopted by voters, the Measure provides funds to continue to help local libraries to buy books and research materials; maintain library hours and services; keep qualified librarians; continue summer student reading programs; and, among other services, provide an award-winning bookmobile program to bring books to seniors, the disabled and others.
“Every library operated under the Santa Clara County Library JPA benefits from this funding,” said Supervisor Joe Simitian. “The Measure requires that every dollar from these revenues raised within a city is returned for the benefit and operation of the local library in that city.”
Taxpayer funding for local libraries has been in place for the past twenty years, and is due to expire. The Measure simply continues this funding to maintain and protect local library services, without increasing existing taxes.
In particular, the Measure impacts the more than 100,000 school age and pre-school children who attend Santa Clara County Library District programs each year.
“With school libraries often open only a few days per week, our public libraries are now even more important than ever for our children’s education,” said Los Altos resident Cindy Hill. “Kids rely on the up-to-date research materials to complete their school assignments and summer reading programs to keep them engaged and learning while school is out of session.”
Without this Measure, local libraries will be forced to implement significant cuts to programs and services, including reducing or eliminating library programs for children and seniors; purchasing fewer books and databases; and closing libraries for an additional day to day-and-a-half each week.
“The public library offers so many things to so many people,” said Nancy Howe, County Librarian. “It gives children and adults the opportunity to learn and the freedom to dream without limits.”
“Funding for the Library District is subject to strict fiscal scrutiny,” said Gilbert Wong, Chair, JPA Board. “Revenue provided by this Measure would have the same stringent fiscal protections.”
The Library District funding is subject to the library district’s annual, independent financial audits and public review of expenditures.
Ballots will be mailed to registered voters starting July 29th and must be returned by August 27, 2013.
About Santa Clara County Library
Known as one of America’s best 100 public libraries, the Santa Clara County Library District promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes 1.8 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources that users can access from home or work.
For eleven years, the Library has ranked as one of the best in the nation for its size by Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings, which uses 15 different benchmark measures such as collections, circulation, visits and customer service. Also recognized as one of America’s 2011 Star Libraries by Library Journal and with more than 3.8 million visits each year, the Santa Clara County Library District is one of the most-used public resources in the region.
The Santa Clara County Library District includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2012, Santa Clara County Library District had 205,506 library cardholders, recorded 3,186,684 visitors, and a circulation of 9,833.350 items. Visit Santa Clara County Library District online at www.sccl.org
Media Contact: Nancy Howe, County Librarian, 408-293-2326 x3001
Posted: May 29, 2013