Dear Friends members,
The future of library service in Pacific Grove will be reviewed by the City Council this week (Wed. Jun. 3). It looks grim. And sadly familiar.
A cut of over 50% is recommended for the Library budget, with little to no funds for new books and materials.
Only three employees are recommended for funding. 14 employees have been cut from the 17 that served us last year.
These cuts are devastating to the Library we love, and the hundreds of people of all ages who used it every day.
Over a decade ago, in a down economy, Pacific Grove stopped its library expansion, threatened closure of the library, and eliminated much of the staff.
The Friends led the charge to stop the closure. Children’s Librarian Lisa Maddalena remembers “Children emptied their piggy banks and held lemonade stands to raise money for the library. Citizens came out in droves to support the library.” The Council heard the public. The Library was saved.
A decade later, the long-delayed Library Renewal is nearly complete. The move back from the Holman is planned for this summer, with reopening to follow.
With the cuts as proposed, how can our wonderful renewed library reopen this fall?
As a Friend, you know the Library’s importance to our community:
- to the patrons counting down the days until Shelter in Place ends and they can return
- to those with limited budgets, who rely on library resources, and computers, now more than ever
- to elderly people, for whom the welcoming staff may have been the only human contact that day.
Our library is the heart of our community for people of all ages. The staff encourage children’s literacy, lifelong learning, the joy of reading. They create student success (more essential now with school closures), bring parents together, support families, residents, local businesses, the unemployed, newcomers and visitors.
What services can three staff hope to provide after such drastic cuts, especially under stringent new health requirements?
Our library’s staff and resources are critical to helping our neighbors survive these tough economic times. Without them, what will our community do?
Now is the time to speak up for our Library, to share your support for the Library with our elected officials and City staff, to make your voice heard.
Below is a link to the Wednesday, June 3, 6 pm, Council Agenda report (Item 11E) and instructions on how to to view the meeting online:
Below is are the email addresses to contact the Mayor, City Council and City staff online:
Your comments can also be emailed to me (FriendsPGLib@gmail.com) to be sent to the Mayor and City Council.
I have let the Mayor and Council know that, in these unprecedented times, with difficult decisions to be made, the Friends will continue to support the Library as we can.
Thank you for being a Friend of the Pacific Grove Public Library. As before, our Library needs you!