Your voice is needed to support increases to the Long Beach Public Library’s FY23 budget! The Long Beach Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Long Beach Public Library invite you to join our advocacy efforts.
On August 2, the City released the proposed FY23 budget, available at https://bit.ly/3d4i5fC. The City Council will now review and discuss the budget at a series of public meetings this month including the Budget Hearing on September 6 at 5:00 PM in City Council Chambers where they will have their first opportunity to adopt the budget.
1) INCREASE THE LIBRARY’S STRUCTURAL BUDGET FOR MATERIALS
2) INCREASE THE LIBRARY’S STRUCTURAL BUDGET FOR MORE OPEN HOURS
3) PERMANENT ELIMINATION OF FINES FOR OVERDUE BOOKS AND MATERIALS
The 12 Long Beach public libraries bridge educational, digital, economic, and cultural divides. A March 2022 report from the Long Beach Unified School District showed that 61 percent of elementary and 66 percent of middle school students read below grade level during the first in-person school year since the pandemic began. Now more than ever, Long Beach families need increased access to the crucial educational resources the Library has to offer.
1) Send a Letter to the City Council before September 6: We have provided a sample letter to the City Council in a toolkit available at https://bit.ly/3dXDiIk. that you can personalize and edit. Email addresses for all City Councilmembers are also included. We ask that you send this letter before September 6, when the City Council will have its first opportunity to adopt the budget.
2) Show Your Support at the Budget Hearing on September 6 at 5:00 PM: The City Council meeting on this date will include its first opportunity to adopt the City’s FY23 Budget. Council Chambers are located at 411 W Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802.
— Attendance (There’s Power in Numbers): If you choose not to speak during public comment, we ask that you join us in sitting in the audience at the September 6 meeting and holding up small signs in support of the Library. Signs will be provided on the day of the meeting. The greater our numbers on the date of the budget hearing, the more support the City Council will see there is for the Library.
— Public Comment: There will be an opportunity for public comment. If you are a member of a community group or organization that is interested in participating, we ask that one member from each organization provide public comment —public comment will be limited to 90 seconds. Stories about how the Library has made a difference in someone’s life are most meaningful.
— E-comment: You may submit an e-comment to the budget hearing at https://bit.ly/3SGtVwX. The option to submit an e-comment will appear closer to the meeting date. A suggested e-comment is included in this toolkit.
— Provide Public Comment Virtually: If you cannot attend the meeting in person but would still like to provide public comment, instructions on how to do so are available at https://www.longbeach.gov/cityclerk.
3) Invite Your Friends to Support the Library: Help us spread the word! Share the link to this webpage with friends, family, and colleagues through email and social media.
You may submit an e-comment to the City’s budget hearing at https://bit.ly/3SGtVwX. The option to submit an e-comment will appear closer to the meeting date and expire on September 6 at 4:00 PM. We recommend submitting a letter to the City Council before September 6 and an e-comment at this meeting.
Suggested E-Comment (Please note that e-comments are limited to 1,000 characters with spaces): As a supporter of education and literacy, I urge the City Council to increase the Library’s FY23 structural budget so that it may offer more materials to residents, increase its open hours, and permanently eliminate overdue fines. The 12 public libraries bridge educational, digital, economic, and cultural divides despite being open only 34.3 hours per week on average and having a materials budget that has not been increased in more than a decade. One-time funding is not a sustainable way to promote equity in Long Beach. I urge you to provide the Library with the structural funding necessary to increase its access to crucial educational resources. Thank you for your consideration and leadership.