Underfunded Libraries Are Critical Infrastructure | Opinion | Voice of San Diego

Disclaimer: I worked for 15 years at San Diego Public Library, and know of its up and down over the years, in terms of funding. There’s an unfunded ordinance, and the ordinance calls for the city to spend a minimum of 6 percent of its operating budget on libraries. Never been done…

City Council leaders recognize libraries and parks as critical infrastructure. But recent budgets do not reflect the increasing demands for services these departments provide.

By Patrick Stewart, January 20, 2022

Shelves of books at the Central Library in downtown San Diego. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Mayor Todd Gloria passionately laid out his vision for San Diego in his 2022 State of the City address.

The mayor made a case for needed investments in infrastructure, policing and public safety, and tools to address homelessness and housing. He also itemized, with conviction, his administration’s top priorities for the coming year. I share the mayor’s vision that to be America’s Finest City and truly be great, we must all feel safe, have access to housing, and know that as our city grows, our roads, water, and other tangible assets are modern and capable of managing such growth.

However, conspicuously absent in this vision are investments in the types of services that, when well-funded and managed, create avenues to safety, health, and economic development. What was missing was a vision and plan to invest in what makes our communities great places to live – our neighborhood services.

Source: Underfunded Libraries Are Critical Infrastructure — Voice of San Diego