2019 Library Levy Renewal

The 2019 “Libraries for All” Library Levy Renewal is a renewal of the 2012 Library Levy, which restored funding for core Library services that experienced budget cuts during the Great Recession. The 2019 renewal would maintain that restored funding, invest in critical systems needs, and add support for the changing needs and interests of the communities we serve.

The $219.1 million measure - which includes approximately $46 million for inflation adjustments - would cost the average household just over $7 per month, an increase of approximately $3 per month from the 2012 Library Levy.

The measure will be placed on the August 6, 2019 primary ballot and includes funding for the following areas:

Open Hours

  • Maintain open hours and staffing from the 2012 Library Levy
  • Add approximately 10,000 new branch hours each year:
    • All branches open Sunday at noon
    • All branches open an additional hour Monday through Thursday
    • Delridge, Green Lake, NewHolly and Wallingford branches open Friday
    • High Point, International District/Chinatown and South Park branches open earlier and close later
  • Provide educational resources and social service support to at-risk youth

Collections

  • Maintain and expand collection of physical and digital materials
  • Provide more e-materials, including e-books, e-audiobooks, and streaming services
  • Eliminate the practice of charging fines on overdue materials (View the fact sheet)
  • Maintain and improve “no holds, no wait” Peak Picks collection
  • Preserve and continue support for collection and digitization of local history items, first established by the 2012 Library Levy

Technology

  • Replace infrastructure for public internet access
  • Replace outdated technology that manages how Library materials are acquired, catalogued and circulated
  • Dedicate funding for digital equity offerings, such as Wi-Fi HotSpots and Digital Literacy classes
  • Maintain and upgrade public technologies on a timely basis
  • Maintain and enhance spl.org website

Maintenance

  • Maintain Library buildings
  • Preserve budget for major maintenance
  • Earthquake retrofit of the historic Columbia, Green Lake and University branches

Helping Children

  • Provide additional support for Library early learning programs for children ages 0 to 5

The City Council's Select Committee on the Library Levy amended the measure and voted it out of committee for consideration of the full City Council.

City Council voted for this measure to be placed on the Aug. 6, 2019 primary ballot.