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Library Levy Election Fact Sheet
A printable version of this fact sheet is available here.
Full text of the resolution passed by the City Council is available here.
The text of Proposition #3 (that will appear on ballots) is available here.
Residents of the City of Spokane will be asked to consider a measure on the February 12 ballot that would dedicate levy funds to the daily operations of libraries in the City of Spokane.
The Declining Revenue Challenge: Keeping Libraries Open Once Efficiencies Have Been Exhausted
The Spokane Public Library is facing possible branch closures in 2014 because of constraints on the city’s general fund in recent years.
- Branch closures have been avoided until now by employing efficiencies and instituting a hiring and purchasing freeze.
- Reserves that were used to keep branches open in 2012 and 2013 will be exhausted at the end of 2013.
- If there are no changes to our budget the resulting deficit will necessitate closing branches.
In addition to operating limited schedules at East Side, Hillyard and Indian Trail, detailed below are strategies we’ve used to reduce expenses, supplement funding and creatively continue service.
Budget Reductions in 2012, 2013
- Reduction of 5 positions equal to 3 full time equivalent staff
- Reduced expenditures for materials and equipment
- Postponed facilities maintenance projects and other capital purchases
Funding Assistance in 2010-2012
By using funds from grants, the Library Foundation, the Friends of the Library and private donors, we have been able to continue service and make up shortfalls. This included:
- Technology Funding of over $210,000
- WorkSource Connection Site funding of $36,000
- Program and exhibit funding of over $68,000
Strategies Used to Reduce Costs
- Maintained the lowest personnel cost increases of any City dept.
- Used trained volunteers to continue storytime in all six branches and extend schedule an additional 15 weeks per year
- Increased self-service and electronic access to information
- Increased e-marketing and decreased print and mailings
Impact of the Library Levy
If the levy passes, the library can:
- Increase open hours at East Side, Hillyard and Indian Trail
- Preserve service hours at Downtown, South Hill and Shadle
- Maintain library equipment and facilities
- Provide equitable library access city-wide
If the levy fails, library customers will:
- Face possible branch closures and other service reductions
- Experience overcrowding at remaining branches
- See a reduced availability of books, computers and other materials
Cost of Library Levy to Property Owners
The City of Spokane Library Levy, proposition #3 requests a dedicated levy for Library services at a rate of 7 cents per $1000 of assessed property value.
Cost to homeowners:
|$100,000 home ||approximately $7 more per year |
|$200,000 home ||approximately $14 more per year |
Quick Library Levy Facts
- Election: February 12, 2013
- Simple majority required to pass
- If approved, effective on January 1, 2014
- Levy duration is four years
- Who can vote? Registered voters in the City of Spokane.
For more information: