From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
In the era of Google and Netflix, smartphones and tablets, why should we have large urban libraries?
“The library has exceeded our expectations, and we had high expectations,” said Mel Katz, immediate past chair of the San Diego Public Library Foundation, citing rising circulation figures and SRO attendance at library events. “This is so much more than a building with books and shelves. It is a community center, a place for people to meet and gather.”
While the library opened debt-free, without new bonds, taxes or infusions from the general fund, it needs plenty of money to keep operating. In 2013-14, the budget was $20 million. The current budget, reflecting a redistribution of duties and expenses, is a leaner $14.3 million.
Still, the new library is more than twice the size of its predecessor, and annually costs an additional $2.8 million to operate. This gap is bridged by $10 million in gifts from two anonymous parties, covering $2 million a year through 2018; and $800,000 a year from other sources, such as revenue from the Library Store, parking fees and rented space.
Read the Complete Article
View the Photo Gallery