San José Public Library,
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SURVEY SAYS: RESIDENTS SUPPORT RENEWAL OF EXISTING, VOTER-APPROVED FUNDING FOR SAN JOSE PUBLIC LIBRARIES
San José, Calif., Feb. 13, 2014—A recent independent survey of San José voters shows strong support for a potential 2014 ballot measure to renew existing, voter-approved funding for San José public libraries and services.
The survey, conducted January 27 – February 2 by the opinion research firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (www.fm3research.com), shows as many as 86 percent of San José voters would potentially support a ballot measure to renew the current library funding mechanism. This is well above the 66.67 percent threshold needed for voter approval.
"Our neighborhood libraries play a critical role in the lives of our residents," said San José City Librarian Jill Bourne. "Our libraries inspire us to explore and achieve—and they contribute to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods."
In 2013, residents made nearly 6,000,000 visits to San José libraries. More than 200,000 children, teens, and adults attended library workshops, and nearly 90,000 children and adults participated in library literacy programs.
"The poll confirms that San José residents understand the importance of their libraries and want to ensure they remain open and provide the services our community needs," she said. "Continuing existing, voter-approved library funding will help preserve access to this essential community resource for job seekers, entrepreneurs, teachers and students of all ages."
Survey respondents placed high importance on ensuring that libraries stay open, providing safe places for children after school, maintaining children’s reading programs, providing library services for local schools without their own libraries, and keeping libraries safe and clean.
"San José’s branch libraries currently are only open four days a week, and only half are open on weekends," said Bourne. "Continuing existing library funding will stabilize current support, which may allow for future growth in services."
The poll results were discussed by the San Jose City Council at their Study Session: 2014 - 2015 Budget Planning meeting held Feb. 10. The Council is currently scheduled to consider placing a library funding renewal measure on the ballot on March 4. The deadline for placing a measure on the June 3, 2014, ballot is March 7.
About San José Public Library
San José Public Library (SJPL), located in Silicon Valley, is the largest public library system between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Serving a culturally diverse population of nearly 980,000 in the country's 10th largest city, SJPL is one of the busiest library systems nationwide with an annual checkout rate of nearly 10 million items. Award-winning staff strives to ensure library services reflect the city’s rich diversity and that every library customer’s experience is exceptional. SJPL is recognized for its innovation and leadership. It was named the 2004 Thomson Gale/Library Journal Library of the Year and recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for a library.