In 2018, the City of Boulder adopted the new Boulder Public Library Master Plan. The plan is designed to reflect the community’s wishes for our library’s future over the next 10 years, based on an in-depth series of conversations with community members across Boulder.
Our community has great aspirations, including more programs and services, new and improved facilities and technology/maker resources, community building and partnerships, and sustainable funding to make it happen.
Meeting Demand & Expanding Services
Based on the community’s request for expanded services and increased library use, it’s currently estimated library funding will fall short by at least $3.2 million every year. We must create sustainable funding for our library’s future and our community’s library aspirations. Library services in Boulder have been underfunded since 2002. Funding for BPL services continues to fall well below community demand today and in future forecasts.
- Full-time staffing decreased by 5%, and overall staffing decreased by 17% per 1000 visitors served
- Hours open to the public increased by 15.5% and NoBo Corner Library and the BLDG 61 Makerspace opened
- Library checkouts increased by 32% and streaming/downloadable content was added to the library collection
- Library cardholders grew by 76%
- Program attendance increased by 64% and many events have lengthy waiting lists
- When adjusted for inflation, BPL’s total operating budget has increased by just 3% in 12 years, despite large leaps in library use and many expanded services and amenities.
Learn more about our library funding options, both pro and con:
- Public Panel Discussion: Funding Our Library Future, Monday, Feb 4 2019 6 p.m. at the Canyon Theater, Main Library
- Commissioner Jane Sykes Wilson’s January newsletter column
- Funding FAQ
- Nov. 27, 2018 Study Session with City Council:
- Library Commission Library District Discussions
- City Councilmember Bob Yates’ Dec. 2018 Column on Library Funding
- In the news:
- Daily Camera: Boulder Will Ask Residents to Weigh Library District
- This American Life on Libraries: The Room of Requirement
- How “Social Infrastructure” Can Save Us All
- Helsinki’s New Library Has 3-D Printers and Power Tools. (And Some Books, Too.)