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Monday, January 21 – All locations will be closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Thursday, January 24 – George Reynolds Branch Library will be closed for updates to the ventilation system.

Funding Our Library Future

Kids in storytime area

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.

Since 2006:

  • 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.

Funding Options

Potential funding options under consideration:

  • Do nothing; fail to meet community demand & requests for expanded services
  • Reallocate city resources to meet demand for library funding (this would result in a reduction of other city services)
  • Create a citywide dedicated tax for library funding
  • Hold an election to form an independent library district, across Boulder & an expanded service area for residents who also want to fund & use BPL services

The City of Boulder will poll community members about funding options in April. We hope you’ll participate!

Learn more about our library funding options, both pro and con: