To: Sonoma County Supervisors

Supervisors Must Act to Save Sonoma County’s Underfunded Libraries

I urge the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to place a 1/8 of 1% sales tax measure for libraries on this November’s ballot. After three years of unprecedented Monday and evening closures, visits have dropped by 32%, which means tens of thousands of children, teens and seniors locked out of our libraries.

Why is this important?

Sonoma County’s libraries are in the midst of their largest funding crisis in their hundred-year history. The County now spends only $33 per capita each year on libraries, compared to Napa County’s $51, Marin’s $85, and San Francisco’s $100.

In response to rising costs and reduced funding three years ago, library hours were slashed 25%, from 52 to just 40 weekly hours at all branches. This petition is part of the Campaign, which last year circulated a petition asking Supervisors to fund the restoration of hours. Yet, after three years, Sonoma County Supervisors David Rabbitt, Susan Gorin, Shirley Zane, Mike Maguire, and Efren Carrillo have done nothing to help alleviate this funding crisis.

A new poll financed by Sonoma County’s Library Commission found that 70% of voters support a 1/8 of 1% tax to save our libraries. This would raise $8 million per year for libraries. This tiny sales tax would allow the library to restore Mondays, remain open most evenings, and restore and enhance programs for children, teens and seniors.

On July 29. County Supervisors will finally vote on whether they will place a tax measure for libraries on the November ballot. If the measure does not get put on the ballot and passed, locked doors and the shortest library hours in history will become the “new normal.” Please sign and share this petition, and tell your County Supervisor that you care about adequate funding for Sonoma County libraries—and that they should, too.