Mayor Aligns Broad Coalition to Support Expanded Library Hours & Afterschool Program in One San Diego Budget

San Diego - Leading a collective effort to reestablish the city's libraries as centers for learning and civic engagement for San Diego children, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today joined City Council President Todd Gloria, Councilmember David Alvarez, Library Director Deborah Barrow, Superintendent Cindy Marten and Library Foundation Chair Amy Valerias, at the Logan Heights Public Library to tout expanded library hours and a new afterschool library program in his One San Diego budget plan.

Mayor Faulconer's inaugural One San Diego budget plan funds an additional 203 hours of library service hours per week citywide. It restores core branch library hours to 48 hours per week for the first time since 2003 and strategically expands library services on weekends. Every branch library in San Diego will add 4 service hours Monday through Saturday. In addition to these hours, 12 select branches will extend hours on Saturday and Sunday. The central library will add 5 hours per week.

The One San Diego budget also includes funding for the city's first comprehensive afterschool program, Mayor Faulconer's proposed Do Your Homework @ the Library Program. The program provides one-on-one assistance to children at targeted K-8 schools in San Diego for school-assigned homework. It adds a learning coordinator in 18 San Diego libraries where curriculum-aligned resources, technology and community partnerships work in tandem to support students. The program also capitalizes on San Diego public library equipment, staff, Wi-Fi access, and digital resources, including the HelpNow! online tutoring program.

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said, "We all know that libraries have books and computers, but it's the intangible things that a library does that are important. Libraries provide an environment that fosters civic engagement and education, which is why my budget will increase library hours and start an afterschool program. I'm working to unite City Hall and our education community so that we can create opportunities for every San Diego child from Linda Vista to Logan Heights."

Council President Todd Gloria said, "The proposed additional hours and afterschool program will bring more San Diegans, particularly young people, into our libraries and expose them to the resources and fun available in all our neighborhood branches."

Councilmember David Alvarez said, "I am pleased to see increased funding for library hours in the One San Diego budget plan. Our libraries and the services and programs offered through them are critical to so many of my constituents and San Diegans."

Public Library Director Deborah L. Barrow said, "I am very excited about the Mayor's proposed budget and what it means for the San Diego Public Library and the people of San Diego. Over the last ten years, the Library saw reductions during troubled budget times. We are happy to see all that change with this budget proposal, which if it is adopted, most hours the San Diego Public Library has had in ten years."

Superintendent Cindy Marten said, "As a literacy specialist, I know that strong reading skills form the basis for learning in all subjects. Libraries are the centers for building, advancing and nurturing these skills that will impact a person's learning from early childhood through adulthood. I commend Mayor Faulconer and the other city officials for recognizing the importance of libraries and the impacts they have on the success of our students and communities."

Library Foundation Chair Amy Valeiras said, "The San Diego Public Library Foundation strongly supports the addition of hours at the Central Library and all branches. We're deeply grateful to the Mayor and Council for their partnership in building a healthy library system that is seeing a major renaissance. The Library Foundation is more effective in attracting private contributions for the library system when there is clear public-sector support for these essential services."

Charles Chamberlayne (619) 453-9911 or[email protected]