Some people feel that they pay taxes and therefore shouldn't have to do anything more in order to have a high quality Library system. Ideally, tax revenue should cover this basic service.
However, in San Diego, at the current time, tax revenue is insufficient to fund the level of Library service that San Diegans need and demand.
The Library receives its annual appropriation from the City of San Diego's General Fund, which in turn is funded primarily by the small percentage of your property and sales taxes that does not go to the State, County, or education. And, the Library must compete for these scarce funds with other essential services like police, fire, sanitation, and health care. It's a difficult situation at best.
The San Diego Public Library's per capita allocation from your tax dollars is lower than that of most of the large Western United States cities, yet our circulation and millions of annual visitors rank among the highest.
Private support - from our library volunteers, Friends' groups, individuals, foundations, corporations, and service organizations - makes the difference between what the Library could provide if it relied solely on tax revenue and the excellent programs and services it does provide for our region.
Contributed time and money enable the Library to purchase up-to-date materials, including books, DVDs, audiotapes, electronic databases and ebooks, CDs, CD-ROMS, and periodical subscriptions; to upgrade and replace equipment; and, to provide programs like READ/San Diego, the Library's adult literacy program, which receives over a third of its budget via contributions. Your contributions support children's programming, including the critical Summer Reading Program. These are just a few of the things that simply wouldn't happen without the generous support of Library patrons and contributors.
We would welcome some of your time or your financial support. For information on specific ways to support the Library, see the Advocacy web page.