On Monday, July 18, the Pasadena City Council unanimously voted to place the Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure on the Nov. 8, 2022, ballot.
Voters will decide whether to continue a dedicated, special revenue source for Pasadena Public Library programs and services. If voters approve this measure, it will continue to generate approximately $2.8 million annually for the next 15 years in dedicated, locally-controlled dollars for Pasadena’s libraries.
Since its inception over 135 years ago, Pasadena Public Library has attained a unique position as a highly-regarded educational and cultural institution. With more than 3,000 on-site programs, free Wi-Fi services and an extensive collection of printed books, periodicals, media and cloud-based eBooks, Pasadena Public Library serves as a lifelong learning center and cultural beacon for the greater Pasadena community.
In June of 1993, voters chose to save Pasadena Public Library’s existing services and operations when they approved a special library tax with 79.9% of the vote, which has since been renewed twice with more than the required two-thirds support of all voters. In 1997, it was supported by 84% of the vote, and in 2007, it was supported by 80.4% of the vote. The current parcel tax has a sunset date of February 2023.
These revenues are used to keep Pasadena libraries open and well maintained. They are also used to purchase up-to-date books and materials, support library programs and services, provide access to computers, Wi-Fi and technology, and retain well-qualified librarians. It has enabled Pasadena Public Library to enhance its services by implementing an advanced search engine, a computerized magazine and newspaper index, a new online library catalog, and public access to the internet with terminals at all library locations.
If the existing funding through the Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure is not maintained, the City will lose approximately 20% of the library budget, or $2.8 million annually, which may lead to the closure of neighborhood library branches, a reduction of books and collections, a reduction in library hours, the loss of qualified librarians, and cuts in other significant programs and services offered to the community.
The Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure is not a new tax. The measure is meant to maintain a revenue source that has been in existence over the last 29 years. Extending the current source of revenue will protect current funding levels.
With voter approval, these funds will only be used for operating the library system serving the Pasadena community. The funds will be subject to annual independent audits and public disclosure.
For more information on the Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure, visit www.CityofPasadena.net/Measure-PPL.