San Francisco Public Library
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Budget Information: Fiscal Years 2019-20 & 2020-21

Budget Overview

FY20 Budget vs. FY19 Budget

FY20 Budget
  • $172M
  • (including one-time $29M for capital)
FY19 Budget
  • $161M
  • (including one-time $19.8M for Mission Branch Renovation)
% of Increase FY20 vs. FY19
  • 6.8%

FY21 Budget vs. FY20 Budget

FY21 Budget
  • $169M
  • (including one-time $21M for capital)
FY20 Budget
  • $172M
  • (including one-time $29M for capitol)
% of Increase FY21 vs. FY20
  • -1.6%

Three Year Budget Comparison by Program

FY18 to FY20 Comparison

Budget Priorities

San Francisco Public Library continues its commitment to providing welcoming facilities and service excellence as premier urban library through the following strategic areas:

Premier Urban Library
  • Fosters a connected community through shared experiences, equitable access to quality resources, an inclusive environment
Literacy & Learning
  • Provides robust collections, resources, services, and programs that support reading and address the changing literacy and learning needs of the 21st century
Youth Engagement
  • Enriches the City’s youth with early literacy programs, summer learning activities, homework help, outreach to schools, and expanded teen services with emphasis on technology access and media literacy
Digital Strategies
  • Ensures equitable access to public technology and resources
Partnerships for Excellence
  • Enables city agencies and community based organizations to leverage the Library’s resources, strengthens the services and programs offered, and helps reach larger audiences.

Three branch libraries renovation

In FY 2016-17, the Library began its planning process to renovate the Chinatown, Mission, and Ocean View branch libraries. The Library’s FY 2018-19 budget fully funded the Mission branch library renovation at an estimated $19.8 million. The FY19-20 and 2020-21 budgets allocate $ 27 million for the Chinatown and $10.5 million for Ocean View branch library projects.

Strong Library Collections

The Library commits approximately 12 percent of its operating budget each fiscal year to collections in various formats and multiple languages to support our diverse community. Enhancements are responsive to usage data and community requests.  Print books remain the primary material format for patrons; however, the Library has experienced a nearly 24 percent growth in it eCollections circulation in FY 2017-18. In response to that growing demand, the Mayor’s proposed budget includes a 25 percent increase to eCollections in FY 2019-20 and another 25 percent in FY 2020-21.

collection budget comparison 2017-2021

Equity, Inclusion, and Shared Prosperity

In June 2018, the Library was named Library of the Year by Gale/Library Journal for its active promotion of San Francisco’s values of inclusion, diversity, and equity and its ability to create programs and policies that support those democratic values.

To further address equity and inclusion, the Mayor’s proposed budget includes the elimination of overdue fines for all patrons. Additionally, the Library is proposing overdue fine debt forgiveness. Overdue fines have been found to restrict patron access, and disproportionately affect low-income populations, racial-minority communities, and individuals without college degrees. Overdue fine elimination will improve patrons’ relationships with the Library, optimize staff time, increase access, and allow the Library to reengage with former library patrons.

The City’s continued investment in a strong library system ensures that San Franciscans not only have equal access to information, but also free educational and recreational opportunities that make San Francisco a more affordable place to live.

Library Commission Budget Discussion
February 2019 (PDF)