Budget Information: Fiscal Years 2018-19 & 2019-20

Budget Overview

FY19 Budget vs. FY18 Budget

FY19 Budget
  • $161M
  • (including one-time $19.8M for Mission Branch Renovation)
FY18 Budget
  • $138M
% of Increase FY19 vs. FY18
  • 16.5%

FY20 Budget vs. FY19 Budget

FY20 Budget
  • $150M
FY19 Budget
  • $161M
  • (including one-time $19.8M for Mission Branch Renovation)
% of Increase FY20 vs. FY19
  • -6.5%

Three Year Budget Comparison by Program

FY17 to FY19 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:

budget priorities

Premier Urban Library

  • Fosters a connected community through shared experiences, equitable access to quality resources, an inclusive environment

Literacy & Learning

  • Initiatives provide 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

Organization Excellence

  • Creating personnel capacity to meet service goals, and overall labor/non-labor service optimization

Digital Strategies

  • Ensure equitable access to public technology and resources

Facilities Maintenance & Infrastructure

  • Keeps our assets in the state of good repair and enhances our facilities & infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of our public


Investing in the Future

Three branch libraries renovation

In FY 2016-17, the Library began its planning process to renovate the Chinatown, Mission, and Ocean View branch libraries with a feasibility study to provide an initial needs assessment. The completed feasibility study recommended a phased renovation program beginning with the Mission branch library, given the building’s systems are at the end of their service life. The study also recommended additional exploration of project scope for Chinatown and Ocean View branch libraries through community meetings. As such, the Library’s FY 2018-19 budget includes monies to fully fund the Mission branch library renovation at an estimated $19.8 million. The next step in the Mission renovation will be to engage the community in a service needs assessment and design development, incorporating user-experience analysis into the project. The FY 2019-20 budget allocates $3.8 million to continue scoping and design efforts to further develop the budgets for the Chinatown and Ocean View branch library projects.

Radio Frequency Indentification Technology (RFID)

The modernization of the Library’s collection management system to radio frequency identification technology (RFID) will enhance patron experience by improving how library materials move throughout the system so that collections will be shelved faster and holds will arrive at patrons’ branches sooner. Patrons will also enjoy a quicker checkout process as they will be able to scan multiple items simultaneously. In addition, with RFID the Library will capture operational efficiencies, freeing up staffing capacity for more direct public service. With the full implementation of RFID by 2020 the Library will join 75 percent of Bay Area libraries that use RFID technology.

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.

  • 11%-12% on average of annual operating budget
  • Collection in various formats and multiple languages
  • Substantial budget increase in eResources
  • Reintroduction vinyl records collection

collection budget comparison 2016-2020

Investing in Information Technology

The Library’s digital strategy priority focuses on ensuring public access to technology and the Internet. In FY 2017-18 the Library introduced the Tech’d Out program that allows patrons to check out a laptop and mobile hotspot (MiFi device) for three weeks. The proposed budget expands on the Tech’d Out program by funding an additional 170 MiFi devices and Internet services for the public, helping address access and bridge the digital divide.

IT Budget 2016-2020


Equity, Inclusion, and Shared Prosperity

Starting in mid-June 2017 the Library added 85 weekly hours to the system, allowing all public libraries to be open seven days per week, improving access for citizens. With all the extra hours, there is increased opportunity to meet community demands for programming. In response to growing demand, the Library built $75,000 into its budget for systemwide programming and $100,000 to create learning and work experience pathways for youth.

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