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Measure B Matters

Thanks to Measure B, the library continues to provide one of the best returns on local dollars. The library saves money and delivers value through free materials, resources, programs and more:

    - Books
    - Magazines and newspapers
    - CDs and DVDs
    - On-line research tools (e.g., Auto Repair Reference Center)
    - Job and career services
    - Computers and computer classes
    - Homework help
    - Literacy tutoring
    - Concerts, author talks, book discussion groups, workshops, storytimes
    - Reading, study and meeting space
    - Wi-Fi access at selected branch locations

Measure B expires in March 2013. Measure B currently provides 53% of our income. If voters do not renew Measure B, proportionate reductions in hours and services will be necessary. For example, a branch open 50 hours per week is likely to only be open just over 20 hours per week. Measure B has enabled the Fresno County Public Library to deliver on its promises:

    Continuing the current increased open hours, and increasing open hours further where possible:
    - Before Measure B – 37,266 annual public service hours
    - After Measure B – 77,814 annual public service hours
    Continuing to replace worn and out-of-date books and materials, and continuing to add new books and other materials
    - Before Measure B – $400,000 spent for books and other materials in FY 1997-1998
    - After Measure B – $2.5 million spent for books and other materials in FY 2008-2009
    Continuing the current expanded programs and services, and expanding programs and services further, for children, young adults and adults
    - Before Measure B – 2,533 programs for all ages in 1999 in FY 1998-1999
    - After Measure B – 6,763 programs for all ages in FY 2008-2009
    Continuing the reestablished locally funded literacy services in support of California Library Literacy Services
    - Before Measure B – 0 adults
    - After Measure B – 2,068 adult learners, 1,505 tutors, 900 families
    Maintaining local public libraries throughout the County
    - Before Measure B – repairs delayed or deferred at many libraries
    - After Measure B – 17 libraries refurbished
    Constructing new libraries or remodeling and expanding existing libraries throughout the County:
    - In Decade Before Measure B – 1 new library, 1 new bookmobile, 1 expanded library
    - Over the life of Measure B – 7 new libraries and 3 new mobile libraries

A strong library helps expedite economic recovery for our community. In a Valley struggling with an 18.7% unemployment rate, the library helps job seekers with free computer classes, free clinics to improve their interview skills and resumes, and free books and other materials to help in their job search. During this time of massive budget cuts to schools, the library helps students of all ages by staying open after school and providing free homework help and free research assistance. An educated public is crucial to economic recovery and an improved quality of life.

In fact, the poor economy is bringing more and more people to the library in search of free services. In Fresno County , more than 3.6-million items were checked out in FY 2009, which is a 3 percent increase over the previous year. More patrons are also reserving materials, increasing holds placed by 18 percent to over 950,000 in the last fiscal year.

The Measure B sales tax rate is currently one-eighth of one percent for 7 years, which translates to 12-1/2 cents on a $100 purchase. State law allows up to one-fourth of one percent for up to 16 years.

Measure B can use your support, click here to tell us how you can help.