Fact Sheet

Friends of the Library

Facts

  • The Applegate Library was established in 1923. In 1988, the Friends of Applegate Library and Applegate Civic Center Club donated the building and land to the County for use as a library.
  • In the 2016-17 fiscal year, the Library System was forced to close two branches due to underfunding. An increase in the library budget of $1.3 million dollars for fiscal year 2017-18 will provide a sustainable funding level that avoids closures and provides Library Administration with sufficient funds to keep the doors open at all its branches without regard to size or location.
  • Property taxes provide the Library System with 71% of its budget. These funds are slow coming into the revenue stream and vary in amount from year to year as property values rise and fall.
  • There is no dedicated parcel tax to benefit libraries in Placer County. The current library budget is less than 1% of the entire County budget. Placer County was the only California County to close libraries last year.
  • The internet connection at the Applegate Library is the only free, fast, reliable internet connection between Auburn and Colfax. This WI-FI connection is accessible 24/7. If it is lost due to a Library closure it leaves a service gap of 21 miles in an area where private internet access is spotty, expensive, and unreliable. When the library isn’t open, it is not unusual to find patrons in the parking lot connected to WI-FI. During the Applegate fire this internet connection served as the only communication resource for some evacuees.
  • Reading is a basic skill. Even though the internet is the tool of the future, it will be useless to those who do not possess strong reading skills. Libraries provide literacy programs for adults and work to instill a love of reading in children. Home-schooled children in particular benefit from having a local branch library.
  • Regardless of funding levels, once a branch library has closed it is gone forever. The loss to the community and to the County as a whole will never be repaired.
  • All the Friends of the Library groups held their first informal meeting on April 8. The underfunding of the Library system was discussed and the FOLs are working toward a coalition to research and identify ongoing funding alternatives for the Library system. Friends of the Library groups provide enhancements and funds to libraries. These groups provide a voice for library patrons to the Library Advisory Commission and thus to the Supervisors
  • Well-educated and trained Library personnel are the new gatekeepers of knowledge. With adequate staffing, branches can provide many types of programs including Summer Reading Programs for kids, Book Clubs for Junior and Adults, Special Interest lectures and other types of presentation that will enrich the lives of library patrons in ways too numerous to count.