Voters in the city of
"A 'no' vote would have meant planning for (library) closures," said
Despite the rise of digital media, which has crippled the book business, the number of people who visited the city libraries rose 11 percent from 2008 to 2013. The number of cardholders jumped 30 percent, the number of programs rose 78 percent, and program attendance rose 86 percent.
Funding dropped 14 percent during the same period.
"We're busier than we've ever been," Sass said. "(People) want to connect with one another. We're truly a community center."
The library's e-book program, the 3M
Sass also hopes to expand the library's digital services, which now include 3-D printers and computers equipped with Photoshop software.
"Those are some services that will be enhanced," Sass said. "We're definitely looking at what we can offer to people technologically."
The money from Measure B will begin to flow to the libraries in
"We hope to see improvements to library collections; additional books, e-books, those kinds of resources," Sass said. "We see ourselves looking at what kinds of things will make a difference to people."
Getting more books for all the libraries will be a priority, Sass said, especially children's books.
"Our children's books are old; they're out of date," she said. "So this will allow us to look at all library collections."
The library was previously forced to cut back hours of operation in its branches due to a lack of funds, said
"As a public operation, they've done an incredible job managing with the amount of resources they've had available to them," Rubin said. "They'll be trying to restore some of the hours that had been cut."
"I think people in general really do value libraries," Thomas said. "I know it was a low voter turnout overall, but I think we turned out a lot of library supporters."
Some library users didn't even know about Measure B, but welcomed its passage nonetheless.
"It's a good place to get away, you know, from the streets," said Martinez, who arrived at the library one recent weekday afternoon on his skateboard.
If his library branch had closed, Martinez said, "it would be sad for kids who like writing to lose that inspiration."
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