staff are currently asking local residents to give their two cents about what services they would like to see in their local branches.
Facing decreasing funds over the next few years from the Measure C parcel tax, the outreach will give guidence to staff as they plan for the future, according to Library Director Sarah Houghton.
San Rafael's libraries, located in downtown and at the , currently operate with a $4 million budget, the lowest library budget in all of Marin County. Two thirds of their budget comes from the city's General Fund and the remaining comes from the Measure C parcel tax that voters passed in 2010.
Despite the tax, which allocates funds for the next seven years, staff costs grow between 4 percent to 8 percent every year due to healthcare, pension and retirement obligations even though public employees are not getting increased benefits, according to Houghton.
"Two years later, we found that [the parcel tax funds] weren't sustainable," she said.
In order to present a plan for the next five years to the City Council, Houghton and her staff created a survey for residents, asking them what services they would like to see. As of Aug. 2, Houghton counted over 100 surveys collected from people in front of local grocery stores and online. Take the survey here.
"One thing I noticed already is that some people want more laptop work space desks," Library Administrative Assistant Jinder Banwait said outside of on Thursday.
Library staff will continue their outreach in front of local grocery stores for the next week. Houghton hopes to present the Council with a plan by the end of 2012.