The need in Dallas is vast with the pandemic affecting so many. If our library isn’t given the resources when it is safe to reopen the impact will be on those with the greatest need.
To that end, our efforts on behalf of the 2020-21 DPL General Fund budget are less about carving out the biggest possible piece of a limited pie, and more about affirming the importance of library investment to achieve a broad vision for our whole community. To see the City Manager's proposed budget, follow this link - https://dallascityhall.com/departments/budget/financialtransparency/AnnualBudget/2021-01-Proposed-Budget.pdf
Here's how you can help:
1. Sign up to attend and/or speak at your councilmember's virtual Budget Town Hall meetings scheduled between August 13 – 27. http://www.dallascitynews.net/virtual-town-hall-meetings-fy-2020-21-proposed-budget
2. Email or write your councilmember asking them to support the Dallas Public Library https://dallascityhall.com/government/Pages/contact_mcc.aspx
3. Invite friends and family to sign up to help
Below are suggested talking points. We’re asking you to share that:
Pride in our Library
We are incredibly impressed by the work done by the entire DPL staff this entire year including and even more so during the health crisis. That work includes:
2. Thankful and Committed
3. Dallas Public Library is an important city asset that will be critical for economic recovery
We strongly believe that Dallas Public Library should play a significant and community-centered role in helping our city heal, grow and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and ask each councilmember to:
Talk about, and invest in, the LIBRARY when you RETHINK city-wide public safety.
The Library’s social worker, trauma-informed environments, out-of-school and summer learning programs for children and teens create safe, welcoming, and supportive space in 29 unique neighborhoods throughout Dallas. Community-first public safety succeeds when people from all walks of life come together in community.
Talk about, and invest in, the LIBRARY when you WORK TO dismantle systemic racism.
The Library offers resources, programming, and high-demand titles specifically to address racial equity and anti-racism. Library staff reflect the City they serve and provide essential community services that are created by, for, and with Dallas's immigrants and refugees.
Talk about, and invest in, the LIBRARY when you REBUILD THE WORKFORCE
At the library, Dallas residents find a wide range of services and programs to help them find a job, learn English, build a business, get homework help, or connect to social services that can help meet their needs. The Career Launchpad at DPL provides individualized assistance and support services for job seekers at all stages of their job search from remote resume assistance, to basic computer skills, job search classes and more. The staff works with each job searcher to personally help them take the next step in their journey.
Talk about, and invest in, the LIBRARY when you PURSUE EQUITY through DIGITAL ACCESS and INCLUSION.
Library branches, and wi-fi hotspots are digital lifelines for Dallas residents who need access to computers and the internet to navigate every aspect of contemporary life – particularly during the pandemic: school work, medical and public health needs, news and information, banking and finance, job seeking, entertainment, social connection, voter registration, census participation, and more.
Talk about, and invest in, the LIBRARY when you work with our schools to CLOSE THE GAP around EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES.
More than ever, a Dallas Public Library card is an essential digital resource for students, families, and teachers. Homework Centers, reading programs, summer learning, maker spaces, pre-K family programs, and educational programs in multiple languages serve children and families in our neighborhoods and in the languages spoken in our homes.
Talk about, and invest in, the LIBRARY when you ENCOURAGE SOCIAL CONNECTION with neighbors and with strangers.
Author and sociologist Eric Klinenberg implores us to talk about ‘physical distancing’ rather than ‘social distancing’ because social connection is more vital than ever. The Library’s radical reinvention in response to COVID has brought people together for online storytimes, book clubs, concerts, workshops, and much more – vitally important services to battle social isolation.
The Dallas Public Library is a city department poised to make substantial contributions to the larger needs of the City because it is already doing much of this work– efficiently, equitably, and well. And, at a time when public trust is a particularly scarce commodity, the Library is your ambassador to both our most historically disenfranchised communities and our community’s strongest leaders.
The Friends recognizes that the 2020-2021 budget will be the most challenging in generations. As you reimagine the budget to create a portfolio of programs and services that meets today’s most urgent individual and institutional needs, we ask you to remember and lift up the Dallas
Public Library as one of the most innovative, responsive, and capable levers you have to pull.
Friends of the Dallas Public Library does more than raise funds to support the Library. We are also the citizen voice of support for the work of the library with our elected officials at City Hall. For 70 years, Friends board members, staff and volunteers have worked closely with mayors, city councilmembers and other elected officials to ensure that the City's budget includes sufficient investment in the Dallas Public Library to meet the needs of our community. These efforts have resulted in millions of dollars in investment across our 29 library branches.
The Friends remains committed to continuing our own effort to surround the library staff and Dallas residents with the services and resources they need through our own private fundraising efforts, and we seek to be a good partner to the library and the City.