State Budget Impacts the Library

Spring is budget season for public agencies, and this spring the State of California is facing a budget deficit that will negatively impact Sonoma County Library.

We rely upon funds received through the California State Library to provide an array of services to our patrons that we might otherwise be unable to offer.

This year, several important State Library projects are on the chopping block in Governor Newsom’s most recent version of the budget, and these cuts will affect the services we provide to our residents. These include:

• The California Library Services Act. The Governor’s May Revised Budget includes a 50% reduction of $1.8 million for both FY 2024-25 and 2025-26. CLSA funding offsets some of our delivery costs, including our deliveries between Sonoma County, Lake County, and Mendocino County libraries. Providing funding to support the sharing of physical and electronic materials ensures that people with and without access to the internet can remain engaged and informed.

• Lunch at the Library. The Governor’s May Revision proposed the elimination of the entire $5.5 million for this program—a reduction which would have led to public libraries throughout the state dropping their participation in the critically important food and enrichment program. Lunch at the Library serves youth who are in need of a nutritious meal during the summer months. At Sonoma County Library, we provide this service at seven of our branches during the summer, from Monday to Friday. For some children who attend our programs, the summer meal may be the only meal that particular child receives all day. Partial funding has been restored, but the amount to be cut is still $2.5 million, which will impact libraries throughout the state.

While we understand that the state is facing a very challenging budget deficit in 2024-25, balancing the budget on the backs of children in need of a nutritional meal or delivery services to our small and rural libraries is unacceptable.

We urge you to contact your state legislators and let them know that we want funding for these crucial programs restored. The library has examples of letters that you can send to your legislators to let them know how important these initiatives are to our residents. Please contact for more information.

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