Senator Dodd Introduces Measure to Support Libraries

January 31, 2017

SACRAMENTO –Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) recently introduced new legislation to support public libraries by giving local communities more flexibility to approve library bonds. 

“Our public libraries provide critical services to our state, educating future generations, promoting lifelong learning and providing cultural enrichment,” said Senator Bill Dodd. “That’s why we need to empower local communities to better maintain and expand the accessibility and capacity at their public libraries.”

Currently, local library bond measures require a two-thirds vote. Dodd’s measure would allow voters to approve library bonds with a 55 percent vote, which is the same threshold currently in place for school and community college bonds. Library bonds can be used to construct, expand or rehabilitate public libraries.

“We are simply not keeping pace with the construction needs of our libraries at the state level, and consequently we must give local voters the tools to decide if they want to support these special and vital community centers,” said Helen McAlary, President of the California Library Association. “That is why the California Library Association strongly supports, and is sponsoring, SCA 3 by Senator Bill Dodd.”

California’s 1,114 public libraries are used by nearly 22 million registered borrowers. According to the California State Library, there are nearly 160 million library visits each year. The California Library Association conducted a needs assessment in 2016 to determine the construction and renovation requirements for public libraries throughout the state.  The assessment found a staggering $4.1 billion in needs.  Projects range from seismic retrofits, to ADA compliance, to the addition of more space to meet growing demand.

Dodd’s library measure follows his introduction of Senate Bill 135 in January to add media literacy education to our state’s school curriculum.

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Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa Counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd