Letters to the Editor

As president of the SF Library Commission I couldn't disagree more with Mr. Warfield's opinion essay in the October issue of your paper.

San Franciscans know the importance of their library system and have supported it in a way that is the envy of most places. In November, Proposition D will once again ask the voters of San Francisco to renew their support for their public library system.

The passage of Proposition D will continue the trend established with the passage of Proposition E in 1994 - more books, more computers and more hours throughout the branches. This will ensure the continued success of a library system experiencing what could be accurately described as a golden age. In addition to extraordinary programs, services and materials, library facilities are being rejuvenated to become authentic venues for the community.

The passage of Prop. A in 2000, along with successful applications for state funding, has made possible the delivery of much improved library facilities to each and every neighborhood.

Proposition D will allow the library to utilize available reserve dollars to complete the ongoing Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP) - without affecting the funding for library operations and without raising taxes.

Why support libraries? Apart from the fact that they are the most democratic of civic places, available to everyone, providing invaluable education and information that enrich the lives of our fellow residents, they contribute in real ways to the viability and vitality of the City.

Libraries are also places of hope. Cities are places that can diminish the ambitions of the young because of the harshness present in too many neighborhoods. Having a place where children and youth can go to expand their horizons and explore the possibilities that are within their reach is not just a good idea, but essential to the well-being of all.

Proposition D has collected endorsements from the SF Chronicle, SF Examiner and the Bay Guardian, and from various and diverse groups in San Francisco, including the Small Business Network, Golden Gate Business Association, Sunset Community Democratic Club and Richmond District Democratic Club. These organizations recognize what current library users already know, and what most San Franciscans appreciate - that the City's public library system is an essential institution that helps maintain the unique fabric of our neighborhoods.

I for one hope you will support the measure on Election Day.
Charles Higueras, President, SF Library Commission

As a grassroots organization with thousands of San Francisco members committed to supporting the wonderful work of the SF Public Library, we'd like to share with your readers the overwhelming support that Proposition D has received from political and community leaders and associations.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, State senators Carole Migden and Leland Yee, state assemblymembers Mark Leno and Fiona Ma, and nine of the 11 city supervisors, plus many more, all support Prop D.

To date, more than 30 organizations have endorsed the measure, including the SF Democratic Party, SF Chamber of Commerce, SF Planning and Urban Research Association, United Educators of San Francisco, SF Labor Council, Police Officers Association, and the Golden Gate Business Association.

The near universal support for Prop. D speaks volumes about the confidence San Franciscans have in the ballot measure as a solution to our need for books and materials as well as safe, state-of-the-art libraries for our diverse neighborhoods.
Donna Bero Executive director, Friends of the SF Public Library