Help Restore Days at Phoenix Public Libraries

What Can I Do?

In 2010, the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library successfully led this community in fighting the outright closure of 6 of our libraries. In 2012, we won restoration of evening hours for the 8 busiest libraries in our system. This year, it’s time to open every library, every day.

About Phoenix Public Library (2017/2018)

  • 17 library locations
  • 2 libraries open 7 days per week
  • 11 closed 1 day per week
  • 4 closed 2 days per week 
  • Over 200,000 children in early literacy and reading programs were given a better chance at succeeding in school
  • Over 11,000 individuals received assistance in completing high school equivalency, college admittance, and financial aid applications from College Depot advisors
  • Over 30,000 children and teens attended STE/AM (Science, Technology, Engineering/Arts, Mathematics) and coding programs.
  • Connected over 10,000 job seekers to career resources.
  • Provided over 21,000 healthy meals to hungry children through Kids Café.
  • Provided over 800,000 hours of computer & internet access.
  • 3.3 million patrons visited library branches
  • 11.3 million items circulated

About Literacy

  • Only 79% of local 3rd graders are reading proficiently (Source: ReadOn Arizona) and one major marker of success is access to literacy materials, such as in libraries
  • The Arizona Department of Education found that students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school and that 90 percent of high school dropouts struggled with reading in third grade.
  • Children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves. (Source: ProLiteracy)
  • Parents of low-income families are often unable to afford early childcare. Specifically, 62 percent of children ages 3 to 4 in Arizona were not enrolled in preschool in 2016. Free programs like Preschool Prep & Kindergarten Bootcamp, provided by our libraries, are essential to such families.
  • Millions of children have never been read a bedtime story. The single greatest indicator of a child’s future success is the literacy level of his/her parents. (Source: ProLiteracy)
  • Arizona students in grades 4 and 8 perform below the “proficient reading line” compared to the national average (Source: Literacy Partners)
  • Only 37% of students graduate high school at or above reading proficiency. (Source: Reading is Fundamental)
  • 75% of state prison inmates did not complete high school and are classified as low literate. (Source: ProLiteracy)
  • Low literacy adds an estimated $230 million to the country’s annual health care costs. (Source: ProLiteracy)
  • Individuals at the lowest level of literacy have a higher rate of unemployment than the national average. (Source: ProLiteracy)
  • Individuals at the lowest literacy and numeracy levels have a higher rate of unemployment and earn lower wages than the national average. Low literacy costs the U.S. at least $225 billion each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment. (Source: ProLiteracy)
  • According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 80 percent of fourth-graders from low-income families don’t read proficiently. Access to free literacy materials, like those provided in libraries, are essential to such families.
  • 93 million American adults read at or below basic literacy levels. Basic literacy skills do NOT include basic tasks such as identifying a specific location on a map or comprehending nutritional information on food labels – these tasks are designated as average or higher. (Source: Reading is Fundamental, National Center for Education Statistics)
  • Poor literacy affects impacts nearly every aspect of life, including social and civic participation, earning potential, even health. (Source: Literacy Partners)

If the City can keep the doors open, the community can help support programs & services. Consider giving a gift or joining the Friends of the Library. Any amount, no matter the size, will be put directly to supporting library programs & services.

Click here to donate

Click here to join

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