Humboldt County cooperates with other local governments to provide library services. Branch Library communities may provide and maintain the library facility, while the County Library supplies the staff, library materials, and services. Some cities provide added funding to make sure their citizens have the library services they need and want. Friends of the Library groups and the Humboldt Library Foundation play a key role in fund-raising for library materials and projects.
Library revenues come primarily from property taxes. Less than 1% of the County budget goes to the Library. The Library also receives small amounts of State and Federal funds, and some fees, fines and gifts. The Library actively seeks grants to support basic and enhanced operations and services, and benefits from community fundraising efforts.
Below, you can find resources to advocate for your library.
If you'd like to voice your support for libraries in your community, in our county, or in our state and nation, call or write to your elected officials at any level and let them know what you think.
To find the people who represent you, enter your address in the 'Find Your Elected Officials' tool from the League of Women Voters. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors decides what local funds are provided to libraries, but your representatives in California and the United States government also make important votes for and against funding for libraries.
To learn and share more about the benefits California libraries bring to their communities, read this 2021 report. You can also watch Libraries Benefit Everyone on YouTube. And there's an interesting take on how to estimate and communicate the value of public libraries here, based on studies of Maine libraries.
The Humboldt Library Foundation
The Humboldt Library Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps to provide stable long-term funding support for library needs. Donors who wish to help the Humboldt County Library in the long term can make donations of any size toward the Foundation's goals of improving library service, expanding the use of technology, and sponsoring cultural and educational programs in the libraries.
The Friends of the Redwood Libraries is a vigorous volunteer organization that strives to provide support for all the libraries in the Humboldt County System. Also, most branch libraries have their own 'Friends' groups dedicated to raising extra funds for their specific branch location. Money raised by the Friends' book sales, online book sales, the Serendipity Bookstore, and other activities is a significant source of revenue for books and materials.