How DPLFF Supports a Strong Library

Some people feel they shouldn’t have to do anything more to have a high-quality library than pay taxes. We agree that, ideally, tax revenue should cover this essential service.

Yet, in Denver at the current time, tax revenue isn’t enough to fund the level of library services that Denverites need and demand.

Here’s how the library gets its funding. The library receives an annual appropriation from the City and County of Denver’s General Fund, which in turn is funded chiefly by a percentage of your property and sales taxes. This means that the library competes for these scarce funds with other essential city services like health care, sanitation and police.

Percent of City General Fund Budget
Since 2003, the percentage of funding appropriated to the library has shrunk while community needs have grown.

Today, Denver Public Library’s per capita allocation from your tax dollars ranks among the lowest compared to other local or comparable library systems. However, the Denver Public Library’s circulation and annual visitors rank among the highest.

This is why the Friends Foundation exists! We transform donations to bridge the gap between what the library could provide if it relied only on tax revenue and the phenomenal programs and services it does provide for the Denver metro region.

Your help makes the difference! Support for the Library Fund enables the library to provide programs like Read Aloud (a literacy program), Summer of Adventure, and Cultural Inclusivity (services to immigrants and refugees). These programs are funded mostly by private support of library customers and contributors.

Get involved! To learn more about supporting the library, see our How to Help page.