How We Got Here

Option 05


  • Miami-Dade Public Library System awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community

Library Budget — $ 72.8 million
Funds in Reserves — $ 70 million
Library taxing district millage rate — 0.3842


  • New branches open and older branches are upgraded in accordance with the 13-year capital plan approved by the Board of County Commission in 2002

Library Budget — $ 76.6 million
Funds in Reserves — $ 76 million
Library taxing district millage rate — 0.3822


  • Materials and equipment circulated reaches a high of 9,224,050
  • Library visits reach 23,026.231

Library Budget — $ 77.8 million
Funds in Reserves — $ 72.2 million
Library millage rate — 0.3822


  • Revenues cut $14 million by County government
  • The free Science, Math, and Reading Tutoring Program (SMART), that provided 29,000 hours of academic support a year is eliminated
  • The materials budget is reduced in half from $3.1 million to $1.6 million
  • Sunday hours cut
  • All branches operating schedules cut back 8-12 hours per week, limiting evening hours, and closing small and medium branches an extra day
  • 150 full-time and 100 part-time employees dismissed
  • Fees increased for all services
  • Fines doubled for all late items
  • Many library services reduced to the public
  • Renewal of technology systems and new projects placed on hold

Library Budget – $ 63.5 million
Funds in Reserves — $ 55.6 million
Library millage rate — 0.2840


  • Revenues cut an additional $13 million by County government
  • Two out of four library bookmobiles are taken off the road and regular neighborhood stops dwindle from 48 to 28 with further cuts likely
  • Staff reductions makes the recruitment and training of volunteers for the adult literacy program unmanageable, rendering the program almost entirely unavailable to the 250,000 adults who need it
  • Staff reductions and attrition shrinks the JumpStart program that provides story time starter kits and training to child care centers due to lack of promotion and outreach and reduced funding for new books
  • The Reading Ready program teaching parents and caregivers six essential literacy skills for children ceases to operate in all branches due to staff reductions and funding cuts for materials
  • No technology renewals, upgrades or enhancements
  • Positions lost to attrition are left unfilled

Library Budget — $ 50 million
Funds in Reserves — $ 36.8 million
Library millage rate — 0.1795


  • Materials circulation falls to 6,143,818
  • Library visits drop to 17,487,653
  • Moratorium placed on all spending
  • Hiring freeze ordered

Library Budget — $ 51,141,000
Funds in Reserves — $16,469,000
Library millage rate — 0.1725


  • Mayor Carlos Gimenez announces the closure of 22 of Miami-Dade County’s 49 Library Branches including: California Club, Opa-locka, Golden Glades, Civic Center Kiosk, Lemon City, Little River, Model City, Culmer, North Shore, Shenandoah, South Shore, Fairlawn, Virrick Park, Country Walk, Concord, Sunset, Lakes of the Meadow, Tamiami, West Kendall Regional, Doral, Hialeah Gardens and Palm Springs North
  • A public outcry in opposition to the closures reverses the Mayor’s decision and the Board of County Commissioners directs that the Library System continue operations at all existing Branch locations through the use of reserves in the Library Fund
  • All Branches remain open with restricted operating hours and drastically reduced services
  • New materials budget is down to $ 1 million, down from almost seven times that amount in 2007
  • Mayor Gimenez convenes a Blue Ribbon Taskforce to Study the Future of Miami-Dade Public Library System
  • Blue Ribbon Taskforce members conclude that no libraries should be closed; Service increases should be instituted in FY 2014-15 and beyond; Innovations and reinvestment in the Library System is declared essential for the 21st century

Library Budget — $52 million (including $20 million from prior non-recurring reserves)
Funds in Reserves — $0
Library millage rate — 0.1725


Based upon the work of the Blue Ribbon Taskforce, the Miami-Dade Public Library Advisory Board and Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library recommend a $64 million budget for the Library System for fiscal year 2014-15.

A Coalition to Save Our Libraries is formed and is calling on Miami-Dade County Commissioners to set a millage rate that would restore the Library budget to $64 million to properly serve the community.

The recommended $64 million budget was rejected by the Miami-Dade County Commission on July 15, 2014 in favor of a compromise $54 million budget to avert further service cuts and layoffs, increase the materials and technology budget, and expand operating hours at some locations. This was finalized on Sept. 18, reversing the recent trend of repeated cutbacks and begins a rebuilding process.