Promises Made, Promises Kept

By Ann Miller

Libraries in Solano County are gearing up for a series of events featuring free family entertainment, under the theme “Promises Made, Promises Kept,” to celebrate the 1/8th of a penny sales tax that has helped support the county’s libraries since 1998.


The 0.125% tax was first approved in 1998 with 68% of the vote, with promises that the increased funding would be spent on books and other library materials, extending library hours and increasing programs for youth.  During the recession library leaders kept those promises even in the face of crippling declines in revenue. “We did what we said we were going to do. Even during the recession when our income dropped by 25% we maintained our hours and collection and continued to offer free programs for all ages.” 


In 2012 residents voted to extend the tax by an overwhelming 80% majority.


How do the changes made possible by the 1/8th of a penny stack up? Solano County Library branches are open 125% more hours, from 199 each week in 1998 to the current schedule of 448 hours a week.  


The budget for books, DVDs, magazines and digital resources such as streaming movies, ebooks, online magazines, and “on-demand” tutors has increased by 207%, from $432,000 in 1998 to the current budget of $1,328,248. 


Library branches offer 159% more programs for youth, from 895 programs in 1998 to 2324 this year.  These programs include story times every day of the week, science and engineering programs for older children, museum passes, free tutoring and after-school teen programs. “We are grateful to Solano residents for their ongoing support, by using their libraries and voting for them. It’s amazing what a fraction of a penny can do,” said Katz. 



Free programs to celebrate Promises Made, Promises Kept: 


Dance Around the World

Sing, laugh, and dance your way around the world with Nikola Clay.

Wed, Jan 11, 3:30 p.m.,  Fairfield Civic Center Library, 1150 Kentucky St, Fairfield, CA 94533.

Thu, Jan 12, 3:30 p.m., Suisun City Library, 601 Pintail Dr, Suisun City, CA 94585


Magical Moonshine Theater-The Puppet Man

Enjoy this unique experience as puppets and audience respond to each other to create the play together.

Thu, Jan 12, 6 p.m., Rio Vista Library, 44 S 2nd St, Rio Vista, CA 94571


Traveling Reptile Show from the East Bay Vivarium

Reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids- meet them all! 

Sat, Jan 14, 3 p.m.

Springstowne Library,1003 Oakwood Avenue Vallejo, CA 9459


Old Time Radio Theatre

All are welcome for an evening reminiscence of early radio shows from the 1920s to the 1940s.  

Light refreshments too.

Tue, Jan 17, 6:30 p.m., Vacaville Public Library-Town Square, 1 Town Square Pl, Vacaville, CA 95688


The Hipwaders: A Live Band for the Whole Family

Sat, Jan 21, 11 a.m.,  Fairfield Cordelia Library, 5050 Business Center Dr. Fairfield, CA 94556


Birds of Prey with the California Raptor Center

Meet real live birds of prey that have been rescued from the wild.

Tue, Jan 24, 3:30 p.m., Vacaville Public Library-Cultural Center, 1020 Ulatis Drive Vacaville, CA 95687


Dirty Cello

Don't miss this energetic interpretation of blues, bluegrass, and rock.

Sat, Jan 28, 3 p.m., John F. Kennedy Library, 505 Santa Clara St, Vallejo, CA 94590




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