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- 04-18-2008, 11:45 AM #1
- Join Date
- May 2007
$1-a-Book Reserve Fee Urged for L.A. Libraries
Looks like L.A. is trying to stomp out literacy!
$1-a-book reserve fee urged for L.A. libraries
By Kerry Cavanaugh, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 04/17/2008 11:48:52 PM PDT
In a sign of the increases Angelenos will face as the city grapples with a massive budget crunch, the Los Angeles Public Library is proposing a $1 fee to have a book transferred between branches.
The fee is one of several new charges and increases that could take effect July 1 to help the public library system cope with budget cuts brought on by the city's $406 million deficit.
Already, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has said he will seek to raise residents' trash fees this summer to pay for more police officers.
But the proposed $1 fee has riled library users, who have watched book collections dwindle in their branches and have come to rely on the interbranch transfer system that allows users to search the book catalog, reserve a book and have it delivered to their local library in a few days.
"When I heard about the $1 fee, I just flipped," said Kim Cooper, who started Save the L.A. Public Library with her husband, Richard Schave, to urge Villaraigosa to reject the reserve fee.
As a writer, researcher and tour guide on L.A. history, Cooper said her local branch library in Lincoln Heights has a limited selection of books and she relies on the transfer system for studying and leisure reading.
"I remember being an incredibly bookish kid in Hollywood and ordering books from all over the system. The last thing you want to do is start charging fees to kids," she said. "This hits the people who can afford it the least, the hardest."
But Peter Persic, public information director for the Los Angeles Public Library, said the library is under pressure from the mayor and City Council to cut spending and raise fees to help with the budget shortfall this coming year.
"It's such a difficult decision and difficult choice to make," he said. "The challenge the library faces is that we're really committed to trying to keep the library and its resources as accessible as possible for everyone while meeting the city mandate to increase fees to defray this huge budget deficit."
The library system has already had to slash its book-buying budget from $11.4million to $8.8million over the past year.
After the department was ordered to cut its budget by 5percent earlier this year, the library also had to stop buying books from February through June.
In addition to the reserve fee, the library has proposed charging a one-time $25 fee for noncity residents who want an L.A. library card, and raising fees for duplicating photos in the library archives and using library meeting rooms.
Record service demand
Last year, users requested 1.5 million book holds. Persic said the library doesn't know how much the $1 reserve fee would generate because people would likely cut back on the number of books they reserve.
But the fee hike also would come as the library system is seeing record demand for services. Last year, the library's 72 locations served 16 million people, and 15 million people checked out books.
When the economy declines and residents watch their wallets more closely, library use increases even more.
Julia Esteves, a student who relies on the library to save money on pricey textbooks, said she doesn't like the idea of paying $1 to reserve a book.
"People don't have money. That's why they come to the library. If they had money, they would buy the books," Esteves said Thursday outside the Central Library, where she was studying.
Cooper said she's hoping to persuade the mayor and council that the library can raise money in other ways. She points to the New York Public Library, which sells high-quality, framed prints from its photo archives and offers fee-based research services for people with reference questions.
Villaraigosa's office is now considering the fee, which was tentatively approved by the Board of Library Commissioners to take effect July 1.
The Mayor's Office did not return calls for comment. If the mayor approves the fee, the library commission would hold a public hearing.
http://www.dailynews.com/breakingnews/c ... -delicious
- 04-18-2008, 11:52 AM #2
There goes Villar, head still buried so far up his anus again!
Gotta tax the citizens more to pay for his criminal aliens, never mind that his criminal aliens keep taking more and more, while citizens get hit up for more and more money. Keep going until you hit the brick wall, Villar, it's coming up fast!"If you love our nation, STOP illegal immigration!"
- 04-18-2008, 11:55 AM #3
Thank the Lord that our mayor is nothing like LA's.Work Harder Millions on Welfare Depend on You!
- 04-18-2008, 12:17 PM #4
Antonio, listen good. Here's a sure way to save massive amounts of money and get back in the black - CUT ALL ILLEGAL BENEFITS TO ILLEGAL ALIENS!
What is going on Mr Mayor, why are you dancing around the subject?
Pretty suspiscious to me.