Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Crusading Against the Public Library's Proposed $1 Fee



The folks who helped save the 76 gas station balls now have their sights set on the Los Angeles Public Library.

Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, who are behind Esotouric bus adventures
and the 1947project time travel blog, are leading a crusade against the proposed $1 fee for books that must be shipped in from other branches.

At SaveLAPL.com, Cooper and Schave argue that the $1 fee would be "disastrous to the thousands of families, elderly people, students and scholars who rely on the offerings of a free public library to feed their minds."

From the Save LAPL folks:

As the city faces the biggest financial crisis in decades, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is completing his 2008-09 budget for approval by City Council. And unless the public speaks up now, the LA Public Library, already barred from buying new books since a February spending freeze, will soon begin charging a prohibitive $1-per-book loan fee for any book requested from another branch. With the launch of the SaveLAPL website, thousands of Library users are first learning about the threat and telling Mayor Villaraigosa they want him to keep the Library free.

The group notes that April 14-19 is National Library Week.

I'm torn on this issue; with the massive budget cuts across the state, something's gotta give -- and a $1 fee for the LAPL to transport books from one branch to another doesn't sound unreasonable, given how desperate the library is for money.

But I also am concerned about the precedent. How depressing that things have come to this. Your thoughts?

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