Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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The borrowers adrift?

Subject line: Re: Is LA Library going to charge for holds? A solid wall of it in my in box, off a neighborhood list serve. Message after message in agreement and in distress over a new library commission effort to cut its budget/raise revenue. Thus, I learned that the "Los Angeles Public Library is going to charge $1 for all books that are put on hold and transported from another library, and that they're shortening the period you can have a book from 3 weeks to 2 weeks" -- if this information is correct. One thing I know is true: the mention of the fee raised hackles immediately. I could practically hear groans and screaming before I even clicked on the first message, and with good reason: the Edendale Library of Echo Park, which most of the message writers use, is a new library, and a fairly small one, with limited shelf space and a spotty permanent collection. Which is not to say the place isn't buzzing with use. I go there frequently, and it's always busy. A dollar might not seem like a lot, but as one list-server pointed out, it can be prohibitive for a family with several children or even just one child with a research paper that requires several books. And it violates the principle of public library books being loaned free of charge.

There also was news of a freeze on book purchases.

One person wrote:

In a meeting last night of the Edendale Library Friends (ELFS) the head librarian said there is a freeze on book purchases, paper, mylar book covers, and much more. Even money the Friends gave the Edendale library last year to buy books was appropiated by the city.

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