Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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The Borrowers rejoice

Well, Chicken Corner sure was happy today to be flying back to a city that had a public library with books you could borrow for free. The news, of course came a couple of days ago: the effort to install a $1 borrow fee for books you really wanted (i.e., the ones you asked for, or "put on hold") was put on hold indefinitely.

A new group/website called Save LAPL made it happen right quick. Put together by Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, uses open source software donated to the world by Howard Dean's former campaign. Information does, indeed, want to be free.

From their press release:

In the week leading up to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's 2008-09 budget announcement, a grassroots group of book lovers, L.A. historians, librarians and free-software activists came quickly together as in a last minute push to stop a misguided plan to implement a $1-per-book loan fee for all inter-branch library requests. Not quite one week and 875 impassioned emails to the Mayor later, the proposal was taken off the table in a stunning victory for those who believe, as Benjamin Franklin did, that the Public Library must remain FREE for all citizens.

My hope is that, like the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park, which was founded in the 1960s, Save LAPL will stay active beyond the current crises.

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