As Kevin Roderick posted on the main page of LAObserved this afternoon, it looks like the mayor's office made its move today, sending out pink slips, which apparently include library messengers and librarians. None of the cuts are welcome, but reductions in force at the public libraries are particularly hard to swallow.
In the midst of this ugly news, it's welcome to know that the very refined folks at Esotouric have donned their Save LAPL capes again: They were instrumental a couple of years ago in preventing the city from charging you a dollar to reserve a library book. At this moment they have made it easier for library advocates to be heard. Their not-so-secret weapon -- an effective web site -- can fill you in further.
In the meantime, from their press release:
As the city faces the biggest financial crisis in decades, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council have some tough decisions to make. The city's libraries are on the chopping block along with other services, which is why a previously successful grassroots community website, SaveLAPL.org, has come back online to again allow concerned citizens, with a single click, to email the Mayor and every member of City Council voicing their support for keeping libraries open and staffed with qualified professionals.
SaveLAPL founder Kim Cooper says, "The last time we mobilized SaveLAPL to protect the library, the outpouring of community support made a big impact on City Council. Bernard Parks got up to say he couldn't check his email without bring overwhelmed with messages from passionate library fans, and he definitely was getting the message. So we're calling on the community to once again visit SaveLAPL.org and with one easy click send their email supporting LA's public libraries to Mayor Villaraigosa and all members of City Council. Show them that you care!"
I was in the Silver Lake branch library a couple of days ago. The place was packed with all kinds of people. It felt like a very quiet, indoor town square. It's a gorgeous facility, and people clearly feel good using it -- a perfect example of "build it, and they will come." Keep it staffed, and it will be used -- and loved.
That said, I can't think of any L.A. Library I have ever visited that wasn't brimming with visitors. Them libraries is important places to have around.