Saving the Los Angeles Public Library

March 4, 2010 at 8:56 am 2 comments

Despite optimistic reports of an economic upturn in the USA, the country is still mired in a recession. In bad economic times, people often spend more time at the public library, taking advantage of the free services such as book lending, internet access, and reference books for finding new jobs. Yet the mayor of Los Angeles has proposed massive cuts to the city’s public library system which would close branches, reduce hours, slash jobs, and stop the acquisition of new books.

The librarians are fighting back, naturally, with words:

Before I moved away from Los Angeles, I went to the Central Library and/or Pico Union branch at least once a week. Those libraries saved me at least $2000 a year in book buying expenditures at a time in my life when I was an Americorps volunteer, and then later on, an entry-level social worker. Over the four and a half years that I lived in L.A., there were so many changes in the system that made my life even better as a library patron: email notifications/reminders, website improvements, faster interlibrary deliveries, and self-service check-outs. To this day I consider the L.A. library system my gold standard–a beautiful mix of academic and popular texts, with a warm and welcoming environment that made going to branches a real pleasure. I can now say that I’ve been a library patron at NYU, Columbia University, New York City and Guam public systems–and none can compare with the ease of use that is the beacon of L.A.’s. Truly, the L.A. public library system is a treasure; I only understand now how significant a good public library system will be in my future decisions regarding where I live. That’s due in no small part to the many hours of joy that the L.A. public system brought to me.

Marie Auyong
Pico Union, Central Library

Visit for the latest news on the campaigns to persuade the mayor to reconsider the budget cuts to the library system there.


Entry filed under: Public Libraries.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kean  |  March 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    The library is a valuable resource and in some ways it can boost the economy via instructional books. It also enables people to relax after a long stressful day.

    • 2. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  March 5, 2010 at 7:11 am

      Good point, Kean. Our own library has a newly inaugurated Happy Corner where students can relax on bean bag chairs and play board games.


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