June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Op-Ed Yes on Measure L

On March 8, please vote yes on Measure L for our children, our families and our libraries.
As City Librarian, each of us had the good fortune to work with all of the communities throughout the City of Los Angeles to build or renovate neighborhood libraries and to expand library services and hours. Neighborhood libraries are at the heart of each community because of you — the people who use and support them. The knowledge, commitment and concerns of the residents of Los Angeles have been essential in the success of our libraries.
Last year at this time, our neighborhood libraries were open 6 days per week, Monday –Saturday, and the Central and regional libraries were open 7 days, Monday-Sunday. Libraries were open morning, afternoons and evenings. There were 17 million visitors to the Los Angeles Public Library in one year. But all of that has changed.
In July 2010, library hours were slashed as a result of major cuts in the Library’s budget. Now, libraries are only open 5 days per week and many morning and evening hours have been eliminated. Students who need to study on Monday have no place to go. Children who have regularly come to the library in the evenings after their parents come home for work have no place to go. And going to the library on Sunday is no longer an option.
Our neighborhood libraries help educate our children, provide a safe haven to improve their study skills and receive free online tutoring. They help people find work –writing resumes and applying for jobs online, offer computer instruction classes and adult literacy.
Please help us restore 6 day a week service at our neighborhood libraries next year, followed by 7 day service at nine libraries in subsequent years.
Measure L is NOT a tax. It will not ask residents or property owners to pay more taxes or fees.
Measure L is a Charter Amendment. The City Charter has required since 1878 that a percentage of the assessed tax value on property be dedicated to library funding. This is only the 6th time in 132 years that voters are being asked to approve a small, incremental increase in the Library’s share of existing funds. The increase will provide the funds to restore 6 and 7-day library services.
Measure L will enable the Los Angeles Public Library including your neighborhood branches, to have long-term sustainable funding. Libraries will be open more days and more hours; the library’s budget for books and electronic resources will improve, and staff will be there to assist you and your families.

by Fontayne Holmes and Susan Kent
Fontayne Holmes, City Librarian 2004-2008 Susan Kent, City Librarian 1995-2004

in News
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