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Public [Dis]service Message: Regular People Use Library Computers for Internet EVERY DAY!
Beverly Hills Public Library is open seven days a week. Some spaces are exclusively for public internet use. No books on these shelves. | Photo by Andy Sternberg/LAist
LA Public Libraries are closed on Sundays and Mondays due to unruly budget cuts. This includes the historic Central Library - a downtown landmark and one of the largest libraries in the country - in addition to all 70+ LAPL branches. Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Burbank patrons can access their library's resources 7 days a week.
How do we fix this? LA City Council President Eric Garcetti told me last month (in a Twitter reply) that the library cuts signify about $10 million in savings for the city "...and I am working to see if this 15% cut can be mitigated as soon as economy/receipts pick up."
This is an issue that should irritate everyone who feels part of the community as it affects, education, jobs, and the digital divide, not to mention the amount of waste contributed to people who are forced to buy new books because the library is closed on their day off.
As long as our elected officials are corrupting our tax dollars for personal and professional gain, we should not allow them to take away our communities' most precious resources (a far more valuable allocation of taxes, dontcha think?). This shouldn't require a costly amendment that, if passed, would add a $39 parcel tax to our plate.
Most of us (reading this now) sit in an office all day and have relatively unlimited access to anything we want while we sell/study/teach/direct/produce/arrest/compute. But everybody's got a close friend who has lost their job/house/car/mind as a result of this shitty economy. Look at the photo above. There are no longer books on those shelves, replaced by a row of computer stations, packed with people checking their email, searching for jobs, reading LAist and otherwise using a high-speed broadband internet-connected computer -- free of charge.
Where else can you do that?