Save LAPL Campaign Protests $1-Per-Book Fee Proposed For Los Angeles Public Library
WHAT: SaveLAPL.org site launched to stop Mayor Villaraigosa's Proposed$1-Per-Book Fee and to restore the frozen book buying budget
WHEN: Launched on April 14, 20008, first day of National Library Week Grassroots preservation campaign - http:// www.savelapl.org
Supporting documents and FAQ - http://www.savelapl.org/faq
As the city faces the biggest financial crisis in decades, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is completing his 2008-09 budget for approval by City Council. And unless the public speaks up now, the LA Public Library, already barred from buying new books since a February spending freeze, will soon begin charging a prohibitive $1-per-book loan fee for any book requested from another branch. With the launch of the SaveLAPL website, thousands of Library users are first learning about the threat and telling Mayor Villaraigosa they want him to keep the Library free.
April 14-19 is National Library Week, so it's the perfect time to talk about the crisis facing one of the nation's great public libraries. Last year LAPL served 16 million patrons at its 71 branch libraries, many borrowing books that were shipped from other branches. Starting July 1st this free service could become too expensive for many LA families to afford.
In the March 20 Board of Library Commissioners meeting at City Hall, Commissioner Rita Walters moved to approve the 2008 Fines and Fee Schedule, which will add a $1-per-book fee for all inter-branch loans starting July 1. Such charges are considered necessary because the Library has lost so much of its funding. But such a fee will be disastrous to the thousands of families, elderly people, students and scholars who rely on the offerings of a free public library to feed their minds.
The SaveLAPL.org web site was launched by Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, the newlywed L.A. writers and social historians behind Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog. This is their third preservation campaign following successful campaigns to Save the 76 Ball and to have writer Charles Bukowski's East Hollywood bungalow named a historic-cultural monument. Now they turn their organizing efforts to protecting the Library they grew up in and still use constantly in their daily life and work.
Launched late in the evening of April 14, www.savelapl.org has already gathered the support of thousands of library users and community organizers,who are sharing the URL on message boards and community web sites and using the site to send their urgent messages to the Mayor. The message is clear: keep the Library free!