A bill that helps protect local libraries was passed by the Legislature and is headed for Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
Librarian members of SEIU 521 lobbied in Sacramento for the bill, which ensures that privatized local libraries must live up to the same standards we expect from our public libraries.
As librarian Cindy Singer of Hacienda Heights put it:
“Libraries are a treasured part of our communities. Whatever your views about private versus public control, we can all agree that libraries are too important to get wrong.
“That’s why California’s public librarians are cheering the passage of AB 438 (Williams) today. It not only protects libraries as treasured and central parts of our communities, it protects taxpayers and the library patrons as local governments consider privatization.
“The financial pressures created by the state’s stubborn recession have created an opening for corporations to persuade cash-strapped cities to privatize essential public services like libraries. Often, however, communities learn too late about unanticipated costs and reduced services.
“AB 438 holds private corporations that want to get into the business of serving the public accountable to the public for achieving savings and for maintaining library quality.
“Library patrons young and old and taxpayers deserve nothing less. We call on the Governor to sign AB 438 and keep our libraries strong.”