The library is a place of books, but not only books can be found in a library. You can find peace and quiet, a place to go after school, but the most important thing that you can find in a library are friends. These friends that I am talking about are the library staff. If you need help finding a book, they are there. If you are feeling down and need someone friendly to talk to, they are there. And the more you get to know them, the more you realize that they are REALLY GREAT PEOPLE. These are people that work hard to make a library the WONDERFUL place that it is. Now, if 160 of these great people lose their jobs, the library will not be the same. As these people lose their jobs, smiling faces that you come to the library to see won't be there anymore. Also, on top of that another full day will be taken away from the days that the library is open. Is it really worth it to take away all of this?! The smiling faces, a welcoming place to go, and another day off the library's remaining open hours?! I think not but it is up to you in the end. But before you say yes or no about laying off 160 people, please think about the faces and the sense of hopelessness a person feels when they are "let go." About how their family and/or kids must feel when they learn about what happened. So please, reconsider laying off 160 great people, so all of this suffering doesn't have to happen. Thank you.
Cameron L., 13, Hesby Oaks School
Local Library: Encino-Tarzana
The library is a great place for people of all ages, no matter what their interests are. To me, the library is the place where I study and read for fun. I get all of the books I need for school here; it's much more convenient than buying them and the teen section has editions of books with built-in study guides. This is also where I get all of the books I read for fun. The library has a great selection of books and I love coming here to look for new books to read. I am a volunteer here. I do it not just to get community service hours, but also because I like this library and I want to help them out. There is always work to be done here so they need all the help they can get. This library also has lots of workshops for teens in the Community Room. Some of them help with school and some of them are just for fun. These events help teens coming to the library and they make it a fun place to be. Anyone who wants to make kids these days read more should know that the best way to do that is to keep the library available to everyone and teen-friendly.
Tilly S., 16, Taft High School
Local Library: Encino-Tarzana
During financial tough times, it always seems to be the impulse of those in power to cut services to those who need them most - the poor, the young and old, the disabled. Los Angeles needs to prove that we have our priorities straight. We need to fully fund the services that that nourish, educate, and enrich every person in this city, for free, regardless of where they live, whether they can vote, or what their income is. If we invest with wisdom, compassion, and courage in our young people, we will all reap the benefits when those children come of age. Our libraries must not be allowed to languish; the citizens of Los Angeles need them more than ever.
Children's Services, Central Library
I am a librarian who has worked for Los Angeles Public Library for eleven years. I have worked primarily in branches on the Westside but have been working at a South Los Angeles branch for a year and a half. I have lived in Mar Vista for over 25 years.
The branch where I currently work is much more than a library; it serves as a community center. There are no YMCAs, no safe parks, no Boys and Girls Clubs nearby. Our library is one of the few locations in the neighborhood where families, youth and children can gather in a safe place.
Many of our patrons do not have their own computers and come to our library to use ours so they can look for and apply for jobs and use our word processing to do resumes and school papers.
We guide mothers to board books to read to their toddlers, find books on required reading lists for schoolchildren and locate materials to help high school and college students write their reports. We show all ages how to access the databases available through our website so they can find information on any topic.
Classes from neighborhood schools and preschools visit the library, we read books to them and tell them about the library: that anyone in Los Angeles can get a library card and borrow our books, magazines, audio books, compact discs and DVDs for free.
We provide free programs for all age groups, ranging from holiday programs for children, book clubs for adults and Boys to Men and Girls Etiquette Workshops for teens.
I don't understand why the Mayor has singled out the Library Dept. for such drastic cuts. Our branch was open 52 hours per week six months ago but had to cut back to 48 hours due to mandatory furlough hours. We will be down to 2.5 FTE librarians in a couple of weeks with no prospect of filling our vacancies. And one of our librarians may be a potential layoff candidate -- she's been with the City for less than three years. Where will the children go when our doors are closed?
Local Library: Hyde Park Miriam Matthews Branch
I grew up to become a successful author because I was exposed to books and reading from an early age and part of that was weekly visits to the library where I told my mother I wanted, "Piles and piles of books, Mom!" (Pronounced with the lisp of a child's overbite). I read when I was lonely, happy, sad, in need of comfort and inspiration. Books and writing have literally saved my life when I was broken-hearted from loss. I can't imagine what I 'd do without them. The L.A. library is more than a marvellous place for people to get books and meet and study and find community. It is a symbol of much is what is beautiful and important about our city and our world. So much is going electronic; we hardly even leave our homes. We are isolated enough. To be deprived of the comfort of a library full of books to take us anywhere and connect us to anyone is unthinkable. Please save our library!
Francesca Lia Block
Libraries are havens.
I am a Los Angeles author and books are my life. I have been very involved with the fantastic branches of the LAPL over the past few years. I have organized city wide multi branch readings with fellow young adult authors as part of Teen Read Week in conjunction with the fabulous teen librarians at Central and other local branches. I have done workshops and readings for teen councils with the help of the fantastic YA librarians. I'm doing one this Saturday at the Sherman Oaks branch. (Come on down!)
You can even see my words quoted on the wall of the new Silver Lake Library.
I have served on the LAPL FOCAL award committee as a judge and while I was a proud volunteer at Mayberry Elementary School in Echo Park for 9 years where I did read aloud and literacy, I got all of the picture books that I read to the kids at the Los Feliz and Edendale Libraries. I was helped by the very knowledgeable librarians. Children and YA librarians have the knowhow and savvy to put the right book in the right kids hands. I would hate to see any of them lose their jobs. I would hate to see any library hours or services cut.
During this time of economic doubt Libraries are more essential then ever. Librarians are more essential than ever. Access to information, books, entertainment is a salvation.
Stand up citizens of Los Angeles. Stand up for one of the great things about Los
Angeles, its libraries. Stand up for the people of your constituency.
Stand up for reading. Libraries are what make cities great.
Great libraries are essential for our future.
Local Library: Los Feliz
Every day we help low income families, many that don't speak English. We help children with information for homework. We assist parents trying to help their children to read. We assist people of all ages trying to find a job due to layoffs. Where will all of these people go and what will happen to this society if this assistance is unavailable or curtailed to the point of unavailability?
Carole M. Kealoha
Local Library: Mar Vista
I was born in LA and grew up loving trips to the LA Central Library. I can't imagine any cut in the great services LA Central offers and LA branch libraries. Libraries are a vital organ of a thriving democracy wherein all may have access to knowledge, learning and open participation. We truly value our libraries and our librarians, administrators and staff. No cuts!
Local Library: Central Library
With all due appreciation and respect for the wonderful staff of our police and fire departments who in my experience have never been less than amazing and selfless... we cannot spend 70% of our budget preparing for every possible iteration of "what might happen" and further cut the library budget and by doing so set in motion what we can be sure "will happen". When libraries aptly described as "everyone's university" close, we KNOW that on a daily basis our most vulnerable citizens, homeless, jobless, elderly, "at-risk youth" will not have access to computers and materials for homework, job and benefits research, entertainment, recreation and enlightenment. When any of us is inspired and hopeful by rippling effect we are all in
spired and lifted.
It is not a matter of "us or them", wiser decisions on the part of our legislators can mean "us AND them"! Please contact Mayor Villaraigosa and the city council today and say NO to hours reductions at your library. WE ARE PROUD TO SERVE L.A.
Local Library: #03 Pio-Pico/#09 San Pedro
My LA Public Library story takes me back to the 80's having entered the California National History Day competition as a team effort representing Westminster High School. The theme was families and communities in history and our project required a great deal of research into the newspapers of William R. Hearst. The LA public Library was the only place we were able to find the primary research materials to complete our project. We won county and later the state competition in Sacramento. Our success with the project took us to the national competition in Washington DC. Doing research was at the LA public Library was a great opportunity. Not only was the building historic but being among some of the best historical resources for the city of Los Angeles was truly awe inspiring for our student group and a critical success factor for our project.
Mark A. Costa
Huntington Beach California 92646
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.
Local Library: Pico Union; Central Library