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Quality over cost

Posted: August 18, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Updated: August 18, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Dear Santa Clarita City Council: There seems to be a direct connection between literacy and well-being. A community that fosters literacy is stronger, more adept at self-sufficiency and citizens are better able to participate in and give back to the community.

The proposal that Santa Clarita take over the three county library branches in the city would shrink this community's literacy quality in hopes of saving a few dollars. A privatized company that has reduced personnel benefits and employs low-wage earners cannot begin to match the experience and expertise of the current library staff.

The county-library system is managed by professional, educated librarians and well-trained associates. The county library has many outreach programs for children as well as adults. In addition, countless thousands of volumes of resource materials (books, magazines, newspapers, videos, CDs, DVDs, etc.) are available to county residents just for the asking. Many of these resources would not be available under a city-run library.

I am reminded of what Broadway producer Florenz Ziegfeld reportedly told a costume designer who proposed using lesser-quality fabric for dance costumes to save a few dollars. The designer said no one would know as the costumes would look the same to the audience. Ziegfeld replied, "My girls would know." He knew one's best performance comes from the inside of each of us and cutting corners ultimately reduces the quality of the final product. In this case, the quality of community life would be reduced.

The county library promotes literacy and is a great asset to the total well-being and education of the city of Santa Clarita. The city does not belong in the library business.


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