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County library system not really falling apart

Posted: December 9, 2010 9:04 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2010 4:55 a.m.

I would like to clarify some of the comments made in The Signal’s Dec. 3 editorial regarding the County Library Commission’s report to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

The county library is not falling apart. The Library Commission’s report is based on an analysis of costs and revenue over the next 10 years. The $22 million structural deficit will come at the end of 10 years, not tomorrow.

With thoughtful planning, I know with certainty that the county library will remain a vital, innovative organization. 

The key fact that The Signal’s editorial failed to explain is that the revenue gap only will take place in some of the cities the county library serves.

Santa Clarita was not one of those communities. The commission report focused on the approximately 35 cities that do not pay the special tax and whose property tax contribution will not be sufficient to cover the costs of library service.

Residents of the unincorporated areas know that we are in the process of increasing library service for them. With the Castaic and Acton Agua Dulce libraries and the announcement of a new Stevenson Ranch library, residents will have much convenient access to our libraries.

The commission’s report was just a first step in a process to design library service for the 21st century. In July, the county library will begin a new strategic planning initiative that will include extensive input from all our communities including the Santa Clarita Valley.

In my master’s of business administration program, it was emphasized that successful organizations plan for the horizon.

In the 21st century, library service will be redefined,  regardless of whether a  community belongs to the county library system or has its own city library.

The question is whether a library will be proactive and forward-thinking. The county library intends to remain a national leader in library service.


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