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CORRECTED: Know when to hold ’em

County: Los Angeles County Public Library system patrons have until March 14 to order books

Posted: February 24, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 24, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Local library patrons have until March 14 to order books and other items from outside the Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia libraries.

Los Angeles County is preparing itself for July 1, when the city of Santa Clarita plans to launch its own library system.

The March 14 deadline for placing holds on items from outside the three libraries within city limits is necessary to ensure books and other items belonging to the county don’t get mixed up with those belonging to the city, said County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd.

The city has the option to buy about 280,000 books and audio and video recordings assigned to the three city libraries from the county, a process outlined in state law.

County officials and city officials are currently in negotiations to work out a price for the collections, Deputy City Manager Darren Hernandez said.

The purchase price has been factored into the city’s $8 million budget to pay for various startup costs associated with launching the Santa Clarita library system, Hernandez said. 

Negotiations should be finalized by June 1, he said.

Meanwhile, Santa Clarita residents wanting to order books from the Los Angeles County Public Library system after March 14 can do so by having items delivered to either the Castaic Library, 27971 Sloan Canyon Rd., or the Acton Agua Dulce library, 33792 Crown Valley Rd., Todd said.

“We know people are going to be inconvenienced, and we apologize for that,” Todd said. “We ask people to be patient with us.”

After the March 14 deadline passes, library patrons will have a much more limited selection of books and recordings they can check out from the three libraries in the more than three months before the city’s library system launches.

Los Angeles County has the largest public-library system in the United States, Todd said, with a collection of about 7 million items and 87 branches. County patrons place holds on about 8,000 library items each day, she said.

Santa Clarita City Council members voted 4-1 in August to leave the county’s public-library system. Since then, city staff have been working to set up a Santa Clarita library system managed by Maryland-based Library Systems & Services LLC.


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