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The money stays here

Posted: July 20, 2010 5:33 p.m.
Updated: July 21, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Your recent article (“City takes look at libraries,” July 14) provided an inaccurate picture of the benefits and costs of county library service, including a grossly inaccurate cost for overhead.

The Los Angeles County Library charges for centralized services, but only a small portion of that cost is for county overhead. Centralized services include providing computers; Internet and Wi-Fi connections; training for staff; quick and easy access to the books and materials at all our 87 libraries; and facility maintenance, hiring and other services.

We have committed to all our cities that revenue raised in the community will be used in the community. It is only recently that Santa Clarita has had any excess revenue. In the most recent year, 2008-09, the cost of library service for three libraries in the city was $6,069,834; the excess amount was $231,728.

However, during that year, the library department began renovations at Valencia Library, an addition to the Canyon Country Library and worked extensively with the city on the planned Newhall Library. Many of the costs related to those projects were not reflected in that report.

The operating agreement for the new Newhall Library will contain language guaranteeing that all revenue collected in Santa Clarita would be used for library services in Santa Clarita. Such agreements currently exist with the cities of Malibu and West Hollywood and are in process with the cities of Manhattan Beach and Diamond Bar.

We look forward to working with the city as the community evaluates its options for great library service.


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