LA Times – “Firing library aides and office assistants leaves the school district in free-fall. It’s time to tap emergency funds, cut state redevelopment agencies and discuss raising businesses’ property taxes.”
LA Times – “Flip back in time to downtown Los Angeles nearly five years ago — before tiny dogs were everywhere and fancy strollers anywhere, before you could walk 10 minutes south of City Hall and find cafe after cafe serving lattes. Picture living in a loft on a quite lonely stretch of Main Street on the edge of skid row, short on the necessities that most residential areas take for granted. Then imagine one day finding a new store full of crisp hardcovers. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, we’re civilized,’ ” said Jacqualine Mills-Lord, a writer who shed tears of joy at the sight of Metropolis Books.”
LA Times – “The new public library in West Hollywood isn’t expected to officially open until October, but at least one component of the complex is already garnering public attention: a new group of murals created by street artists Shepard Fairey, Retna and Kenny Scharf. The outdoor murals are a joint project by the artists, the city of West Hollywood and the Museum of Contemporary Art. They can be found on the library’s parking structure, near the corner of Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard, across from the Pacific Design Center.”
LA Times Op/Ed – “Soon after I became a school librarian, a teacher came to me about Mario, an eighth-grader who had never read an entire book. Mario struggled to read at all, and English was not his first language, but he was a bright kid whose teacher believed in him. I recommended a short, funny, mysterious book that appeals to reluctant boy readers. Mario took it home, read it in a week and came back with his friends in tow to check out the remaining titles in the series.”
LA Times – “If state education cuts are drastic, the librarians’ only chance of keeping a paycheck is to prove they’re qualified to be switched to classroom teaching. So LAUSD attorneys grill them.”
LA Times – “The two-day event kicks off with panel discussions, author signings and row upon row of fiction, nonfiction, comics, plays, cookbooks, biographies and more. Some 150,000 attendees are expected.”
LA Times – “An era will end May 10 for Southern California museumgoers: It will be the last day adults can get into a major museum for less than $10 — not counting the periodic free days or hours that most museums offer, and the handful of venues that are always free.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a request by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County to hike its prices from $9 to $12 at the main museum in Exposition Park, and from $7 to $12 at the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits — although museum leaders have decided to raise the Page’s admission only to $11 for now.”
LA Times – “When Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave his State of the City speech Wednesday night, the focus was on education. But in one of the few moments that he didn’t talk about education reform — when he wasn’t getting his biggest applause of the night by talking about fixing potholes — he touched on public libraries.
KPCC’s Frank Stoltz reported that the mayor promised further cuts in city spending, and that “Villaraigosa offered few details, but did offer some good news — he wants to provide money to reopen libraries on Mondays and add park space.”
LA Times – “In this year of shortfalls and cutbacks, libraries have taken some of the hardest hits. Eight regional libraries began closing on Sundays earlier this year. Last month, hours at the city’s 73 neighborhood branches were cut back a day, to five days a week, starting July 18. Council members are considering placing a $30-million tax measure on the November ballot. It would cost property owners an extra $39 annually — about what I paid in late fees on library books last year. And it would let neighborhood libraries stay open six days again. But it wouldn’t bring back the librarians who were laid off or forced into retirement.”
LA Times – “The Los Angeles City Council voted 9 to 1 on Tuesday to instruct its lawyers to draft a $30-million library tax measure, even as several members voiced doubts about sending it to voters in the Nov. 2 election. Councilman Richard Alarcon questioned whether the measure should be expanded to include park facilities. Meanwhile, Councilwoman Janice Hahn said she was troubled that the city would have to spend $4.2 million to get the property tax hike on the ballot in this year’s state election. “We don’t have the money,” she said.”