free to access, free to lend, free to read

12 September 2014

A Letter to City Hall

        Gleam Davis, City Councilperson
        Kevin McKeown, City Councilperson
        Pam O'Connor, City Mayor
        Robert Holbrook, City Councilperson
        Ted Winterer, City Councilperson
        Terry O'Day, City Councilperson
        Tony Vazquez, City Councilperson
        Rod Gould, City Manager

25 August 2014

Recently you adopted discriminatory lending and access practices at the Santa Monica Public Library through subscription and use fees for materials, equipment, and services charged to the public who cannot produce evidence of Santa Monica residency. This policy fundamentally violates the principles and understanding of the American Public Library system of the free to access, free to lend, and free to read standard that the Los Angeles County and American public expects and demands and that the industry maintains throughout the state of California and this country.

Your policy violates the letter and spirit of much of the public and private funding that the City of Santa Monica has eagerly taken to construct facilities, obtain holdings, create and upgrade infrastructure, purchase equipment, and fund staff and staff endeavors today and in the recent past. Your policy profoundly violates the American right of equal opportunity and denies access to the thousands of service employees and their families of Los Angeles County that work in Santa Monica. Your policy compounds the disproportionate financial burden on all lower-economic status residents of Los Angeles County through the addition of these improper use fees on top of a variety of taxes already collected and paid to Santa Monica.

Please correct this policy of redlining immediately and begin the process of refunding all fees collected through this policy in the immediate future.


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