There is a rally Monday night against the attempt by the city to drop out of the county library system in favor of a private corporation managing the library. You can go to the event page on Facebook to find out more.
I am against hiring an outside corporation to manage the library until we can get some basic questions answered. But that isn't going to happen because the vote is expected Monday night.
if there isn't time to answer basic questions then the city council shouldn't be voting on it.
Here are some of my questions that won't have a full debate before they vote on Monday night:
1. Is there a guarantee hours won't be cut?
2. What do the volunteers that run the Friends of the Library used book section think of this plan?
3. Will workers get a pay cut to pay for the management company?
4. What recourse do we have if there isn't cost savings or if there are service cutbacks?
5. Will it be easier or harder for nonprofit groups to rent space in the library for their programs?
6. Will local librarians or the corporation that manages the library choose which books are not allowed on the shelves?
7. If this is such a good idea why didn't the city do it earlier in the year with more time to discuss it?
8. Can we finally get some coffee in the library? Seriously, it would be a great fundraiser.
9. What has been the experience of other communities that have tried this plan?
10. Are there multiple companies that could manage the library? Was it set out to be bid on competitively?
11. Simi Valley has a Shop Simi Valley First Campaign. What outreach did the city do to determine if a local company could run the library before they chose a company from another state?
It actually might be a good idea to change the way the library is managed. But I am not convinced that rushing it through before there is a full debate is in our best interest.
Sidenote: I also hear an #Occupy Simi Valley group is starting to form.