70-foot long UnWelcome mat masterpiece unveiled to send a clear message.
One hundred and fifty Escondido residents gathered on Saturday to roll out the UnWelcome mat for Library Systems and Services at the Escondido Public Library.
They made calls and videos, collected petition signatures, and sang a special song in support of keeping our public library operated by, for, and accountable to the public.
A city council majority including Mayor Sam Abed along with Councilmen John Masson, and Ed Gallo voted last month to develop a contract to outsource the library with Library Systems and Services (LS&S).
The UnWelcome mat presented had colorful, bilingual and very pointed messages to LS&S letting them know they are not welcome in Escondido.
- We don’t want you, we don’t need you.
- LS&S not welcome here.
- LS&S La biblioteca es nuestra.
Many attendees made short videos to send to the President and CEO of LS&S and Argosy Capital, owners of LS&S.
The video messages were short and not-so-sweet. Thirty-year Escondido resident Brenda Townsend said,
“Our library has been here 123 years without you and we can go another 123 years. We don’t need you, we don’t like you, and we don’t want you. Stay where you are. Leave us alone.”
Student Anthony Rodriguez said,
“I rely on this library for my school books. I need this library to be successful.”
Marty Tucker said,
“This is a public library. For the people. Not someone far away. It’s ours.”
Debbie Resler and her son shared,
“LS&S we are here to tell you there is no place and no room for you here.”
The full Escondido City Council will be in closed session on this matter on September 20 and will potentially consider a contract starting in October.
Keep updated about this issue by joining us at SaveEscondidoLibrary@gmail.com .
Content via Escondido Indivisible.
Brian McInerny says
Wait a minute. Are you asking me to believe that mayor Abed and council are not listening to their constituents? Just kidding so what’s new? This is standard operating procedure in my community. They let the people speak at meetings to appease them then they do what they had planned to do before they heard any comments albeit sometimes expressing great anguish prior to arriving at their decision. Great theater but predictable results. To borrow a phrase from an expert at it, sad.
Claire Bocian says
How much money is the City Council making on this deal? I am new to Escondido but thought, apparently incorrectly that the City Council worked for the people of the City of Escondido? How can they privatize a library they Don’t Own? Isn’t it owned by the City of People?? What a huge mistake this is!
We love our library the way it is so leave and NEVER COME HERE ls&s your not wanted here I go to the library all the time and it’s a good place your not going to take that from people they treat us good in the library so leave we don’t want you 👿👿👿👿
Oh for Christs sake. The business is failing and people need to step in and renew it. That what this company does. Fires unhealthy relations, buys new books and computers. This will not change your library, aside from having more in it.
Anna Daniels says
What “business” is failing? Public libraries are not a business, and we should all be deeply thankful for that. They have been a cornerstone of our democracy by providing free access to information and promoting literacy. We are treated as equal citizens.
Free market profit driven library models skim off public funds, lack transparency, are designed to bust unions, minimize if not eliminate investments in often more costly services like highly specialized equipment for individuals with disabilities, eliminate depth and breadth of materials for the low hanging fruit of best sellers. We are reduced to customers of commodities.
Public libraries constantly need to renew themselves and they know that. Companies need to make a profit, the quicker the better. There is a profound difference and citizens realize that.
Governments should only do what is essential government business. Stocking books, checking out books, and buying books is not an inherently government-only responsibility. Set performance standards and let the market compete. If LS&S does poorly, they won’t win when the contract is re-competed.
Anna Daniels says
Government is responsible for ensuring and protecting the public good. Talking about “essential government business” is free market mumbo jumbo.
What you are really conveying is that the public should divert public funds to private entities because… markets.
The government sets the performance standards to ensure and protect what a library must provide, but the government doesn’t have to actually run the library. Just like the government doesn’t have to build a city hall, or pave a road, or provide towing services, or provide telephone service, or pick up trash, or install sewers. They get contractors to do it. The government diverts public funds each and every day to private entities through contracts. Keep service contracts short and re-compete often.
Libraries are not the same as the other service contractors you mention. Libraries provide materials and services for every member of their community. There is a very slippery slope to consider when allowing for profit entities to determine what the community members’ needs are. The collections may become extremely biased and potentially conform to a for-profit agenda.
Additionally, does the council consider the library as “failing”? Certainly, the community does not as shown by this and other reaction. Or is it an entity that the council deems invaluable and therefore sees it as a viable way to save money?
I would encourage the council to listen to their constituents closely, not only to save their elected positions but to strive to understand what the library means to the community.
bob dorn says
Jay, your government provides you police and fire protection, publicly elected school board members and teachers, water delivery, and sewage treatment. Would you like to be taxed so that Money, Inc, could teach your children to do as the boss suggests and overcharge you for investigating the burglary of your home? Sure, you wouldn’t. And if you consider the overrums at the federal level in our contracts with military contractors do you feel safe? You’re slicking the questions raised here in GOP slime, which, by the way, costs more than normal slime.
Brian McInerny says
An interesting viewpoint. Libraries are part of a community. Often people volunteer their time to help make it more of a community involved center. Sub-contracting requires vigilant oversight which is exactly what a government operated library provides. Instead of supervising your own employees now you have to go through the sub-contractor to correct issues and add another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy. I think that some community services should be left in the hands of government.
Mike Waller says
I’m thinking recall.
Anybody up for that ??