According to The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, the vote, which took place Tuesday, will bring the libraries under city control and put $400,000 into local library coffers.
Against public outcry and concern over loss of services, the council passed its decision. Councilman Bob Kellar was the only dissenting vote.
Santa Clarita is considering contracting with a for-profit company called Library Systems & Services LLC.
County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd said this contract is going to mean that the city will never know what its profit margin is.
“I can see they’ve put together a very slick proposal,” Todd said, according to the newspaper. “And with no experience running a library system, you’ll never know what is fancy wrapping, and what is substance.”
City staff claims the residents delivered a $231,730 surplus to the county library system in 2009 which means that if an efficient operation is run, the city could stay open weekends and extend hours of operation.
Some library patrons and volunteers claim the city is trying to fix a system that isn’t broken. The Service Employees International Union Local 721, which represents county library employees, set up a booth to protest the vote before the council meeting.
Moorpark City Librarian Barbara Wolfe said, “I entered this profession with a passion for libraries as a foundational cornerstone of an informed democracy, I did not enter this profession because of the promise of a government pension.”
To that statement, Mayor Laurene Weste said, “I know we’re all library people, so shhhh”.