Librarians raised their voices in support of a bill, AB 438, that would protect them and their services from being outsourced. The bill, introduced by Asm. Das Williams, would create significant hurdles to outsourcing library services, all but eliminating local governments’ authority to administer library services as they see fit.

The librarians spoke out for the bills, saying that they wanted to make sure that any potential outsourcing would in fact save money while maintaining services. However, local government groups decry the bill as an intrusion into local government autonomy.

The California League of Cities lobbyist pointed out in an interview for the Ventura County Star that the bill could force cities to close libraries all together, instead of contracting out the service.

The bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

From the Ventura County Star:

Dozens of librarians from across the state went to the Capitol on Monday to support a bill that would make it more difficult for local governments to contract with private firms to run libraries.

They rallied as only librarians might, concluding the event with the reading of a homemade, hand-illustrated children’s storybook titled “The Privatization Beast Comes to Our Town” and the appearance of a person dressed in a bright yellow costume playing the role of the fictional beast.

Read the full article here.