May 29, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Non-Residents May Pay For Santa Monica Library Use:

The Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) may no longer be free to use for those who live beyond the city limits. When Greg Mullen, the City’s Library Services director, presented his budget to Council members during the May 28 Biennial Budget study session, he said some new fees would have to be assessed in order to reduce the impact of the Library’s budget on the General Fund.

One of those adjustments was the topic of much fodder during a City Council meeting earlier this year: assessing non-residents a fee to use any one of Santa Monica’s library branches.

The proposed fee: $25 annually to access library materials and services.

Mullen said the $25 fee would offset the loss of State funding that, according to Mullen, “compensated jurisdictions for non-resident borrowing.”

Also, the materials budget would be decreased “based upon changes in library cardholders.”

Non-residents and residents who do not have library cards may be charged to use the Internet at any of the Santa Monica Public Library branches. Currently, any patron of the SMPL system must request an Internet use card to surf the Web. However, the Internet use cards do come with a cost.

“Introducing a fee for Internet use would generate revenue and eliminate the need for a special library card for Internet use,” and, ergo, cut some costs, Mullen said.

The Internet use fee, proposed to be $2 per hour, would not be applied to those who have an SMPL membership card, which would remain free to Santa Monica residents.

Mullen added the introduction of the library card and Internet use fees would allow the SMPL branches to continue offering “popular” resources for Santa Monica residents.

Council member Gleam Davis was not thrilled with the Internet use fee.

On the one hand, Davis understood the sentiment to not subsidize non-resident use of Santa Monica libraries.

Yet, she also pointed out the Internet can be a vital resource for someone looking for employment irrespective of where they lived.

An unemployed SMPL visitor using the Internet may not be able to afford a $2 fee, Davis said.

“Two dollars doesn’t sound like a lot, but for someone maybe it is,” Davis said. “The people who are probably more likely to use (the Internet), even if they are from outside of Santa Monica, are people for whom that $2 may be very meaningful.”

Council member Kevin McKeown countered that a non-resident could purchase a library card that, after a few hours of initial use, would allow for unlimited Web surfing without having to pay.

Both McKeown and Council member Ted Winterer also said the assessment of an Internet use fee may free up library computers for Santa Monica residents.

Generally speaking, the library’s computers are regularly occupied.

Charging an Internet use fee, McKeown and Winterer believed, would deter some non-residents from populating the library’s computer area and allow Santa Monica residents greater access there.

Mayor Pro Tem Terry O’Day said he hoped to see an exception made for non-resident students attending Santa Monica’s schools to be granted a library card without paying a fee.

Currently, a student attending Santa Monica schools but living outside the City is considered a non-resident and would be subject to the Library fee once instituted.

Finally, Mullen proposed staffing changes to “implement a more efficient operating plan for the Pico Branch Library.”

Mullen said two positions would be cut from full-time to half-time at the Pico Branch Library – which will be the latest addition to the SMPL system once construction is complete. Those two positions: custodial and computer support.

The Library Services Director believed the Pico Library would be able to offer services comparable to the other branches despite the position cuts.

Custodial services would remain in-house, Mullen confirmed, yet only budgeted for half-time for the Pico Branch Library, which will be located at Virginia Avenue Park once completed (construction of the new branch is already underway).

According to Mullen, the library’s budget for the 2013-14 Fiscal Year is slightly more than $12 million. For the 2014-15 Fiscal Year, the library budget increases to $12.3 million, Mullen added.

in News
Related Posts

Seller of Bel Air Mansion Furious After Property Flops at Auction

May 27, 2022

May 27, 2022

Mansion on Sarbonne Road in Bel Air fails to meet $50 million reserve price By Sam Catanzaro The seller of...

Environmental Review Begins for West Los Angeles Civic Center Redevelopment

May 27, 2022

May 27, 2022

The West LA Commons set to bring 926 units of housing and 36,569 square feet of retail to Santa Monica...

Is Santa Monica’s Most Expensive Property Still a Bargain?

May 27, 2022

May 27, 2022

22,640 square-foot property on market for $69 million By Dolores Quintana The most expensive property in Santa Monica has been...

Must-Watch ‘Disruptive’ Appliance Experience Store Opens in West Los Angeles, Hosts Grand Opening in June

May 27, 2022

May 27, 2022

Howard’s West Los Angeles Experience Center opening at 900 La Brea Boulevard  By Susan Payne West Los Angeles is home...

Marina Del Rey Family Searches for Missing 29-Year-Old Son With Autism

May 27, 2022

May 27, 2022

J​​eremy Hansbrough missigns cine May 16 By Sam Catanzaro A Marina del Rey family is searching for their 29-year-old son...

Santa Monica Pier to Feature High-Flying Waving American Flag on  Ferris Wheel During Memorial Day Weekend

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier’s Ferris wheel will feature a high-flying 130-feet tall, animated waving American flag throughout...

Message From Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Community Members, Sadly, we have learned of another horrific school shooting, this time in the...

Three Juveniles in Hosptial Following Overdose in Santa Monica

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

Two females in critical but stable condition, third victim “alert and recovering” By Sam Catanzaro Three juveniles suffered an overdose...

John Adams Middle School Student Selected to Perform at Carnegie Hall

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

JAMS Student Grayson Fitzgerald named junior finalist for the 2022 middle school honors performance series at Carnegie Hall By Staff...

SMC Student Film “The War Within” Accepted into 2022 American Pavilion at Cannes

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Three Santa Monica College Films Will Screen at In-Person Festival, including 2021 Best Student Film Winner “Broken Layers” and 2020’s...

Santa Monica City Council Looks to Shorten Meetings

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Council to consider changes at Tuesday meeting By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica lawmakers are considering taking steps to shorten City...

Landmark Theater Official Closes on Pico

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Pico Boulevard location closes Sunday By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Theater on Pico Boulevard in Westwood has officially closed.  The...

Road Closures Expected During Demolition Of Parking Structure Three: Santa Monica Beat – May 23rd, 2022

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Free Donuts At Randy’s Donuts For National Doughnut Day* Road Closures Expected...

Los Angeles Metro Sees 15.9 Percent Increase in Median Rent

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Median rent of $2,258, according to recent report By Dolores Quintana The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the issues of housing...

New Renderings for Frank Gehry Hotel Development in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Project would include hotel, apartments, retail and a museum By Dolores Quintana Slowly but surely, plans for a  Frank Gehry-designed...