LA MIRADA : City to Consider Plan to Take Over Library

The City Council has decided to consider withdrawing La Mirada Library from the financially troubled county library district.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the council directed its staff to study the legal, financial and practical implications of taking over the county-run facility at 13800 S. La Mirada Blvd.

Though the council could vote to pull the library out of the 89-branch system, it probably would not take any action without approval from the city's voters, said Gary Sloan, city manager. City voters would be asked if they were willing to adopt a special property tax to fund the library, Sloan said.

County supervisors would also have to approve any effort to remove the library from the county system, Sloan said.

The La Mirada Library reduced its schedule to three days a week in the wake of cuts in county funding for libraries in the past two years. The library may have to cut back further to two days a week in mid-October if the county or city does not provide additional financing.

The Board of Supervisors recently adopted a plan to fund the libraries in cities where a property tax was approved to assist county branches. La Mirada did not join the plan, but it may consider providing some emergency funding to prevent the library from curtailing its hours.

City staff also will study the possibility of forming a regional library district with nearby cities, Sloan said. A small, regional district may have lower overhead and greater efficiency, he said.

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