Privacy Main Issue At Stake in Santa Clarita Library Suit

While a nonprofit group (Save Our Libraries) dedicated to keeping the Santa Clarita libraries within the County Library system continues to subpoena former and present City officials in an ongoing lawsuit, the attorney assigned to the matter, Donald Ricketts, maintains that unwarranted access to the public’s information is the primary issue.

“What the lawsuit says is you can’t put the library into the hands of a private company,” Ricketts said, “because to do so you would have to give them information which is confidential and which they need to run the library.”

After City Council voted 4-1 on August 24 to secede from the County of Los Angeles Public Library – and inevitably award a contract to Library Systems and Services, LLC to run the City’s three branches – 12 people sent a letter to City Council alleging a Brown Act violation had occurred.

Essentially, the Brown Act prevents California governmental bodies from holding secret workshops and study sessions where decisions concerning the public could be made without its attendance.

Question: Is there a way to insure that a private corporation wouldn't take advantage? And should we assume that they would take advantage of acquiring confidential information?

KHTS Hometown Station reports.


"Question: Is there a way to insure that a private corporation wouldn't take advantage?"

Thanks for the laugh as I start my workday. :)

the same people complaining about this probably are willingly giving the same personal information (plus credit card info) to

Just a thought.

but there is a difference; one is sharing your credit card number, where charges could be challenged and card numbers could be changed, and one is sharing your address and other personal information that cannot arbitrarily be changed.

One of the mass credit card data thefts affected me a year or two ago. The bank that handles my account handled it wonderfully, catching the second odd charge (the first was a $1 test run an hour prior) and telling me they were sending a new card. However, the actual company that lost the information was never fined or disciplined, never had to disclose what businesses' transactions it handled, and was never legally required to take steps to prevent future occurrences. I'm guessing based on the minimal effort that company took in terms of reputation control (most of the statements were about how it would be damaging to tell the public or regulators anything), that they didn't lose much business.

Just because I give my credit card info and address to Amazon doesn't mean I wouldn't rather have the library handling those transactions, too.

As a resident of Castaic, I am not a resident nor a voter in the City of Santa Clarita. I am, however, a voter in the County of Los Angeles. My taxes paid for the LA County Libraries, including the branches within the Santa Clarita city limits, and I therefore have a financial interest in their continued management by the County of Los Angeles.

The new Castaic library is a welcome addition to the library system, but it has far from a comprehensive collection. In fact, while it is well supplied with books for my grandchildren, who are at the second grade reading level, it is sorely lacking in resources for sophisticated adults seeking research materials in most fields of academic endeavor.

The LA County libraries, including the Santa Clarita branch, have many times the resources for this type of intellectual investigation. On what basis can the City of Santa Clarita pre-empt my rights to access these materials?

I would welcome the comments of anyone who agrees with the above stated concerns.

Bruce Glad
[email protected]


The California Education Code spells out the manner by which a city can withdraw from a county library. The city is required to pay the county fair market value for all buildings, furnishings, books, and other materials that make up the libraries that it is taking over. The county can then use this money in its other libraries.

However, don't worry about it. The County of Los Angeles still has over 80 library branches, so there is plenty of material for you, and the loss of 3 libraries, even if it happens, won't make any difference.

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