Posted by Lori Ayre on January 23, 2011

“It’s altogether infuriating, a misguided and disgraceful attempt at salvaging dollars and cents. This city is not tossing away its appendix to save the whole system, instead, it’s puncturing a vital organ.”

“On Mondays, Ilse Perez, 18, will not escape the noise of her family to study. Her friends will not come to Teen’Scape to read, to do homework, to escape gangs [...]  Throughout Los Angeles, 73 library buildings sit empty on Mondays. [...]  15,000 youths who regularly make use of the libraries’ services do not enter their halls. None of the more than 6 million books are opened. They collect dust, waiting in their spacious homes adorned with the art and muraled ceilings[...] For Kenyetta Grate, the library, through Teen’Scape, has provided her a free venue for her non-profit organization, Sarahs’s Daughters Mentoring Program. ‘The other ones we’re looking at cost $2,500, but as a non-profit organization, we can’t afford that,’ she said. Her children will be able to strut down a makeshift runway for a fashion show because of the library [...] For Ilse Perez, 18, it’s a quiet place away from her boisterous family. She especially loves Teen’Scape. She rides the bus to school at Santa Monica College every weekday before returning to study at the library. Like Perez, Khadijah Williams came to Teen’Scape when she was young [...] She came to Teen’Scape because she too was homeless.  Along with her mom, the pair moved between shelters, motels, armories and garbage bags with pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. She attended 12 schools in 12 years. Teen’Scape was safety. It was a part of her path to Harvard. Now, the Khadijah Williams’ are sometimes turned away.”

Excerpts from the article “Yours Impacted by Los Angeles Library Budget Cuts” by Dan Watson | January 14, 2011, Staff Writer at Neon Tommy.  The entire article can be viewed here: