The Escondido City Council voted Wednesday night to privatize the city library, ignoring pleas from hundreds of residents who turned out to oppose the move. The City Council chamber was packed for the meeting, with the vast majority of attendees clearly concerned about the plan to turn the city's library over to Library Systems and Services, a Maryland-based management company.
Library Systems and Services already manages 83 libraries across the country. Escondido's city manager argued that adding Escondido to the list will save the city $400,000 a year in operating costs and pension obligations for library employees. But opponents said that the plan is unfair to long-time city librarians, many of whom have served the community for decades. They stand to lose their city pensions and even their jobs.