Well done and thank you to the voters in Los Angeles who have saved their libraries and increased their opening hours

Libraries have been and still are under threat in both the UK and the USA.  While legal challenges mount in the UK to save our public libraries from these dire and barbaric cuts, the citizens in America have also challenged the closures and cut backs of a valuable and vital public service. So I was delighted to read that the citizens of Los Angeles have recognized the value of libraries to their community and have voted to restore and increase services.

Budget cuts last year forced the 73 libraries in Los Angeles to reduce their opening hours. The libraries laid off 101 staff and reduced service hours to five days a week, reported the LA Times. The Los Angeles Public Library system notes that their hours were 'lowest level in the library's 140-year history.  But in March this year all that changed when the people of Los Angeles rebelled against the draconian cuts and approved Measure L, a proposal that gradually diverts larger shares of the city's property taxes to the library system. Eventually, the taxes will contribute $130 million a year to the libraries, reports KPCC. That is fantastic news.

On the day that the Los Angeles Public Library system announced the re-openings, City Councilman Eric Garcetti  said,: 'Libraries change lives every single day for people who don't know what they're going to read when they come in or people who need help, and it's possibly the most democratic place in this city.'

All 73 libraries in the Los Angeles Public Library system are re-opening their doors on Mondays and they are also expanding service hours on other days to reverse reductions made last year.

Libraries change people's lives.  They did mine. Without libraries I would never have discovered the joy of reading and the passion for writing.  Now I am proud to support libraries wherever I can, working with them on events, giving talks to groups and I am very proud that many library users in both the UK and throughout the libraries in America are also reading my DI Andy Horton marine mystery crime novels and my thrillers. I hope they enjoy them.

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