Escondido Public Library Photo by Rick Mercurio

Escondido, also known in political circles as For Lease, California, is not a welcoming community for new residents and businesses. Our tax dollars are not spent on amenities that enhance our quality of life and make our community a more desirable place to live and work.

When I think of the poor choices of our current mayor and council majority, I am reminded of a video game my daughter used to play called SimCity. In the game, each player is given the challenge of developing a city from a parcel of land. The sound effects are activated when building roads, hospitals, police and fire stations, schools, libraries and homes. Only certain effects would be activated AFTER the city had enough services for the SimCity residents to be employed, educated, safe and happy. All of this needed to happen while adhering to a stable budget.

SimCity was a single-player game with the player being the city’s Mayor and the challenge was to build a city that would attract people to live and prosper with their families. If Escondido were Sim City, the mayor would be losing the game. Sim City would be silent and no one would live there.

Escondido’s Council Majority Continues to Feed the Privatization Beast

The latest public service on the chopping block is the public library. Secret meetings and library tours have been conducted for a private company, located in Maryland, to take over operations. As is the case with those whose agenda is to privatize, services are defunded, the public complains about services that are being intentionally starved, and then present the only alternative as a private business. This is an old game. Sadly, it is one that people seem to have not caught on to. When OUR library becomes privatized, we lose transparency. People in our community lose their jobs.

A private company exists to make profits. So part of our tax dollars will be going to a private company located on the East Coast. Since they are private, we will not know how much profit is generated from our tax dollars, how much their executives are paid, or whole host of information that is currently accessible to the public.

Cities are not businesses.
Schools are not businesses.
Libraries are not businesses.

They are not meant to make money, at least not directly, but surely they contribute to the overall tax base, the desirability of a community for newcomers and businesses, and the overall educational level of their residents. They are meant to enhance the quality of life. Above the entrance to the Escondido Charter High School is the motto “Education is our business.” No. It is NOT a business and it is shameful to try to turn it into one. If it were a real business, why would it need taxpayer money to operate? Businesses are PRIVATE endeavors, usually with the goal of turning a profit. Our residents deserve better than to have our services turned into revenue streams for private businesses, especially when this business is not even located in our community, or even our state.

Speak up. Stand up.
Save OUR library from profiteering
and privatization.


  1. Thank you for alottong the time and attention on this important issue. One more item that is often overlooked about libraries is they serve everyone in a community, including homeless people. The increasing number of homeless people who now use public libraries is a very lively topic for residents and library staff alike.
    Librarians are trained professionals who go into their profession because the are “called” to it. I use the term “called” like a person who enters the clergy because fundamentally they.are passionate about the work and could care less about the money. Librarians are trained to be judicious and to never take sides. They are living symbols of what we use to call “Civics”, they will defend the right of anyone to have access to library services because a public library is for everyone. They are really one of the last public institutions that safeguard and advocate the idea of equality in our crumbling democratic society.

    Growing up i always was amazed at how quiet libraries were. It wasn’t till i was older that i began to understand that silence was a way the community acknowledged the sacred role they play in our society. Like a house of worship, when people enter them, i was taught at least, you become totally aware of your conduct, by being silent. Silence is a state that demands self-awareness and contemplation. When you enter a space where this universally practiced by all people in that space, it is a tranformative experience. At least it was for me, and i have always seen libraries as being essential to our common good and was an equalizing institution that enables individuals who do not have much, to gain the skills and knowledge needed to improve their lives. As my grandmother use to say, “There is no excuse for ignorance, a library card is free.”
    But our society is addicted to fear which began with our “War on Terror”. An absolutely absurd idea that has produced nothing but absurdity and dellusionment. One last point of interest is Librarians were the first group to challenge the legality of the Patriot Act. They may have not win the battle of overturning the law, but they made public the fundamental components of this unconstitutional law that has given us the surveillance state we live in today. I have always said after their lawsuit, there was a deliberate and systematic assault in libraries because the democratic principles they represent and librarians will not go quiet into the darkness of that night, they will fight!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here