Less noticed is that Brown has signed a bill to make it far more difficult for cash strapped counties and cities to hand their libraries over to for-profit companies. Along with public schools, libraries are one of our leveling institutions, a place everyone can go to seek information or entertainment, to use a computer, or even, if you are well behaved, to get out of the rain.
You might not suspect there would be profit-seeking companies that think they can squeeze money out of formerly public libraries, but there are. How? Easy, get rid of the librarians. Oh yes -- and continue to recruit unpaid citizen volunteers.
There's an unexamined idea out there that private enterprise must be more efficient and cheaper than government management. But too often, this is simply false. Brad Plummer reported a study of costs and savings from privatization at the federal level from the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).
Besides, do we really want some unaccountable business looking over our shoulders when we read or research or view? Phillip Pullman, the author of The Golden Compass, envisions the library privatizers as greedy ghosts.
Leave the libraries alone! Never, never give them to businesses accountable only to the bottom line. There are other values.