Public libraries in Camarillo, Santa Clarita and Ventura have all been targeted for a takeover by Library Systems and Services (LSSI), a private company headquartered in Maryland and majority-owned by the private equity firm Islington Capital Partners. Privatizing public libraries means libraries will be de-professionalized and residents will pay more and receive less, while LSSI makes a profit for its investors and shareholders. Instead of listening to residents, the City Council created a 'Citizen's Advisory Committee' to review Santa Clarita's library system and its needs and make recommendations for moving forward with LSSI. The committee had no decision-making power, and was widely criticized as a thinly veiled attempt to silence critics.
Instead the SEIU is taking matters into their own hands with the "Privatization Beast" site, fighting to help keep public library services public. People from all over are signing the petition to help save the Santa Clarita public library system. Comedian Sarah Haskins even teamed up with the SEIU to make a claymation video showing the Privatization Beast in action. There's hope that with enough support, the libraries can be saved.
It started innocently enough. A single dollar bill was pinned to the ceiling of a tiki bar in California — with a tiny paper umbrella, no less. That lone bill soon inspired many more. For over 10 years now, patrons of Forbidden Island, a popular tiki lounge in the island city of Alameda, have been […]
You gotta give it to these French-speaking folks for trying to pronounce these difficult-for-them English words. And you gotta give it Frenchly, the makers of the video, for making the words more challenging as it goes along. Psychophysicotherapeutics, anyone? [via; Previously]
There are few intellectual exercises better than a good game of chess against a capable opponent, which is why a lot of old hands at the gameplay it online. But there’s still nothing like the tactile thrill of moving a knight into checkmate. (Or sweeping the pieces off dramatically when you lose.) That’s why we’re […]
Got a real music junkie on your list this year? It’s a good bet that they already have a solid pair of earbuds, but probably nothing quite like these Seeds Earphones. Here’s the thing: Wireless earbuds are all the rage right now, and there are a lot of good reasons for that. But for true […]
When it comes to the qualities of a good project manager, you hear a lot of talk about “soft skills” like leadership ability and confidence. And where does confidence come from? It comes from people who are dead certain they know the right steps to take. In other words, you’ve got to master the hard […]