Supervisor Nguyen explains how Santa Ana could have more libraries

O.C. Supervisor Janet Nguyen spoke to the members of the Wilshire Square Neighborhood Association this week and she discussed how the City of Santa Ana could go about signing up with the Orange County Library system. You can watch a video of her presentation at Santa Ana Insight.

It turns out that Orange County Libraries are based on the population in a city. Garden Grove and Costa Mesa each have three County Libraries, and they each a fraction of the Santa Ana population.

Additionally, Orange County property taxes pay for the Orange County Library System vs. the General Fund used by the City of Santa Ana.

The process for turning over the Santa Ana system to the County of Orange includes:

  1. The Santa Ana City Council must approve the decision to convert from City Library System to the Orange County Library System.
  2. The City needs to present the request to join the Orange County Library System to the Orange County Library Committee (made up of the 24 Cities in the Orange County Library System).
  3. When the Orange County Library Committee approves the request of the City to join the Orange County Library System, it is presented to the Orange County Board of Supervisors for approval.

Santa Ana residents clearly stand to gain by going to the County system, as we would no doubt end up with four to six libraries.

However, what if the cities on the O.C. Library Committee say no, because of fears that the City of Santa Ana will absorb too much of the O.C. library budget? That is a good question.

In my opinion, the entire county is at risk if we don’t do something about Santa Ana. Consider that:

  1. Crime will continue to rise in Santa Ana, and spill over to other cities in the area, if we don’t act now to improve English fluency and literacy.
  2. The workforce will also be a huge issue. Employers need folks that can speak English. More libraries = higher English fluency. Employers throughout Orange County need the workers that live in Santa Ana.
  3. The image of the County of Orange itself is at risk. Santa Ana is the County Seat. Can we really afford to NOT improve the local library system? Besides, shouldn’t the County Seat be PART of the County library system?
  4. It is the right thing to do.

I urge the members of the Santa Ana City Council to move on this ASAP. We have a Supervisor in Janet Nguyen who will champion this cause. She already knows all of the Santa Ana City Council Members (see picture above). We have a population at risk This needs to be one of our top priorities.

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