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Indybay Feature
SF Public Library Commission: discrimination vs. seniors, low-income and disabled
by Restore the Mailed Notices Committee
Wednesday Nov 20th, 2019 3:29 PM
The SF Public Library has jeopardized its long-standing policy of serving all patrons equally with the same level of service by making it very difficult if not impossible for low-income, seniors and disabled to access the full range of services at this $160 million funded library system. (SFPL spends $3 million per year on digital service contacts).
According to the latest U.S. census (2010) 138,000 San Franciscans don't have internet from their homes, a group being intentionally discriminated against by a little noticed policy change at San Francisco Public Library.

If you are among the group you will no longer be able to receive notices of library materials you place on hold for later pickup at branches. That's because without notice the library stopped mailing paper notices to patrons without home internet. (In other words the only way to intelligibly receive such timely notices is on the internet). The U.S. mail was the only manageable way patrons had of receiving these common sense notices.

Why did the library not present this radical change in its policy in a public forum to discuss its widespread effects on our diverse patron population?

The California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) is among groups that endorse our proposal to restore paper, mailed notices to patrons who request them (as do other local public libraries: Oakland and Berkeley).

This ill conceived plan gives every evidence of fostering and encouraging more gentrification, the Digital Divide, and elder abuse, trends that show no sign of abating in San Francisco.

The Committee to restore the Notices will discuss this critical matter at tomorrow's San Francisco Public Library Commission meeting.

Where: San Francisco Public Library, main branch, 100 Larkin Street near Market/Polk, Koret Auditorium, basement of the building; Civic Center, San Francisco.
When: Thursday, November 21, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
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