The city is going on a shopping spree. After deciding to break away from the county library system, the City Council rejected the county's asking price of $288,000 for its current 17,000-title collection in favor of buying a new one.
City Manager Charles Cate estimates that a new collection will cost between $200,000 and $225,000.
According to Karyn Foley, president of Friends of the Calabasas Library, the county's asking price was "unreasonable." The collection was filled with many duplicate copies of rarely checked-out books and outdated materials, she said.
Buying a new collection, she said, will provide an opportunity for the library to restock with books the community wants.
"Why would we pay a priority for a used item? The people of Calabasas deserve a new fresh collection," she said.
The City Council also decided recentlyto contract with a new company, Library Systems and Services, to manage the facility.
Foley said consultants are working with the new managerial company to select the new collection. More mysteries could be on the shopping list, she said, as well as special collections on the Holocaust and black history. Circulation patterns will be evaluated to make the purchase decisions.
The current county collection, she said, will be redistributed among the county's 84 libraries, with most going to branches in Agoura Hills, Malibu and Little Rock.
The Calabasas City Council announced last year that the library would break away from the county system, citing a disparity in services compared with tax dollars contributed.
City officials are planning a grand reopening July 11 of the facility at 23645 Calabasas Road.
In the meantime, Friends of the Calabasas Library are seeking volunteers to be part of the library's changes.
For information, call (818) 222-8888.