Complaints Against a Public Library Operated by a Private Company for Suppressing Freedom of Expression

November 19, 2018 - por

Accusations of bias and free speech suppression have been levelled at a La Quinta public library staffed and operated by the private, for-profit company Library Systems and Services Inc. (LSSI). “A well known Mexican-American author is coming forward with discrimination allegations against employees at the La Quinta Library. This comes a month after a Cesar Chavez elementary teacher accused library staff of discriminating against a Hispanic Heritage Month performance.”

A letter by officials said “the City of La Quinta thanks Telemundo for making City Staff aware of claims by author Victor Villaseñor that, during an event in January 2016 at the Riverside County Branch Library in La Quinta, he was instructed to put away a Mexican flag, had his presentation interrupted, and was asked to leave.  As has been reported in connection with an incident that occurred at the County Branch Library during the Hispanic Heritage Celebration in September 2018, the City of La Quinta contracts with Riverside County, and Riverside County in turn subcontracts with Library Systems & Services for staffing and operations at the County Branch Library.”

“As has also been reported in connection with the more recent incident, the City of La Quinta takes allegations like this very seriously. The City has forwarded the information received by Telemundo concerning Mr. Villaseñor’s claims to Riverside County Counsel’s Office so that, if determined appropriate by County Counsel or the independent investigator, the author’s claims may be included in the independent investigation relating to the September 2018 incident.  However, in the event that the independent investigator chooses not to investigate Mr. Villaseñor’s claims, the City will independently investigate the claims.” Villaseñor said he decided to speak up after seeing CBS Local KESQ reports on what happened to CVUSD students.