Community support saved
the Salinas Public Library from closing down this year, though it has
drastically reduced the hours its three branches are open each week.
In April, Mayor Anna
Salinas effort announced that they had raised more than the $500,000
needed to keep the library’s doors open through the end of the year. Many
members of the staff quit their jobs, anticipating the library’s closure,
and late in April, Salinas officials announced that they could keep the John
Steinbeck and Cesar Chavez branches open only 18 hours per week, while the El
Gabilan branch will be open only 13 hours per week.
financial crisis made the national and international
news at the end of last year, when the failure of two funding issues left
the city strapped for dollars. For a time it looked as if the city would close
the public library, but then a number of public officials, including State Librarian
of California Susan Hildreth and American Library Association
President-elect Michael Gorman, joined an effort to prevent this drastic
measure from going into effect. The city of Salinas is currently considering a
ballot measure to provide stable funding for the library and other city
services slated for reduction.
The public library has
special symbolic importance because Salinas was the hometown of John
Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature and one of
California’s most famous authors.