Where we are today, and the Path Forward

SOPPL/ Advocacy Update:  Where we are today, and the Path Forward

A Time for Hope, not Complacency

A Time For Hope, Not Complacency

A Time For Hope, Not Complacency

Our joint event this summer, held at the library on September 5th and in conjunction with all other library groups, was celebrating the addition of 9 hours of Open time per week.  Most emphatically, we are not out of the woods yet.  PPL’s budget is less than a third of what it was 6 years ago.  We’ve gone from having a woefully meager Books and Materials Budget, to having none.  Staffing has been reduced from 40 in ’07-08, to 12 (all of whom are part timers); and no Director.  We are celebrating increasing PPL’s hours to 29 per week, but it’s down from the more customary 54 hours of 6 years ago.  I randomly checked out hours for libraries in surrounding communities:  Claremont=54, Diamond Bar=51, Chino Hills=60, LaVerne=50, and Upland=42.  Advocacy’s message:  this is a time for hope, but not complacency.  And something our group feels quite confident about after all our time spent with community groups:  Pomona citizens do value literacy and our library.


Pomona Day Parade at the Los Angeles County Fair

The Advocacy gang has had a busy summer.   We’ve focused aggressively on community outreach:  educating the public about valuable services PPL provides, encouraging more citizens to obtain and use library cards, encouraging Pomona students to get cards and avail themselves of services, and laying groundwork for placing an initiative on the November 2014 ballot.

We’ve done this by attending many community events, both inside and outside our library.  Summer kicked off for us with a June 8th event inside the library and co-chaired by our own Alice Gomez.   We had a well-attended, standing room only book signing about Mexican American baseball players from earlier decades.  Collaboratively, the trustees hosted an Open House with refreshments for library users, particularly those who had recently obtained library cards.

Additionally, we participated with a booth at the Camp Out on the Fairgrounds hosted by Pomona law enforcement for students of PUSD.  We had a bookmark making art project for students, and everyone had a great time!  It’s hard to compete, fun-wise, with an organization that lands a helicopter, sends in a SWAT team, and enters with a lights flashing, sirens blazing fire truck—all in the middle of an event for 9-12 year olds.  Where were these guys when I was teaching middle school?

Ganesha Park Concert

Ganesha Park Concert

We also had tables set up at all Ganesha Park summer concerts, and participated in the Pomona Day Parade.  Among events we are planning: participation in Art Walk on Second Saturdays in the Downtown area and Meet-&-Greets within the community.  Hot tip:  the live music at the Art Walk is genuinely awesome, and multiple generations of families appear to enjoy it.  DPOA’s shuttle joyfully transports art lovers around town.  Pomona’s Downtown is looking vibrant in a way that would have been hard to envision a few years back, which makes it all the more imperative for our library to undergo the same transformation.


At the Second Saturday Event in Downtown Pomona

Another hot tip:  O’Donovan’s Irish Pub will be opening officially on September 24th.  It’s been open unofficially for the past week and a half.  For those who have not been following, it is located in the historic Mayfair Hotel, on the corner of 3rd and Garey.  The building has been lovingly restored, with student apartments above the restaurant/ pub.  Many of us in Advocacy have been in to check it out and are quite impressed.   We’re hoping for O’Donovan’s to be the site for our first restaurant fundraiser, and owner Mark Drury is enthusiastic as well.  We’d expected to be organized earlier on this, but O’Donovan’s had some licensing glitches that have since been worked out.  We’re giving Mark a week or two to get the pub going, and then I’m getting in touch with him to plan our event.  O’Donovan’s looks like it is going to add to the revitalizing spirit of Downtown, and the staff is particularly warm and helpful.

Early fundraising will be our next big push, so please be watching for our events.

Marian Higgins
Coordinator, SOPPL/ Advocacy
September 2013

We Support the Pomona Public Library

Board of Library Trustees
The Library Board of Trustees is an official appointed body of the City Council that oversees the management and operations of the Pomona Public Library. The Library Board may solicit funds for the sole benefit of the Library, subject to the City Council’s approval. For additional information, contact the Librarian at 620-2043 ext. 2036.

Friends of Pomona Public Library
The Friends of the Pomona Public Library is a 501 (c) 3 organization which assists the Library in its efforts to meet the needs and interests of the community. Organized in 1955, the Friends of PPL has been a pillar of support for the Library for 58 years. (Contact info: www.friendspomonalibrary.org; email: fo_ ppl@yahoo.com, phone: 909-802-7756). Friends Goals: • To maintain an active association of persons interested in information free to all ages & ethnicities through written media, audio-visual media and technology media as well as human communication. • To stimulate gifts to provide funds to support the Library which will advance the Library’s safe and welcoming environment as a community center for gathering information and promoting learning. Donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law. • To focus public attention on library services, programs, and needs.

Pomona Public Library Foundation
Established in 2004, the Pomona Public Library Foundation, is a not-for-profit organization operating under 501(c) (3) of the Federal Tax Code and the laws of the State of California. The mission of the Foundation is to develop private sources of financial support to help meet the Library’s long term, large scale and critical operational needs exceeding available municipal funding. The Foundation accepts tax-deductible donations in the form of cash, stock, real estate, personal property or other assets, and including gifts made through trusts, estates or insurance policies. The Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of up to 25 community members appointed for one to three year terms. For more information about the Foundation, see our web page at: http://pomonalibraryfoundation.org or contact us at 101 W. Mission Blvd. #110-219 Pomona, CA 91766, Phone: 909 576-4295

Save Our Pomona Public Library / Advocacy
SOPPL / Advocacy’s current mission is to lay the groundwork for placing a tax initiative on the November 2014 ballot. This will include coordinating with other library groups within the city (Foundation, Trustees, and Friends), raising funds, participating in community activities, and developing strategies to best achieve our primary goal of sustainable funding for the Pomona Public Library. It is SOPPL / Advocacy’s view this can only be achieved by passage of a ballot measure. SOPPL / Advocacy is an independent, volunteer, 501 (c) (4) organization that engages in political advocacy for the Pomona Public Library. Visit SOPPL / Advocacy at http://www.soppl.org/ or call Advocacy Coordinator Marian Higgins at 909 622-7911.

Together We Read
Together We Read is a city-wide celebration of books and reading with events and activities surrounding one book which all citizens are encouraged to read during October through November each year (2013’s book is Farewell to Manzanar). The program is coordinated by the Library but includes a wide array of community partners including: City of Pomona, Pomona Community Services Department, Pomona Cultural Arts Commission, Pomona Unified School District, Western University of Health Sciences, Cal Poly Pomona, Historical Society of the Pomona Valley, Pilgrim Congregational Church, Pomona Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Pomona Owners’ Association (DPOA), First Christian Church, Friends of the Pomona Library, Pomona Public Library Foundation, Friends of the Pomona Fox, Boys and Girls Club of Pomona, Pomona Host Lions, and Claremont Community Senior Services.

RE: Increased Operating Hours at the Pomona Public Library

NEWS from SOPPL / Advocacy
September 2, 2013

Re: Increased operating hours at the Pomona Public Library

Save Our Pomona Public Library / Advocacy (SOPPL / Advocacy) welcomes the increased operating hours at the Pomona Public Library. The increase from 20 hours a week to 29 hours a week and the restoration of Thursday operations are positive developments.  With its new schedule of 29 hours a week, the Pomona Public Library is still open far fewer hours than the traditional 54 hours of operation last seen in June 2008. According to FY13/14 City general fund budget (http://www.ci.pomona.ca.us/index.php/finance-home/2013-2014-fiscal-budget), even with these increased hours library funding continues its year to year decline.

All library staff is part time and professional library leadership is limited.  Marian Higgins, SOPPL / Advocacy coordinator, said, “It is exciting to see this progress. Small improvements in schedule will not get us the robust library service that Pomona residents deserve. Save Our Pomona Public Library / Advocacy remains dedicated to finding sustainable funding for our library – dedicated funding that will ensure full library service for our community. The needs of Pomona cannot be met with part time staff no matter how dedicated.”

Starting September 5, 2013 the new library hours will be:
Monday 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Tuesday 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Wednesday 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm
Friday, Sunday Closed

An event commemorating the new operating hour will be held on the steps of the Pomona Public Library starting at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, September 5, 2013.

SOPPL / Advocacy is an independent, volunteer, 501 (c) (4) organization engaged in political advocacy for the Pomona Public Library.

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