SOPPL / Advocacy receives $5,000 matching challenge grant from EveryLibrary

March 4, 2014

Save Our Pomona Public Library / Advocacy
SOPPL / Advocacy
Box 2701
Pomona, CA 91769
(909) 622-7911

Re: SOPPL / Advocacy receives $5,000 matching challenge grant from EveryLibrary

SOPPL / Advocacy is pleased to announce the award of a $5,000 matching challenge grant from EveryLibrary. EveryLibrary will match every dollar Save Our Pomona Public Library / Advocacy (SOPPL / Advocacy) raises. When completed, this fund raising campaign will raise a combined total of $10,000 in support of a November 4, 2014 ballot measure to provide sustainable funding for the Pomona Public Library.

Marian Higgins, SOPPL / Advocacy coordinator, says, “We’re very excited to receive this matching grant from EveryLibrary. The grant provides an opportunity for our local donors to double their contributions early in the campaign. These early funds in turn will allow us to hit the ground running when the Pomona Library sustainable funding ballot measure is ready for voter consideration.”

“Pomona needs a library that is open enough hours to serve everyone. From education to small business support to the arts, the Pomona library is a hub for the community,” says John Chrastka, executive director of EveryLibrary. “We’re supporting Save our Pomona Library / Advocacy as they campaign to restore funding for the library. I’ve stood outside your library on a Friday with kids looking for homework help. We want our donation to be matched by the community in Pomona to make sure this doesn’t have to happen again after November.”

SOPPL / Advocacy is an independent, volunteer, 501 (c) (4) organization dedicated to seeking sustainable public funding for the Pomona Public Library.

EveryLibrary is the first and only national organization dedicated to supporting local library initiatives at the ballot box. We provide technical assistance and consulting to libraries from pre-filing through the run of the campaign and raise funds nationally to support local Vote Yes at election time. More about their work can be found at

John Chrastka
(708) 819-0352

Marian Higgins
SOPPL / Advocacy
(909) 622-7911

Download this News Release (PDF)

Sustainable News – 1.13.2013

Patricia Hernandez: My Pomona Public Library Story

2014_01_newsI was first introduced to the Library after I moved to Pomona in 1990. As a single parent with three children under the age of five, we quickly became fans of the Saturday afternoon story hour and the library’s audio visual department.

As my children grew up, the library became our “go to” place for homework help. With advent of the World Wide Web, we used the library’s computer lab, courtesy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The shelf of college catalogs in the children’s room became a source of inspiration for my children. I credit the Library as part of the village that helped me get all three children into college.

Today the library serves as my personal study place, where I go to read paper copies of magazines.

– Patricia Hernandez

Please tell us your Pomona Public Library story.

 Only 295 Days To Go

With 295 days until the November 4, 2014 election, why is the SOPPL / Advocacy team working so hard? Simply put, there is a lot to do.

In 2012 Measure X which would have provided sustainable funding for our library garnered 61% of the vote.  Pretty good, but not good enough. To be enacted Measure X needed 67% of the vote. In 2012 we had only a few months for voter education, fund raising, and active campaigning. We learned a lot.

One thing we learned is that a few months is not enough time to do everything that a successful campaign with a 67% target must do. We didn’t get our message to enough people, we didn’t get everyone who supports the Pomona Public Library to the polls and, frankly, we didn’t raise enough money to do everything we would have liked to do.

So we have already begun our efforts for the November 2014 election. We now have a Facebook page  and a Twitter account as well a growing list of supporters. We try to be part of every community event we can. We tell the library’s story from our 2nd Saturday Art Walk table in Thomas Plaza to community watch meetings. We would be happy to speak or have a table at your group’s event.

There is a lot to do and you are part of it. If you would like to help, please contact SOPPL / Advocacy via our website or by email.

– Duane Smith

Download this newsletter (PDF)

A Saturday To Remember

Thanks to all who helped make our November 16th fundraiser such a success! We sold more than 60 tickets, and appreciate all of you who showed up in support of SOPPL/ Advocacy’s quest to obtain sustained funding for Pomona’s remarkable library.

It truly was an exhilarating day for those who attended the Foundation’s David Ono Heart Mountain presentation in the morning, and then came Wine Tasting with us in late afternoon. The conversation definitely lived up to our expectations, and the wine was pretty good too!

The Heart Mountain documentary is one of the best on any topic I have seen, and Mr. Ono did a great job of providing local context. Guest panelists included Patti Hirahawa, whose great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were interned at Heart Mountain and made several thousand photos of the camp; and Mike Hachimonji, who was interned there as a teenager. Mr. Hachimonji was initially processed through the Pomona Assembly Center at the Fairgrounds, and then transported on to Heart Mountain Internment Camp. His experience mirrored that of most Japanese-American Pomonans during WWII.

Also part of this event were readings by PUSD students of letters to Mrs. Lavina Pendley, a popular and compassionate school librarian, from former students both at the Pomona Assembly Center and Heart Mountain Internment Camp. These letters are archived in Pomona Public Library’s Special Collections, amongst a great deal of other primary sources. It was particularly moving to watch the way 70 year old correspondence resonated with today’s teens who were reading it.

I know I’m repeating myself, but what other local library has archived first person accounts of people who lived through one of our most turbulent, controversial periods in history? How better to make history come alive for students and all citizens?

Together We Read has done a remarkable job this year of incorporating local first-hand accounts, archived in PPL’s Special Collections, into their programs. They furthered SOPPL/ Advocacy’s argument Pomona’s library is a unique treasure, worthy of support.

Thanks again to all who participated and made last Saturday a great and glorious day!

Marian Higgins

Wine Tasting Event November 16, 2013


SOPPL / Advocacy
265 E Jefferson Ave
Pomona, CA 91767-3923
(909) 622-7911

Re: Wine Tasting Event November 16, 2013

Save Our Pomona Public Library / Advocacy will hold a Wine Tasting event on November 16, 4:30 PM, at the home of Marian Higgins, 265 East Jefferson Ave., Pomona.

The event will benefit Save Our Pomona Public Library / Advocacy and its work to ensure sustainable funding for the Pomona Public Library.

Educating participant’s palettes, Elie Joseph, former owner of Winestyles in Claremont, will present a selection of fine wines and provide analysis. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided. The cost of the event is $25.00 per person.

Marian Higgins, SOPPL / Advocacy Coordinator, said, “This event will formally kick off our campaign to secure voter approval of a library funding measure in November, 2014. The event has two goals. First, we want to build supporter enthusiasm and, second, we want to begin raising funds for the upcoming campaign. Without sufficient funds, no amount of supporter enthusiasm will allow us to reach the required two thirds vote in November of 2014.”

Email or call 909 622-7911 for more information.

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

Alice Gomez | | 909 621-7723 or
Duane Smith | | 909 717-8381

Download this news release as a PDF

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