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

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Testimonial: From a Grateful Ontario Resident, Reader, and Researcher

Dear Members of the SOPPL Advocacy Group:
I have just made a donation via your PayPal option, and wanted to add a brief note of thanks for your efforts to pass Pomona’s Measure X – – and to Save Our Pomona Public Library!   I am a resident of Ontario, but in years past I have often used your library’s resources (including the facility, the collections, and the wonderful librarian staff) for tutoring reading,  for personal research projects, and for inter-library book loans.   The Pomona Public Library is a COMMUNITY resource whose benefits are of value FAR BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CITY OF POMONA, believe me, which is why I am grateful for the opportunity to donate, as a non-resident.   I literally pray that PPL will live for another 110 years, saved by grateful residents of the entire Inland Empire.   Thank you for your time, efforts, and energies.

— P. Whiting

Save Library: Pass X

(Letter from Elizabeth Martinez, Salinas Library and Community Services Director, as published in the October 20, 2012 issue of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

I grew up in Pomona, attended the library programs including the “Gingerbread Social” in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Room, became a librarian, and eventually the executive director of the American Library Association.

Children’s librarian Clara Webber took an interest in me, as I was a reader, and became a friend to my mother, even sitting with me in the hospital waiting room when she had a breast cancer operation. For many years, Ms. Webber, as I knew her, wrote to my mother and she tracked my education and discussed my future.

It seems difficult to comprehend that the Pomona Public Library is reduced to limited hours and programs. I came to Salinas, a city of 150,000 residents and 75 percent Latino, five years ago to restore the library system that the council voted closed in 2005. It became international news, and was documented in the film “The Hollywood Librarian,” because it was the home of Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck, and many people thought it heresy to close the libraries in Steinbeck’s hometown.

Today the three Salinas public libraries are open seven days a week, and every public school student K-12 (39,000) has a library card. We have over 750 public events a year, two homework centers (one at an elementary school), a bookmobile, and over $1.8 million in grants for children’s programs, video-histories, and the first Digital Arts Lab in a library, all for $26 a year per person in sales taxes. The Salinas Public Library is funded by a half-cent sales tax passed in 2005. The library is highly visible, and it would be difficult to close it now, as it has been called “the heart of the community” and “an adventure.” See our annual reports on YouTube.

I trust that the residents of Pomona “save the library” by passing Measure X.

A city without a library is one without a heart.

Library and Community Services Director

Ms. Martinez is one of the most prominent Librarians in the country. She has been the Director of the Orange County Public Library, and the Director of the  Los Angeles Public Library, and served for several years as the Executive Director of the American Library Association. (She was the first Latina to ever hold these positions, and has received numerous honors and awards for her pioneering efforts to provide and improve Library Services to the Spanish speaking community).

She has served on the faculty of several University Library Schools, including UCLA, San Jose State and the University of Arizona. She is renowned for her fundraising efforts to support Libraries. As Director of the Los Angeles Public Library she oversaw its $213 million renovation and reopening in 1993. As ALA Executive Director she helped to  initiate the Gates Foundation’s $200 million program to place 22,000 computers in over 4,000 libraries thoughout the United States. (The Pomona Library’s computer lab began with a grant from the Gates Foundation).

Testimonial: Nora Garcia

My name is Nora Garcia and I would like to help Save Our Pomona Public Library. I have lived in Pomona since I was three years old and I got my Library card the first day I went to pre-school. You see, even though I was born here and had lived here for all five years of my life I did not know English. At pick-up time my teacher told my mother to take me to the Library. My mother did not know English either, but between her broken English and Lois’s (a Librarian) broken Spanish we were filling out forms in no time.

The more I learned English, the more I went to the Library. My poor mother spent hours in the car, on the children’s room stools while I checked out stacks and stacks of books. In fifth grade I read The Count of Monte Cristo.  By middle school I was reading Jane Austen. I loved reading and the Library helped me love it more. I graduated from college with a BA in English and now I am an English teacher in Pomona.

I credit the Pomona Public Library with helping me to learn English. I credit the Library with opening my heart and mind to literature and setting me on my career path. I remember doing my homework at the computer station when my family could not afford a computer at home. The Library helped me and I think it deserves a chance to help my students and other children in our city like it helped me and my siblings.  Let me know how I can help. My siblings and I would like to speak at a City Council meeting if possible.

Keynote Speeches Video Clips 9.13.2012

For those that couldn’t make it to the Fund-Raising Event at the Pomona Public Library earlier this month or for those in attendance that would like to view clips of the great keynote speeches given by Jose Aponte and David Kipen, we have posted them on YouTube!

More videos available on SOPPL’s YouTube channel.