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Book Lovers From All Over California Join Locals in a Historic “24-HOUR READ-IN�

Authors Maxine Hong Kingston, Poet Gary Soto, Actor Hector Elizondo, and Dozens of Others Join Effort to Stop Closing of Public Libraries in Salinas, CA

CONTACT: Peter Kwiek, 831-261-2297 Medea Benjamin (415) 235-6517
Salinas, CA – In an effort to save Salinas, California’s public library system, which is slated to shut down because of budget shortfalls, dozens of authors, community activists, and supporters have organized an Emergency 24-hour “Read-In� outside the Cesar Chavez Public Library in Salinas, from Saturday, April 2 at 1 PM to Sunday, April 3 at 1 PM. “We’re telling people to bring their tents, sleeping bags and favorite books. We’ll be here all day and all night to show our determination to keep our libraries open,� says Efren Barajas of United Farmworkers of America, one of the groups organizing the read-in.

Joining the read-in will be actor Hector Elizondo; poets Gary Soto and Jose Montoya; community leaders Dolores Huerta and Salinas Mayor Anna Caballero; musician Dr. Loco; and writers Maxine Hong Kingston, Riane Eisler, James Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Jack Kornfield, Meredith Maran, and Wes “Scoop� Nisker, among others. In addition to the read-a-thon there will also be music, movies, children’s activities, and an overnight camp-out.

Salinas is one of hundreds of communities throughout the United States whose libraries systems are facing severe cutbacks or elimination. According to the American Library Association, projected and announced library funding cuts have topped $111.2 million in the last 18 months, and almost every single state in the U.S. is facing library funding cuts of up to 50 percent.

One of the groups organizing the read-in, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, is highlighting the fact that there is always money available for war but not for our schools and libraries. “Something is terribly awry when Salinas taxpayers have spent $80.5 million on the Iraq war, but they don’t have the $5 million needed to keep the libraries open,� says CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin.

“People will be coming to the Read-In from all over the state to show their love of libraries and to join us in calling on Governor Schwarzenegger to find a long-term solution to this crisis,� says Peter Kweik of event cosponsor Salinas Action League.

Sponsors of the Emergency 24-Hour Read-In are the United Farmworkers of America, AFL-CIO, Salinas Action League, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), Global Exchange, and Vote! The Citizen Project.


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Re: Book Lovers From All Over California Join Locals in an Historic “24-HOUR READ-IN�

Holy Dewey Decimal, Batman! They're closing libraries now? This country blows.

Sign up to read, volunteer or perform

Emergency Read-in at Cesar Chavez Library! Saturday, April 2nd, 1:00p.m. to Sunday, April 3rd, 1:00p.m.

Join famous authors, poets, elected officials, community folks and book lovers from all over the state for a 24-hour celebration of reading and literacy, starting at 1pm on Saturday, April 2nd and culminating on Sunday, April 3 with the yearly Cesar Chavez Holiday march and cultural celebration in Salinas. Bring your family, your sleeping bag, and your favorite books!!!

Sign up to read, volunteer or perform

Sponsors (partial list): Save Salinas Libraries, Salinas Action League, United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO, CodePink: Women for Peace, Global Exchange, Proyecto Guerrero Azteca

Don't let the Salinas Libraries Shut Down -- We need your help!

information from:

Here are some more people and bands that will be taking part in the 24hr Read-In to save the Salinas Public Libraries.

Mike Farrell
Swami Beyondananda
Norman Solomon
Zun Zun

“Libraries should never be closed -- especially in Salinas where young people find few sanctuaries to learn, to interact, to dream.�

- Luis Rodriguez, award-winning author of Always Running: La Vida Loca, and Gang Days in L.A.

Don't let the Salinas Libraries Shut Down
-- We need your help!

Join authors, poets, elected officials, community folks, and book-lovers from all over California for an historic 24-Hour Emergency Read-In

Save the Salinas Public Libraries
Celebrate Your Love of Books & Literacy
Help Us Reclaim Our Public Spaces
Honor Public Service

ALL of Salinas's public libraries are on track to
SHUT DOWN! We MUST not and WILL not allow this to happen

Libraries are the soul of our communities, providing vital services to all–especially the most low-income members and children. If we allow the Salinas libraries to close, we will see a wave of library closings throughout the country. We NEED YOU to help save our libraries!

Bring your family, your tent, your sleeping bag, your booklight, and your favorite books and quotes!!!

We will be calling on Governor Schwarzenegger and other state elected officials to find equitable solutions to pay for the operating costs of our libraries in poorer communities.

Can we unite to keep Salinas libraries open?

Si, Se Puede! Yes, we can!

email us or call 831-754-5554 for information. Let us know you are coming. Find out how you can help. For more on saving Salinas libraries go to

Re: Book Lovers From All Over California Join Locals in a Historic “24-HOUR READ-IN�

It's all well and good to demand that the Governator solve the problem for you, but if you want to make it his problem to solve, you should be willing to accept when he says there's no good solution.

There is no Magic Money Tree. If it goes here, it has to be taken from somewhere else. And then people in that other place make the same demands of him.

Instead of whining like spoiled children that you're not being GIVEN what you want, take some responsibility and initiative and save the libraries yourself.

Organize a fundraiser!

Donate some time!

Donate some of your own money!

Donate some books!

Hold a bake sale!

Get some Salinas-area retailers and employers to underwrite the library just like they do for PBS and NPR!

Ask library employees to consider a voluntary salary or benefits cut!

Then ask the landlords of librarians to consider lowering rent for them, to benefit the library system!

Ask the local grocery store to offer discounts for library employees!

Just stop demanding handouts like some SUV-driving yuppie mother's spoiled children in the cereal aisle. Even the beggars on Pacific say "please" and "thankyou" to me.

How to Dissolve the Salinas Money Crisis

Salinas need not be dependent on the State for operating funds. Even if it can't legally reject its financial subservience, it can access its own wealth by creating its own local currency.
It makes me mad to think that a city like Salinas, full of its own vitality, intelligent people and natural resources, should be intimidated and panicked by the withholding of funds by the State of California, or have to be a supplicant to the Federal government.

It is obvious that local communities are not going to get any help from State or Federal governments. California cities give more money to those governments than they get back in grants or any other form of aid. (You probably know this already, but if not, you can find it with a web search under California Cities) This alone shows how parasitic they are. Local communities would be better off if they could simply refuse all “help� from these non-local bodies, and pay nothing to them. They would also be free of the intrusive control over their affairs which comes with the ability of the State or the Feds to grant or withhold aid.

Since there is probably no way to avoid being exploited in the present fashion (though this certainly merits the closest legal scrutiny), perhaps there is a way to become independent of the entire money system on which it depends. Local communities are, in fact, the source of all wealth. It is therefore absurd to think that they couldn’t survive without the “help� of overarching governments, The situation is entirely the reverse: if it were not for the contributions of these communities, these governments could not exist.

When the State of California slashes funds for a city like Salinas, to the absurd point that it has to close all its libraries, there is always a huge panic, as if money granted by the State were real wealth. It isn’t. That money— or any money, for that matter— is just a token which the people of Salinas have tacitly agreed to accept in exchange for real wealth. They could just as easily accept some other token instead (or as well), for example, money they print themselves. Such money would be useless outside Salinas (or whatever surrounding areas the residents may want to include), but that would be fine, since this is only for the benefit of exchanges of goods and services within Salinas.

It is instructive to recall the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Most people lacked money. Without money, people were not buying things. Stores stopped ordering stock. Factories fired workers, since the wholesalers were not buying what they made. The soil still yielded crops as before, but fewer and fewer could afford to buy the produce. Farm hands were laid off. Everyone down the line lost employment for the same reason, which meant even less for people to spend.

So here was an absurd situation: There was potentially plenty of food, but everyone was hungry. The farmers would have been happy to sell, and the public to buy. Everyone needed work, and farmers, factory owners, and merchandisers of all kinds wanted to employ them, but no one had any money. Yet physically, nothing had changed since before the Depression: the factory machinery still existed, and was still workable; the warehouses still stood, the stores still existed, and the workers were still alive, most of them, and eager to get back to work.

Some communities, some 1200 of them, realized how absurd this was, and printed their own money. They started their local resources moving again and survived until the great national spending for World War II kicked everything back uphill.

Why not do this again? A local currency could be made instantly meaningful to local residents if the city council decided to accept property taxes in that currency. City workers could be paid with it, instead of being laid off. It would take some publicity, true, but this is just another way of saying that we need to remember how much our lives depend on a sense of community.

If you want to pursue this idea, buy Thomas Greco’s book (or any of many others) on the subject of local currencies, or reply to this e-mail and I will contact the people at Sonoma State University who are specialists in it and eager to apply it in interested communities.

Re: Book Lovers From All Over California Join Locals in a Historic “24-HOUR READ-IN�

can you give me the date when Maxine Hong Kingston
and gary Soto was born, and the date they died?

Re: Book Lovers From All Over California Join Locals in a Historic “24-HOUR READ-IN�

Does SOMEONE have a book report due very soon?

Regarding your question about Kingston and Soto, if they were at this event a month or so ago, then when did they *die*? (Hint: this is a trick question!)

I suggest you try going to a library and looking up their names in a reference book on American authors. They should have the information there. If you don't have a library available to you, you may also want to try to for basic facts. However, the library is always the best source for factual information.


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