February 17, 2018

Delegation Sobered by Salinas Situation, but See Locals Energized

By LJ Staff

When a cadre of state and national library figures visited Salinas, CA, hoping to block the closure of the city’s library system, they emerged sobered but hopeful. American Library Association (ALA) President-elect Michael Gorman told LJ the delegation met with city officials, local business managers, and library staff and Friends; an open meeting later that evening attracted 150 locals ‘energized and keen on keeping their libraries going.’ City officials explained Salinas’s finances. ‘If we had any doubts before, we have none now,’ Gorman said. ‘This was a last resort for people who had no options.’ Gorman cited ‘chilling statistics’ about tax revenue and per capita income. Meanwhile, the Rally Salinas campaign has raised over $150,000, with a goal to raise $500,000 by June 30 and keep library doors open while new tax measures are discussed. City officials said libraries would remain open at least until June, rather than April as previously suggested.