Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Support Friends of Elmhurst

50% of all royalty proceeds from the sale of all I Love FOEL products at my Zazzle store will go to Friends of Elmhurst Branch Library to directly benefit the library. If you have a message or special artwork you'd like to use to get the message out, you can even customize your own from any of dozens of different products from t-shirts to bumper stickers, tennis shoes, skateboards, postage stamps, buttons, magnets, keychains, postcards and more.

Oakland Public Libraries need your help--particularly Elmhurst Branch which lies in the heart of East Oakland where poverty and crime are high. Many kids are the victims of substance abuse parents and many more are from single parent homes. To get ahead here often requires nothing short of miracles. Hope is often a four-letter word. The City of Oakland must cut the budget and libraries have become a major target. Libraries provide a safe haven for kids--particularly in East Oakland where Elmhurst is located.

Public schools here do not have libraries. They rely on the public library to assist kids in school. Library hours are being cut, staff reduced, new collections halted. These kids often cannot study at home as their family may be too poor to pay the electric bill so there are no lights to study under. Many kids are crack babies being raised by grandparents with limited resources and waning energies. Others have no privacy at home so to study means going to the library.

Computers with Internet access are not found in very many homes in East Oakland. Kids, and many adults, have to go to the public library for that. Our branch is the cornerstone of our community. It serves the elderly by providing a vital social network, access to materials they cannot afford on a fixed income, Internet access in a part of Oakland where poverty and illiteracy is high. It serves the underprivileged and unemployed with resources to build a resume, do a job search, prepare for special skills education to get a better job. In short, our branch library is the hub of our community. Without adequate library hours, this vulnerable neighborhood will put kids on the streets, seniors shut in, unemployeds and underemployeds with nowhere to turn for assistance.

1 comment:

  1. How can we help?

    Email the mayor and council and tell them they must keep Oakland libraries open at least 5 days a week! See Email addresses and phone numbers below. Attend the budget meetings and tell them in person! We had voted YES on Measure Q (increase hours and services, not cut them).

    Ron Dellums (510)238-3141 officeofthemayor@oaklandnet.com
    Larry Reid (510) 238-7007 lreid@oaklandnet.com
    Nancy Nadel (510) 238-7003 nnadel@oaklandnet.com
    Jean Quan (510) 238-7004 jquan@oaklandnet.com
    Ignacio De La Fuente (510) 238-7005 idelafuente@oaklandnet.com
    Desley Brooks (510) 238-7006 dbrooks@oaklandnet.com
    Jane Brunner (510) 238-7001 jbrunner@oaklandnet.com
    Patricia Kernighan (510) 238-7002 pkernighan@oaklandnet.com
    Rebecca Kaplan (510) 238-7008 atlarge@oaklandnet.com
    Carmen Martinez (510) 238-3141 cmartinez@oaklandnet.com

    The Mayor and City Council will hold a series of public meetings about the proposed budget on the following dates from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at Oakland City Hall:

    * Thursday, May 28
    * Monday, June 1

    1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza
    1 City Hall Plaza
    Oakland, CA 94612

    Visit or call the folks at
    Elmhurst Branch too
    1427 88th Avenue
    Oakland, CA 94621
    (510) 615-5727

    Thank you wonderful librarians, staff, Friends of the Library, patrons, and all supporters of the Elmhurst Branch and all libraries across the country!