In the Crosshairs Again: The Salinas Public Library’s Challenges and Promise


Salinas has a unique place in the annals of recent library history. Financial challenges in 2004-2005 brought the city to the brink of closing its libraries. Because Salinas is known as the home of Nobel laureate John Steinbeck, the threatened closure of the city’s libraries held significance extending well beyond city limits, and the struggle to save them gained international attention. Libraries are often the most affected departments in an era of municipal scarcity. Despite the earlier success to save Salinas’s libraries, they are once again in the “crosshairs” as the City faces significant financial challenges. This presentation will make the case that a vibrant library system is at the heart of the revitalization of Salinas for the 21st century.