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Measure T Takes Stage

POSTED April 10, 2012 3:43 p.m.

In an effort to promote awareness for the upcoming Measure T, which will appear on the ballots in June, as well as fundraise for the local library, coordinators have gathered 11 authors from various genres for an author event, Wednesday, April 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Oakdale Senior Center.

There is a $10 suggested donation for the event, which will feature keynote speaker, Eric Quisling, author of “Straight Whiskey,” as well as opportunities to win prizes and speak with the other authors about the publishing business, or their craft and writing process. Refreshments will also be available.

“We’re hoping to make this an annual event as a benefit for the Oakdale library,” Sharon Arpoika, a retired librarian and current co-coordinator of the local event said. “It’s essential to stay funded to stay open and get the materials they need.”

Measure T is a one-eighth of a penny library sales tax that funds the county’s libraries that will be on the ballot for renewal as it expires this year. The tax first went into effect in 1995 and has since been renewed twice. It will need a two-thirds majority to pass.

“There is a concern with the economy the way that it is that people are tired of being taxed but it’s not a new tax. This has been in place for quite a while and it’s so fundamental in keeping the libraries open,” Arpoika said.

Eighty-seven percent of the funds collected by Measure T are funneled back into the county’s library system.

“If it doesn’t pass, they will probably close all the libraries with the exception of one,” Arpoika said.

Keynote speaker Quisling is an author, filmmaker, and musician who published his first book, The Angry Clam, shortly after graduating from UCLA. As a filmmaker he documented the heyday of three of the most legendary nightclubs in Los Angeles in the ‘60s: the Roxy, the Whisky and the Rainbow Bar and Grill. Subsequently he co-authored a book, Straight Whisky: A Living History of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll on the Sunset Strip in 2003, which expanded on the film documentary. His most recent endeavor is the release of an album, The Immortal Poets, which sets some of the world’s most well-known poems to his original music.

The local fundraising event will not only benefit the local library to help fund summer children’s programs and purchase materials, but it will also educate the public on the importance of Measure T, Arpoika added.

“Libraries are more than just books,” she said. “It helps provide literacy in the community as well as serves as a portal for finding reliable information. “Even though we have the Internet, librarians are trained to find credible sources of information.”

Current needs for the Oakdale library include new books and audio-visual equipment.

“We aren’t able to buy replacement copies of those hot, in-demand books like we used to,” Arpoika said.

For more information on Measure T, go to: http://savestanlibraries.com/About-Us.html

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