Join Gary Soto, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, Teresa LeYung Ryan, Kirk Lumpkin, Para La Gente, PBS Between the Lions, and other authors, poets, musicians, belly dancers, storytellers and more in this celebration of libraries and community.

Eat some birthday cake and read to someone you care about in the Chair of Wisdom.

For more information, email plf@redjellyfish.net call 831.776.1514 visit http://salinaspubliclibrary.org, Facebook group Salinas Library Read-in

Read-In sponsored by the Salinas Action League together with the Salinas Public Library. Co-sponsored by Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, The Peace Center, United Farm Workers



Saturday, September 19, 2009 2-3:30pm

John Steinbeck Library
350 Lincoln Ave.
Salinas, CA 93901


Final FILM THE BOOK! September 18, 7:00 pm FREE!

Apocalyptic science fiction film depicting the catastrophic effects of both global warming and global cooling—hurricanes, tidal waves, and the start of the next Ice Age.

Paired with the novel:

Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler.

Rated PG-13. FREE!

John Steinbeck Library
350 Lincoln Ave., Salinas 758-7311


FILM THE BOOK! September 13, 7:00 pm FREE!

Humans have destroyed Earth and left the planet, leaving the cleanup to robots. Hundreds of years later, WALL-E is the only robot left when the monotony is broken by EVE, for whom he falls head over treads!

Paired with the collection of sci-fi short stories:

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov.

Rated G & FREE!

Cesar Chavez Library

615 Williams Rd., Salinas 758-7345


FILM THE BOOK! September 11, 7:00 pm FREE!

The tale of an ordinary 11-year-old boy who learns he is a wizard. He soon finds that the wizarding world is far more dangerous than he imagined. This is the first title in the "Harry Potter" series of novels by J.K. Rowling, and another film based on a book in our series exploring The Hero's Journey as shown to us by myth expert Joseph Campbell in his landmark book, "The Hero with A Thousand Faces".

Consider Harry Potter, and then consider clicking the link or picture above and speaking your mind on the subject of the Hero's Journey, and what that might mean on our blog at salinasstories.wordpress.com.

The event is FREE! And it's happening after hours at The Library! In the Lounge! Bring a date!

To be exact it's screening at 7PM at:

John Steinbeck Library
350 Lincoln Ave.
Salinas, CA 93901

See you there!


FILM THE BOOK! September 4, 7:00 pm FREE!

A computer hacker searches for the truth behind the mysterious force known as the Matrix. He becomes a heroic rebel figure, but is he The One?

Join us for another film screening, and discussion in our ongoing exploration of The Hero's Journey.

Paired with the book Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Rated R.


Cesar Chavez Library

615 Williams Rd., Salinas 758-7345


FILM THE BOOK! August 30, 2:00 pm FREE!

To save his swamp the ogre Shrek is sent on a hero’s quest to slay the Dragon and save the beautiful Princess who has a deep, dark secret. Based on the children’s book by William Steig.

Bring the kids and take a look at the Hero's Journey through the eyes of an Ogre, and a talking Donkey!

Rated PG.


El Gabilan Library

1400 N. Main St.
Salinas, CA


FILM THE BOOK! August 28, 7:00 pm FREE!

John Anderton is a top “Pre-Crime” cop in the late-21st century when technology can predict crimes before they’re committed, but he becomes the suspect when he’s targeted for a murder charge.

Join us for another look at The Hero's Journey with this chilling look at technology run amok, and what rights people might be willing to give up in return for safety and security!

Based on a short story
by Philip K. Dick

Rated PG-13


John Steinbeck Library
350 Lincoln Ave.
Salinas, CA


FILM THE BOOK! August 21, 7:00pm FREE!

After graduating college, Christopher McCandless gave his entire savings to charity and set out on a journey across America to the Alaskan wilderness. Was it a heroic journey, or a foolish adventure?

Based on a true story as told in the book by Jon Krakauer.

Rated R


John Steinbeck Library
350 Lincoln Ave.
Salinas, CA 831.758.7311


FILM THE BOOK! August 14, 7:00pm FREE!

Twenty years have passed since Don Diego de la Vega fought oppression as the legendary hero Zorro and now he must find a successor to stop the tyrant who has a plot to buy Alta California and enslave the population to work in his mines.

Based on the story, THE CURSE OF CAPISTRANO by Johnston McCulley.

Rated PG-13


Cesar Chavez Library
615 Williams Road
Salinas, CA 831.758.7345


FILM THE BOOK! August 7, 7:00pm FREE!

Tita is in love with Pedro but her controlling mother forbids her from marrying him. When Pedro marries her sister, Tita transfers her emotions into the food she prepares.

A sumptuous
fairy tale based on the book by Laura Esquivel.
Spanish with English subtitles. Rated R.


Cesar Chavez Library
615 Williams Road
Salinas, CA 831.758.7345



Meet artist Rhode Montijo and hear about his hero's journey through the underworld in his graphic novel, PABLO'S INFERNO, where young Pablo gets struck by a hit and run driver and triumphs in his adventures through a pre-colombian hell. Learn about the process of comic book production, from sketches to the final artwork.

This last event in our graphic novel month, and it will be a good one as you get to meet the artist himself, and find out firsthand what it takes to make a great comic book. You'll hear about the trials and tribulations of a comic book artist, and what it takes to survive, and prosper in the genre.

So join us for another exciting, stimulating program brought to you by the Salinas Public Library!


Heartbreak Soup: a Love and Rockets Book gets the treatment at Cesar Chavez Library!

TALK ABOUT IT! The first half of the acclaimed artist Gilbert Hernandez' magical-realist tales of "Palomar," the small Central American town, beginning with the groundbreaking story, "Sopa de Gran Pena." Content of this program is suitable for ages 17 and older.

Join us for another great look into the world of "Palomar" and it's inhabitants. This event is brought to you in partnership with CURRENT COMICS, the central coast's newest comic book and game shop. At our request they are sending their graphic novel experts to come out and talk about this classic collection of stories told in the graphic novel style by one of the genre's premiere artists.

This title is available for checkout at all of our branches, so if you like graphic novels, or even if you're just curious, stop by and get yourself some HEARTBREAK SOUP!


Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, by Chris Ware

Neither smart nor a kid, Jimmy reunites with his long-lost Dad, finds him a great disappointment, and discovers an African-American sister he never knew about.

Join us this Tuesday for another great conversation!


Secret Identities: Asian American Superheroes

brought to you in partnership with ASIAN CULTURAL ENCOUNTER (ACE) OF SALINAS and CURRENT COMICS, located in Salinas and Monterey.


Graphic Novels Month is Here!

July is Graphic Novels Month
at the Salinas Public Library!

Salinas Stories’ summer programs focus on ways of telling stories and the Library invites people of all ages to spend July exploring the storytelling form known as the graphic novel. Programs enable people to explore, discover & talk about graphic novels (in person and online), meet graphic novel artists, and learn to tell their own story through this exciting art form through free workshops. Copies of these graphic novels are available now at all branches of the Salinas Public Library and all events are FREE!

A graphic novel is a book that takes the form of a long comic strip or heavily illustrated story. The Salinas Public Library’s Graphic Novel series explores some of the most popular, mind-bending graphic novels available, from new twists on old classics like Batman to works by new artists.



Sunday, June 28, 2:00-3:30 pm

John Steinbeck Library, 350 Lincoln Avenue


One Salinas: Making a City

Neighborhood Stories

The National Steinbeck Center under construction in 1998

A community conversation that explores the stories of Salinas’ neighborhoods and the challenges of making one city, will take place on Sunday, June 28, from 2:00-3:30 pm at the John Steinbeck Library. “One Salinas” is the latest in a series of community conversations convened as part of the Salinas Stories program, exploring local residents’ experiences during important events in the history of Salinas.

During the first hour of the program, Salinas residents will relate stories about their different neighborhoods, where many people define their community, their identity and their loyalties. This will be followed by a conversation, “Making a City,” led by Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue, exploring what it might take to knit these disparate storylines into a tale of one city.

  • Theodore Cominos Sr. will tell stories of Oldtown Salinas as seen from the Cominos Hotel, one of Salinas’ oldest landmarks (established in 1856—at the intersection of the two stage routes, between Monterey and San Juan Bautista and between San Francisco and Los Angeles) in an area later the location of downtown Salinas. The hotel was owned by the Cominos family since approximately 1913, and Theodore Cominos worked at the hotel while in high school in the late 30s and remembers the vital life of Main Street. The building was severely damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and was torn down shortly afterward. The former building’s site is now the parking lot in front of the National Steinbeck Center. (The Monterey County Historical Society provides a history of the Cominos Hotel at http://www.mchsmuseum.com/halfwayhouse.html)
  • City Councilman Tony Barrera will relate stories of East Salinas, the neighborhood known as The Alisal, where he has lived for thirty years. In addition to his representation of the Alisal on the City Council and other philanthropic activities, for twelve years Barrera has served on Parent Patrol, monitoring the streets in the mornings as Alisal students go to school.
  • Ron Cacas will tell tales of growing up in South Salinas in the late 40s and early 50s, when he would ride his bicycle all the way from South Main to Leidig’s grocery store, and play with lots of friends in the neighborhood.
  • Stories from North Salinas will be presented by Roger Patterson, former owner of Roy’s Drive-In, a Salinas landmark and center for hot rods and milkshakes for forty years. Roy’s Drive-In was founded in 1962 by Roger Patterson’s father-in-law, Roy Kreeger, who bought the drive-in in 1976 and ran the family business until it closed in 2004. The site is now La Costa Taqueria.


You Saw It in The Californian!

SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 2–3:00 pm
John Steinbeck Library

Join Salinas Californian Senior Editor for Local News Mike Nemeth for a retrospective of front pages and photos from Salinas’ newspaper coverage of major historical events, from the first edition of the Salinas Index in 1871 to the present.



6:30-8:00 pm
Cesar Chavez Library
615 Williams Rd. in Salinas


Lluvia de Oro (Rain of Gold),

by Victor Villaseñor (En Español)

Three generations of a Mexican-American family’s migration from revolutionary Mexico to 20th century California.

JUEVES, 18 DE JUNIO, 6:30–8:00 pm

Biblioteca César Chávez

615 Williams Rd. en Salinas


Lluvia de Oro (Rain of Gold),

de Víctor Villaseñor (En Español)

Tres generaciones de la migración de una familia mexicoamericana desde el México revolucionario hasta la California del siglo 20.


SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2–4:00 pm

El Gabilan Library 1400 N. Main St. Salinas


Story the Map!

Memory Maps Workshop for Families



Mapas de Memoria Talleres para las Familias

BE CREATIVE @ YOUR LIBRARY! Create living art out of your life in Salinas in this mixed media workshop in which participants will decorate maps with their own stories. Community maps will be shown in libraries. Come and map out YOUR story!

¡SEA CREATIVO @ SU BIBLIOTECA! Cree arte viviente a partir de su vida en Salinas en este taller de medios múltiples en el cual los participantes decorarán mapas con sus propias historias. Los mapas de la comunidad se exhibirán en las bibliotecas.



Saturday June 13

2:00–3:30 pm

John Steinbeck Library

350 Lincoln Ave. in Salinas


Tour History

Resources at the Library:

A History Methods Workshop

Join Salinas Public Library’s history librarian for an informal tour of the history resources available at the Salinas Public Library, from microfilm of local newspapers from 1873 to historic artwork, to our local history collection, and a sneak peak at our archive.


Conversation: Books – "Space" by:

El Gabilan Library 1400 N. Main St. Salinas

Space, by James Michener.

An exploration of 20th-century space development, and the lives of six men and women dedicated to it. President John F. Kennedy challenged Americans and demanded that America put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960's, and in 1969 astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.

Do you remember that proud day? Do you remember what Salinas was like that day? Or have you read about it in your history book? What do you think of people going into space? Would you like to go into Space one day? What would you do if you could actually go into Space?

You can find the book in the Salinas Public Library by clicking here, and join our librarians Tuesday night at El Gabilan Library for a fascinating conversation about Space, and how we got there!


Documentary Film Screening: BRACERO STORIES

SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 2–3:00 PM
John Steinbeck Library 350 Lincoln Ave.

This documentary film explores the Bracero Program through interviews with people
on all sides of the controversial U.S.-Mexican government program which granted
temporary work contracts to millions of Mexican laborers from 1942-1964.

Bilingual, with subtitles.

DOMINGO, 7 DE JUNIO, 2–3:00 pm

Biblioteca John Steinbeck 350 Lincoln Ave.





FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 6–7:00 pm National Steinbeck Center

FILM: “Vinegar in the Valley”

This documentary film short explores the human story behind the UFW and agricultural business labor struggles in the Salinas Valley through interviews with people on all sides of the issue. The film was commissioned by the National Steinbeck Center and was made by students of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.

Click here for an article by the Monterey County Weekly


JUNE 1-30:

Conversation: Books ONLINE spotlights:

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,
by Tom Wolfe.

In 1964, writer Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters turned America on to a dangerously playful way of thinking as their Day-Glo bus, Further, made one of the most influential bus rides of the sixties.

Go to www.salinasstories.wordpress.com and check it out today!

The Monterey Herald


Here's a link to an article in today's issue of The Monterey Herald on the panel discussion, then talk by United Farmworkers co-founder Dolores Huerta held yesterday afternoon at Cesar Chavez Library in Salinas.

Nearly 150 people came to listen to and ask questions of the panel members, and Dolores Huerta including Salinas City Councilman Sergio Sanchez. General Manager Terry Feinberg of The Californian was the moderator for the discussion.

Blogged with the Flock Browser



SUNDAY, MAY 31, 1:30 pm

Cesar Chavez Library



Hear personal stories of the unionization struggles in Salinas from 1960-1985: The farmworkers movement and Cesar Chavez, growers, and the farmworkers themselves.

(Spanish translation available)

*If you can't make it on May 31 you can still be a part of Salinas Stories. Tell us your story by leaving a comment to this post below. With just a couple of clicks you can add your name to this permanent record, and be a part of an historic voyage into the amazing, and revealing, life, culture, and stories of Salinas! We may even read it on May 31! With your permission, of course!

Brought to you by the little library that could, the Salinas Public Library, roaring back to celebrate 100 years of life and liberty in Salinas, California, the National Steinbeck Center, known world-wide as the premier place for all things John Steinbeck, and the Institute of Museum & Library Services, whose mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas!


Conversacion: Libres – La Casa en Mango Street

La Casa en Mango Street (The House on Mango Street)

by Sandra Cisneros (En Español)

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 6:30–8:00 pm
Cesar Chavez Library

Esperanza Cordero, coming of age in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, uses poems
and stories to recollect her life on Mango Street. Join one of our librarians for a fun conversation about this book, and whatever it may inspire in you!


Story the Map!


SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2–4:00 pm John Steinbeck Library

Create living art out of your life in Salinas in this
mixed media workshop in which participants will decorate maps with their own stories. Community maps will be shown in libraries.



SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2:00 PM!


El Teatro Campesino comes to the Salinas Public Library! Come on out this Saturday for a lively, interactive time with members of this legendary theatre company!

Bring the whole family and celebrate El Teatro’s years of achievement since its first performances in the fields in 1965, on the back of flatbed trucks. A great time will be had by all!