Salinas Turning To Libraries to Prevent Gang Violence
SALINAS, Calif. -- With one shooting already in the books for the New Year, the city of Salinas is now turning to libraries in hopes of curbing gang violence.
For more than a year, library director Elizabeth Martinez has led the literacy campaign, which has already handed out 30,000 library cards. "We are astonished by the response of the community, people who want help for their families,” Martinez said. In fact, 65,000 Salinas residents own a library card, which is 45 percent of the population – twice the national average.
Mayor Donohue of Salinas is pushing a literacy campaign that would make the city the first in the country to require every student to have a library card.
“The libraries are really one of our best weapons on the prevention side to make sure we get as many young people out to the right start in life," Donohue said.