Times-Herald (Vallejo, CA)
January 9, 2011 Section: News
Article ID: 17049370

Vallejo library finds tax worth celebrating

   Lanz Christian Baynes

A library is supposed to be quiet -- but someone forgot to tell that to a bunch of musically inclined kids.

John F. Kennedy Library hosted Step Up Music Vallejo on Saturday for an hour-long interactive jam session for young children.
"My favorite part was standing up," said Sophia Hughes, a 4-year-old who was the only one of about a dozen children to get up and dance.

Part concert, part music lesson, the event was put together as part of Solano County Library's January celebration of Measure B, a sales tax passed by voters in 1998 that benefited the county library. The celebration is known as "Promises Made, Promises Kept."

"It's enabled us to keep our doors open," said Laura Rodriguez, a library associate at JFK Library.

Saturday's event featured Step Up Music Vallejo founder Ariane Cap and composer Wolfgang Wein playing various songs for the children as well as leading them in a few simple lessons that largely revolved around rhythm.

In one lesson, children were given "boomwhackers" -- hollow plastic tubes, each attuned to a different note. Groups of children (and their adults) tapped different notes out to create a version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

"It was awesome," Rodriguez said of the program.

Measure B instituted a 1/8 of a penny sales tax and passed with 68 percent of the vote. The funds allowed for longer and more consistent library hours, more materials and more programs.

Before Measure B, none of the county's libraries were open on Friday, only two were open on Sunday and few were open late, Rodriguez said.Now, Measure B funds make up 25 percent of the library's budget. This included raising the library's materials budget from $432,000 to about $2 million.

Measure B will expire in 2014 unless voters approve an extension.

Contact staff writer Lanz Christian Bañes at lbanes@timesheraldonline.com or (707) 553-6833.


Josclyn Henderson, right and Sophia Hughes, 4, bang Boom Whacker tubes to make music with the Step Up Music Vallejo during a celebration of the anniversary of a sales tax that benefits the JFK Library in Vallejo on Saturday.

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