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Quake Made Matters Worse at Our Libraries : Hard-hit by budget cuts, many facilities face even more severe funding shortages now. It's time for community support.

March 03, 1994|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If you are an active member of any Friends of the Library group, you are aware of the crisis in funding. If you don't know about it, a small lecture--with a self-serving element--is in order.

For struggling libraries heavily damaged by the Jan. 17 earthquake, as was the Thousand Oaks facility, the funding crisis has become catastrophic. But even before the earth shook, the Camarillo Library had to cut services: staff down by 50%; library hours drastically reduced; telephone reference and information assistance gone; the community room no longer available to local groups because of diminished staff.

Why aren't we outraged? If education is not a priority and we rear generations of illiterate people indifferent to the printed word, then magazines, newspapers and books will become museum artifacts. No newspapers, no columnists, no work for writers. No work for me.

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Mystery author appearances continue at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Dana Stabenow will sign "A Cold-Blooded Business" at 6 p.m. Friday, and Catherine Dain, author of "Walk a Crooked Mile," will sign at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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Laura Archera Huxley, widow of writer/philosopher Aldous Huxley and author of "You Are Not the Target" and "Between Heaven and Earth," will appear at White Winds, the New Center for Art and Awareness in Montecito, to lead a discussion about the nature and quality of life. Huxley has been honored by Sierra University, the United Nations and the World Health Foundation for Development and Peace. The event will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at 113 Middle Road. The $15 fee includes refreshments. Call 969-5718 for details.

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Christopher Vogler, author of the award-winning "The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters," will speak at the Ventura Writers Club meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Ottavio's, 340 Mobil Ave., Camarillo. Vogler, a story analyst, has evaluated thousands of screenplays for Hollywood studios, and was named UCLA Extension's outstanding teacher of 1993.

While advising the Walt Disney Co. on its animated features "Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Little Mermaid," he developed techniques to improve story structure and character based on the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell. There is a $5 fee for non-members. Call 482-5648 or 644-9592 for details.

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The Beginners Guide to Getting Published workshop may be just what you need if your goal is to sell an article, short story, poem or novel. Leanne Krusemark will conduct the seminar from 2:30 to 5 p.m. March 12 at Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Road. The fee is $38. Register at 654-6459.

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Hill School, the county's first public building, was erected behind San Buenaventura Mission by W. D. Hobson, and dedicated March 8, 1873, according to the Ventura County and Coast Almanac.

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