Our View: For the Love of Literacy


  • Posted on April 23, 2015

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Originally appeared in The Stockton Record
Trivia Bee: Fun Event with a Purpose

Posted Apr. 23, 2015 at 6:12 PM

These have been emotional, contentious and even political months in regards to the public library system in Stockton.
There has been vigorous — and healthy — debate about the departmental structure and leadership. The closing and desired re-opening of the Fair Oaks branch in southeast Stockton has brought together a good, old-fashioned grassroots coalition.
When you think about it, matters of libraries and their most important component — literacy — should be argued and decided with passion.
And with enjoyment. That happens tonight.
For the 24th consecutive year, the Trivia Bee will be presented by the Library and Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County.
After previously being held at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium and University of the Pacific’s Spanos Center, the Bee will have a new venue tonight: Stockton Arena. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is at 6 and the first of two rounds of competition begin at 7.
This year’s theme: “The 60s — Bee There or Bee Square.”
That means the dozens of three-member teams can expect questions on everything from President John F. Kennedy to the Vietnam War to the Beatles to movies and sports of the day with, of course, questions about Stockton and San Joaquin County interspersed.
This is the foundation’s annual major fundraiser, and the money raised goes to help the library system and literacy efforts in San Joaquin County.
There’s always plenty of fun with team members and supporters dressed up. Expect plenty of tie-dyed shirts and maybe some bell-bottom pants tonight. There will be awards for best team name, best costume and best decorated table.
Once again, sponsors have helped fund some high school teams so that they can take part in the competition (although they certainly weren’t around back in the 1960s).
The fun-filled evening comes with a distinct purpose: help the libraries to help the community. Consider some of these thoughts on literacy from throughout history:
• Frederick Douglass: “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
• John Steinbeck: “Learning to read is probably the most difficult and revolutionary thing that happens to the human brain and if you don’t believe that, watch an illiterate adult try to do it.”
• Dr. Seuss: “The more you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.”
• Ray Bradbury: “When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”
• Walter Cronkite: “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
Individual tickets for the Trivia Bee are still available and may be purchased at the door for $25.

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