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Library Bequest-Funded Storyteller to Quit

Chuck Ashton, whose salary was funded by a bequest to the Library Board, terminated his contract this week.

Library Bequest-Funded Storyteller to Quit

Long-time retired librarian and story teller Chuck Ashton will perform his last storytime on June 10. The money from the $225,000 library bequest used to fund his salary will still be used to perform other community literacy programs, according to Redwood City spokesperson Malcolm Smith.

Using part of the $225,000 January library bequest to fund Ashton's salary has sparked action amongst some residents, who have formed the "Committee to Save Schaberg Library." Members say they would rather see the money used to extend 's hours rather than for programming, which could be done by eager volunteers.

"We urgently renew our request that the funds be used to fully restore hours at the Schaberg branch and to stock its shelves to the standard maintained at the other branches," wrote Redwood City resident Sharon Levin in her on Patch.

City officials that they do not want to spend these one-time funds for ongoing operations, such as extending Schaberg's hours.

“Consistent with our fiscal guidelines, grants, gifts or other one-time funds will not be used for ongoing operational costs,” Mayor Jeff Ira said in an email to concerned residents.

The Library Foundation still has discretion over the funds and will use it for the following programs:

  • increased story times
  • a card campaign for children
  • expanded family author programs for schools
  • an increase in the number of preschools for the Traveling Storytime program
  • other such community-wide Library literacy programs

“What [Ashton] provided was supplemental,” Smith said. “The remaining money will continue to be used for intended purposes.”

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