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California Library Hall of Fame: Chuck Ashton
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California Library Hall of Fame

 Chuck Ashton (1948-2019)

Not only did Chuck Ashton work with children and teens at the Redwood City Public Library for 34 years, but he was a tireless champion of literacy services and of Project READ, in particular. For his efforts, Ashton received the California Library Association’s (CLA) first “Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy” award in 2003. He also appeared in two videos promoting literacy: “Families for Literacy,” created for the California State Library, and “To Read,” an hour-long special that aired nationwide on the Learning Channel. Affectionately called the “Pied Piper of Redwood City,” Ashton was probably best known for his popular puppet shows, witty storytelling, and songs, which he sang while playing his guitar. Ashton served on the American Library Association’s Caldecott Award and School Age Programs and Service committees as well as CLA’s Patricia Beatty Award committee. He was also a founding board member of the Storytelling Association of Alta California and president of the Association of Children’s Librarians. Ashton was a regular presenter at state and national library conferences and taught graduate-level classes for San José State University’s School of Information.

Chuck Ashton was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2019. For more information about him, please see:

 Photo credit: Redwood City Public Library