Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hemet Public Library

Longtime literacy director retires
Valley Chronicle: 7.03.2011 by Charles Hand

Lori Eastman’s career as the adult literacy coordinator for the Hemet Public Library has ended after 17 years.

Maybe.

Though the newly retired Eastman says she plans to take some time off and do some traveling with her equally newly retired husband, she doubts that she can stay away for good.

“It’s not a job; it’s a passion,” Eastman said.

But her career was more or less an accident.

She was looking for a job when a friend, her predecessor in the coordinator’s chair, suggested she become a tutor. “I found what I needed to do in my life,” she said.

When the former coordinator retired, Eastman stepped into the job and stayed there until her husband decided to retire.

Thus it was that another veteran adult literacy employee moved into the job in much the same way Eastman had all those years before.

Lea Ashforth describes what she does in much the same terms that Eastman uses, as a passion that goes well beyond a job. She started as a volunteer more than eight years ago and has been an employee in the program more than five years.

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Though demand for the program’s services remains strong, hours of operation have been cut from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday to accommodate funding reductions.

The program is grant supported, but even grants have been reduced.

Ashforth said she hopes the remaining grant withstands the budget cutting at the state level so the doors do not have to close, but there is no way to know what the future will bring. READ MORE !

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