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HUNTINGTON BEACH : Library Cut Would Preserve Literacy Program

September 14, 1995|DEBRA CANO

By eliminating a top management position and reorganizing the staff of Huntington Central Library, the city will be able to save its 11-year-old literacy program, officials said this week.

When the program lost a $35,000 federal grant earlier this year, supporters turned to the City Council for help. Library Services Director Ron Hayden presented a proposal to the City Council on Monday that would eliminate an $82,845-a-year library services manager position to pay for a permanent, full-time literacy coordinator.

The employee now holding the management position would be offered a lower-paying job, Hayden said.

Rose Saylin, the city's literacy coordinator, said of the proposal, "It's a dream come true. We have a lot of community support, and we've always wanted to be part of the library. We're just really pleased."

Since 1984, the city's literacy program has served 1,500 students and trained 1,300 volunteer tutors. The program now has 200 tutors who together put in 13,000 volunteer hours a year.

The program's staff of three part-timers had been paid through grant money and private donations, Saylin said. Fund-raising will continue, Saylin said, to pay for operating expenses and one part-time assistant.

Hayden said the money saved by the reorganization would go toward paying the $41,000-a-year salary of a literacy coordinator. The rest of the money, he said, would be reallocated.

The restructuring proposal, to be considered by the council Monday, would save about $12,000, Hayden said, and would facilitate employee scheduling.

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