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Library Celebrates Chisaki’s 39 years

Alameda Free Library Director Jane Chisaki retires

Alameda Free Library Director Jane Chisaki retired on June 30 after 39 years of service to our community. She started as the Children’s Librarian in 1984 and after serving in several positions, was chosen to be Director in 2006, when the new main library on Oak Street was opened.

Alameda Post - Jane Chisaki, center, poses with Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, left, and Asst. City Manager Amy Wooldridge, right, and a street sign that bears her name. Photo courtesy @every.street.of.alameda on Instagram.
Jane Chisaki, center, with Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, left, and Assistant City Manager Amy Wooldridge, right, holding a street sign that bears her name. Photo courtesy @every.street.of.alameda.

“Jane has had a strong influence over the library and its many projects,” said Karen Butter, President of Friends of the Alameda Free Library. “Not only did she contribute to the design of the main library, but she also obtained grants to recognize the contributions of Japanese Americans to Alameda’s history, which funded Alameda’s Japantown Tonarigumi Historic Marker project.”

The library posted its farewell, best wishes, and gratitude to Chisaki on Facebook. “Under Jane’s watch, the Alameda Free Library renovated two libraries, acquired the book bike, eliminated library fines, added databases, hot spots, and a tool collection,” the post stated. “(She) helped out at book sales, attended almost every City Council meeting and much more.”



On a City of Alameda r/alameda reddit thread posted in advance of Chisaki’s retirement, Butter posted, “Over 30 years ago, one evening each week, our kids at the library to hear “Miss Jane” read a book. They still remember her well.” A reddit user responded, noting that Chisaki was a major influence on her life as a reader..

“I recall sitting on the floor of the Bay Farm library at story time, hoping to be picked to blow out one of the candles at the end of the story, as was part of the ritual,” noted reddit user rfBodyswitch. “As I grew into adolescence, she would recommend books… she gave me the first Harry Potter book to read, before it was a phenomenon with a waitlist to check out the books. I’m so grateful for the years she has spent sharing her passion for books and knowledge with our community.”

Chisaki, who is a graduate of UC Berkeley and has a Master’s Degree in Library Science from San Jose State, also served as both a Sea Scouts and Mariner Scouts skipper and was a longtime dragon boat racer, according to Butter.

“In her free time, Jane enjoys training Mr. Marvel, her young golden retriever… She is also a long-time season ticket holder for her beloved Warriors.”

Thanks again to you, Jane Chisaki. We wish you the very best and hope you enjoy your retirement to the fullest.

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