The community is mourning the death earlier this month of Arloene “Val” Hamilton, a retired longtime Redwood City librarian and generous donor to the library.
Hamilton died July 9 just short of her 84th birthday. On Monday, Redwood City councilmembers took a moment to remember her at their council meeting.
“I have seen a lot of online tributes to Val in the past week or so,” Mayor Ian Bain said. “She will be greatly missed in this community.”
Nicknamed Val after becoming Valedictorian of her high school class, Hamilton was born in Ortonville, MN and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1956. After moving to California in the 1960s, she worked as a children’s librarian for several San Mateo County branches before being appointed as a children’s librarian for Redwood City Library in May 1968, according to Bain’s memorial to her.
“After the reorganization following passage of Prop 13 in 1978, Val managed the book selection and technical processing department in the library for the rest of her career,” Bain said.
She was “very involved” in the the design, selection and processing operation of the new library in 1988, and supervised the transition from the physical card catalog to the online catalog used today.
Hamilton spent the rest of her life as a Redwood City resident. She was an enthusiast of the opera and San Francisco Giants fan and described by loved ones as having a quirky sense of humor and eclectic interests.
“She loved her community and those around her loved her dearly,” her obituary states.