Charles F. Woods

Charles F Woods

Charles F. Woods became Riverside’s city librarian in 1922, succeeding Joseph Francis Daniels who had held the position during a period of expansion under Herschel Carnahan, president of the board of trustees.

Unlike the Daniels-Carnahan years, Charles F. Woods was plagued by political and fiscal conservatism after accepting the post and arriving from the San Jose Free Public Library. His initial optimism, expressed by his description of Riverside as the “best library city in the State of California,” continued to be undermined as the city council lowered the tax levy for the library in 1926. Woods and the entire board of trustees resigned. Mayor John T. Jarvis appointed a strong group of library advocates who renegotiated the levy and reinstated Woods.

Woods continued to experience budget woes during the Great Depression. From 1929 through 1932, library use increased dramatically, despite the constraints on service. Woods explained the change in the 1932 annual report for the library, saying, “It should be remembered, that in hard times the library is a solace to the unemployed, a release to the discouraged, and an encouragement to those still hopeful.”