Athenaeum director search continues

Even with the Westfield Athenaeum temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, poetry events are happening this month online. (FILE PHOTO)

WESTFIELD-With a new year comes the promise of new beginnings, and the corporators of the Westfield Athenaeum are hopeful they will find the right candidate to fill the director’s position.

“Kate Deviny has changed roles as of 12/31/20 to resume her previous position as archivist,” said Susan Drummey, who serves as president of the corporators. “Kate’s intent was to serve the Athenaeum as director for a limited period.”

Drummey added that the search for a new director has been underway since September. A job description can be found under “Employment Opportunities” on the Athenaeum’s website – www.westath.org.

“Our search will continue until we find a candidate of the appropriate caliber to lead us into our third century of outstanding service,” said Drummey.

Drummey encouraged area residents to visit the Athenaeum’s website to view the Westfield Athenaeum’s FY 2020 Annual Report which includes meeting materials following the annual meeting of the corporators.

“The meeting minutes contain impressive facts about the many innovative services provided over the last year and circulation data demonstrating increased engagement with the Athenaeum despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic,” said Drummey.


In addition to the meeting minutes and financial statement, the report announces that Mark Morin, Marie Flahive, Linda Saltus and Drummey were elected to three-year terms as directors through 2023.

“There is an update in progress on the website, so you will see new information in various sections over the next several weeks, including a new page for the Board of Directors,” said Drummey.

As part of the annual document, Deviny noted in the director’s annual report section that the new year began “typically with hours and staffing as it has been for decades,” ranging from youth programming, after-school homework help, and playgroups, book groups, and parenting classes, to artist showings in the Rand Art Museum.

“When the Governor mandated that libraries close, staff and patrons expected it to be a two-week hiatus,” said Deviny in her remarks. “However our lives and our work flow have changed, our commitment to our patrons and services has never wavered.”

Deviny added that as soon as the state allowed, Athenaeum staff members restarted its Outreach Services and were able to start lending out materials through Library-To-Go, an outdoor low-contact pickup option. As the months progressed, staffing changed to meet “the huge need” for communication and to translate in-person services to virtual services and programming.

Deviny noted that staff members also “worked hard” to create content for patrons ranging from informational videos to virtual programming and more.

“Before, during and after this pandemic, the Athenaeum staff is here for you,” noted Deviny, adding, “here to help you navigate new technology, here to be your guide to learning and entertainment, here working for you and with you to enjoy the many resources we have available for the Westfield community.”

Drummey shared a similar sentiment.

“The Westfield Athenaeum has a rich, historic and vital role in our community as a treasured resource for cultural enrichment,” said Drummey. “We are committed to providing service at the level our patrons expect and delivering programs that reach beyond our cherished building into the virtual realm.”

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