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Athenaeum seeking new director

Westfield Athenaeum

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Athenaeum will be seeking a new director.

Board of Directors President Susan Drummey said former director Daniel Paquette’s contract expired this month and he is not returning.

“It’s common to have staff turnover. Kate Deviny is our acting director and is very capable – she has done this before,” said Drummey.

Deviny leads the Athenaeum’s archive department and was previously a library director in Great Barrington, Drummey said.

Drummey said the library’s personnel committee will meet next month and being discussing Paquette’s replacement. She said the Athenaeum is currently conducting a patron survey and the results will hep inform the committee what criteria to seek in the next director.

Daniel Paquette

“We’re going to take this opportunity to assess the needs of the library and see where we need to go as an organization,” Drummey said. “I don’t think you necessarily need to keep the footprint the same over time – change is good.”

Although Drummey said the board would like to fill the position as soon as possible, it’s also not in a hurry.

“We’re very confident in Kate’s leadership, so there’s no need to rush,” she said. “The entire staff is very capable.”

In the meantime, the Athenaeum is hosting a staff development day today to work on customer service, department policies and more.

“We are increasing our focus on our ‘patron-first’ approach,” Drummey said. “We are taking the time to build on that foundation.”

Drummey said it’s business as usual at the Athenaeum and noted that the summer reading program kick-off is Saturday and there is a unique display of maps of Westfield – many of which are exclusive to the Athenaeum’s collection – on display in the Jasper Rand Art Gallery.

“We have a lot happening and our patrons will not notice any change (without a director),” said Drummey.

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