Hoag Library parts ways with director

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2015 at 12:00 am

Jeff Davignon

ALBION – Hoag Library has a new director following a Board of Trustees’ decision this morning to end Jaff Davignon’s employment with the library.

Davignon joined Hoag as director in August. After about five months on the job, Board President Kevin Doherty said it was clear there would be long-standing differences over management strategies.

Davignon was hired with an undefined probation period. Doherty said Davignon implemented some good changes, including a more robust programming schedule that was drawing more people to the library. Davignon also was working to strengthen the library’s relationship with Genesee Community College and the school district, Doherty said.

However, the board decided this morning it wanted a new direction with the library director. It voted to hire Betty Sue Miller, an Albion resident and former librarian at Holley Central School, as the interim director.

“While we were pleased with a number of the initiatives begun by former Director Jeff Davignon, it was clear that he and the Trustees were not aligned in management strategies,” Doherty said in a statement. “We expect Betty Sue to continue with the positive aspects of changes made in the past six months, while tweaking some others.”

The monthly board meetings have been crowded in the past three months with many residents attending the sessions to express their concern over staff changes. At least four long-term employees either resigned, retired or were fired since Davignon started.

Doherty acknowledged there was “discomfort” among the staff with Davignon’s management style.

The library is consulting with an attorney about whether a fired staffer can return to her job.

“There may be movement or not,” Doherty said. “It has not yet been determined.”

Davignon came to the Albion library after working as director of the Walworth-Seely Public Library in Wayne County. He was also a former children’s library directory at the Seymour Library in Brockport.

Hoag will now have its fourth leader in less than a year. After Susan Rudnicky was terminated last March after 16 years as library director, the board hired Terry Wilbert on an interim basis before Davignon started.

Betty Sue Miller is a 1970 Albion graduate. She taught at Albion Central School and was a librarian at Holley. She has her master’s degree in Library Science from the University at Buffalo. She is married to County Legislator Fred Miller, owner of the Family Hardware in Albion. They have two adult children.

Mrs. Miller will serve on an interim basis before a search may begin for a new director.

“After an appropriate waiting period, we may start a new search process, but with Betty Sue on board, we have reduced the pressure to start that process immediately,” Doherty said.