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Hoag welcomes Davignon as new director

Posted 24 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Sue Cook – Jeffrey Davignon (left) and Kevin Doherty

By Sue Cook, staff reporter

ALBION – The Hoag Library trustees recently chose their new library director. The library held a meet-and-greet event today to allow the public to welcome Jeffrey Davignon and ask questions before his official start next Saturday.

Davignon was recently the director of the Walworth-Seely Public Library in Wayne County, and was also a former children’s library directory at the Seymour Library in Brockport. Davignon will now be the sixth director in 115 years in Albion.

Davignon said, “I’m really excited about this opportunity and there’s a lot to celebrate and a lot to look forward to. We had a reception the other night and it was overwhelmingly positive. I’m an optimistic person by nature, but it gave me more optimism about what we can do here.”

Kevin Doherty, President of the Board of Trustees, explained what the board was looking for.

“We have a beautiful facility that was supported by the community,” he said. “Now we want to fulfill its potential. I think we can go to the next level and touch parts of the population in our service area that we haven’t before.”

He believes that Davignon will expand the library’s user base by including Spanish language and different youth programming. Doherty said that especially among children they would like to see older elementary- and middle-school students implement the library more.

“I bring a lot of myself to this position,” said Davignon. “I think it’s important to listen, ask questions of the people we serve and then to deliver on promises. Our excellence in library services is defined locally and we really want to start a conversation about what this community wants and deserves.”

He continued, “A good library is plugged into the needs of the community and responds to those needs. Libraries are learning places and that means we need to be open to trying new things and we need to be open to growing our patron base. My goal has always been to create a warm and welcoming environment, a place where people want to come.”

Davignon was welcomed with a cake reading “Welcome to the Library’s Next Chapter.”

The trustees chose their final three options out of a pool of 20 applicants. After individually interviewing those three, who were all fully qualified, the decision among the board was unanimous in choosing Davignon.

Doherty explained, “I think it’s fair to say that he has energy and experience. He has focus on what he wants to accomplish in the future. There are the stock answers people give in interviews, but it wasn’t that way. He was genuine. It looked like he would be a great fit based on the staff we have and the community we have.”

As director, Davignon will be responsible for managing staff, carrying out strategic plans of the board and serving the community with patron-focused library services. He also would like to have the library work closer with merchants, the school district and elected officials to get the community more involved.

“I think the library can be a catalyst for good and positive change,” said Davignon. “We have an opportunity to change lives. If we do this correctly, the library will be an important component in the success of many people. I want to be sure that we organize our resources in such a way that we can show the people who fund us that we’re good stewards of public funds and can get the most value out of every dollar we’re given.”