Director to Leave Desmond-Fish Library

Jen McCreery taking position in Chatham

Jen McCreery (File photo)

After seven years as director of the Desmond-Fish Public Library in Garrison, Jen McCreery plans to leave at the end of the month to become director of the Chatham Public Library in Columbia County.

McCreery joined Desmond-Fish as a librarian in 2013 and was named director in 2014.

On Monday (April 5), the library’s board appointed Pam Read as interim director and Nancy Young as interim assistant director, effective April 30.

Read, a substitute librarian at the Desmond-Fish, formerly worked at the library as the Hudson River Collection reference librarian and children’s librarian before becoming a school librarian in Westchester County. Young has been the library’s development coordinator since 2014.

The Butterfield Library in Cold Spring is also losing its director this month when Gillian Murphy departs after 21 years for the Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz.

During McCreery’s tenure in Garrison, voters approved two measures (in 2014 and 2019) that provide $300,000 in annual funding for the nonprofit. The library also developed a strategic plan and made improvements to the building’s drainage system that allowed a technology lab to be installed in the lower level.

More recently, the Desmond-Fish has used state funding to hire a landscape architect to create a master site plan for the grounds that will include a reading garden funded by an anonymous donor, a solar ribbon array and walking path, pending approval by the town. McCreery and the board also created a Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee that has partnered with other local institutions.

“I am forever grateful for my experiences here in Philipstown and the incredible support our community has shown the library,” McCreery said in a statement. “It’s been an honor to work in the good company of our talented staff and dedicated trustees to create a friendly and welcoming full-service library for everyone. As I take this next career step, I feel confident the Library will continue to evolve in reflection of our community’s diverse interests and goals and remain a valuable resource.”

“These are very difficult shoes to fill,” said Anita Prentice, the board president, in the statement. “Jen is a brilliant librarian and an incredibly hard worker. Chatham Public Library is extremely fortunate in their new director.”

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