Felicia Cheney, director of the Edgartown Free Public Library, will resign from her position at the top of the stacks, she announced at a Monday library trustees meeting.
“It was the right time for me to do it,” Ms. Cheney said when reached by phone Tuesday. The time frame for her last day on the job will be discussed at the Dec. 19 trustees meeting, she said.
In a letter to the library board of trustees, Ms. Cheney recounted some of the building issues and political controversies the library faced during her six-year tenure, including structural upgrades, mold remediation, the purchase of the Warren house, a $5 million state grant that was wait-listed this summer, and a previous $4 million grant that was approved but had to be returned to the state when the library failed to raise enough money to fund an expansion.
“It took countless hours of effort from trustees, staff, volunteers, the Edgartown Library Foundation, and the Edgartown Library Friends group to make it through all of these events — to say nothing of the faithful library patrons who patiently supported us throughout,” Ms. Cheney wrote in her letter of resignation.
“The trustees were sad to see Felicia go,” said board of trustees co-chairman Julie Lively. “She’s been a faithful servant to the Edgartown library.” At the same time, she said, the trustees “support her in her decision and wish her the best in future endeavors.”
In the wake of Ms. Cheney’s resignation, the trustees have “a lot of details we need to work out and sort through,” said Mrs. Lively. The new director needs to be “someone who has a vision,” a person who can focus on both planning for the future and the library’s day-to-day operations, she said.
The trustees will work out a transition plan, advertise for the position and put together a timeline in the coming weeks, said Mrs. Lively.
In her letter, Ms. Cheney said that it is customary for library directors to give a month’s notice. However, she noted that the April town meeting will likely have several library issues on the agenda, and said she would be open to discussions about whether it would be politically advantageous to stay through that time.