Farmington library appointee recaps progress

Joy Montgomery
Joy Montgomery (Farmington Community Library)

Farmington city council members on Monday re-appointed Joy Montgomery to a four-year term on the Farmington Community Library Board of Trustees and, in the process, learned more about what’s happened since a nearly complete board turnover in 2018.

Montgomery, who is among the wave of new trustees, said the board has addressed critical building issues, including water leaking and replacement of an electrical panel in the basement at the Farmington branch and emergency lighting at the branch and Farmington Hills Main Library.

Trustees have established a new button at farmlib.org to directly email the board and have discussed televising meetings. A new facilities subcommittee established last year conducted an assessment of both buildings, identifying more than $1 million in needed improvements over the next five years.

“There’s money in the budget,” Montgomery said. “It’s not a hardship.”

Mayor Steven Schneemann asked how morale has fared among library staff.

”I think really good,” Montgomery said. “It was damaged, there were issues that staff was rightly concerned about… Staff, I think, is really thriving under (interim director) Jaclyn (Miller).”

Montgomery said employees will be involved in the hiring of a library director to replace Elyse Streit, who resigned in May. A search firm has identified several candidates, most of whom are from out of state. The board hopes to conduct interviews this month.

Schneemann asked about the quality of the applicants. Montgomery said there was a low turnout, likely because word spread about the board turmoil. However, she remains hopeful.

“There’s so much great about our library,” she said. “I think somebody is going to come along and love it.”

”What do you want citizens to know?” council member Bill Galvin asked.

“The library staff is awesome. We have really good people working at the library,” she said. “The public should be assured things are being handled professionally, and as soon as we’ve got a new director in place, it’s going to be awesome.”

Correction: Former library director Elyse Streit resigned in May.