New no more: Montague library director resigns

MONTAGUE — The new director of the Montague Public Libraries is leaving, the announcement coming just days after his predecessor’s retirement and two weeks into his time in Montague.

Cindy Tarail of the Board of Trustees of the Montague Public Libraries wrote in an email announcement late Monday evening that David Payne is resigning as the director, and children’s librarian Linda Hickman has been appointed as the interim director pending the receipt of Payne’s official letter of resignation.

Board Chairwoman Karen Latka said Payne announced his resignation to her Sunday, and expressed disappointment.

“He decided that after the end of this two-week training probationary period that it wasn’t a good match for him, and that it was a rather steep learning curve and so he decided that rather than continue he would instead resign,” Latka said. “We certainly felt and believed that as library trustees we did a rather lengthy and thorough search, and I think this certainly surprised the board.”

The board completed its search in September, with months of warning from longtime director Susan SanSoucie. Halloween, Oct. 31, was SanSoucie’s last day.

With three finalists, the earlier search came down to Payne or Hickman.

Tarail wrote Hickman has worked for the libraries for 16 years and knows the libraries and the community very well. “The board is delighted that she will step in at this time,” Tarail wrote.

Payne came to the Montague Public Libraries from Pennsylvania, where he managed the Tacony branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia for the past 10 years.

An emergency meeting scheduled for Wednesday and posted at the Town Hall has been canceled because everything was handled at an emergency meeting Monday, Tarail said.

The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 25, Tarail said. Latka said the board will consider its next steps at that meeting.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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