Riverhead Free Library’s interim director resigns after three months

Kathy Richter

The Riverhead Free Library will have a new interim director, the News-Review has confirmed.

Kathy Richter, who was hired in March as interim director following Joy Rankin’s seemingly abrupt departure, resigned last Thursday after accepting a summer school position in Greenport, according to board of trustees president Kathy Berezny.

Ms. Richter also works as a part-time librarian at Greenport High School. She wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Riverhead Free Library assistant interim director Kerrie McMullen-Smith has taken over Ms. Richter’s duties and the board is expected to discuss its next steps at the regular July 12 meeting, Ms. Berezny said. The board is expected to accept Ms. Richter’s resignation at that meeting, she added.

Ms. Richter had recommended to the board in May that Ms. McMullen-Smith served as assistant interim director since she was unable to work in the library during the day, Ms. Berezny added.

“We didn’t know about her plans with summer school,” Ms. Berezny said, adding there hasn’t been any animosity about Ms. Richter’s decision. “Kerrie will do a great job. We’re glad she put her in as an assistant interim director. It’s a win-win.”

Ms. McMullen-Smith, head of adult and information services, has worked at the library for 10 years. She’s looking forward to her new leadership role and plans to attend Wednesday’s “open community meeting” at the library. Topics for that public meeting include: Where do you see your library in 10 years? What community needs can be met through the library? Who do you see as a leader to make these things happen?

“We have a great staff and community,” she said. “I look forward to what the future holds for the community and library.”

Ms. Berezny said the search for a new library director will continue this summer and the deadline for applications is June 30.

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Photo: Kathy Richter was hired as interim library director in March. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)