Story: Neal Simon – Evening Tribune – March 23, 2021
New leadership is coming to the top spot at the Hornell Public Library, but the change will mean the departure of a library mainstay.
Library trustees announced March 19 the upcoming retirement of longtime director Alice Taychert, effective May 1, 2021.
Trustees accepted Taychert’s retirement letter at a February board meeting.
The board also established a Library Director Search Committee charged with “hiring a library director that will exemplify the qualities required to manage, supervise, and lead a library of Hornell’s size and unique character,” said Joseph Liberto, the vice president of the library board.
While the search for Taychert’s successor gets started, the board has tapped Mark Smith, the former associate dean of libraries and director of the Scholes Library at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, as interim director beginning May 1.
Smith, a member of the Hornell Library Board of Trustees, retired from the Scholes Library position in December. Smith had served at the Scholes Library since August 2010. Prior to that, he was the information systems librarian at the College of Ceramics for 16 years and the head of technical services for eight years.
Library officials said Smith has been “proactive with the building’s recent interior redesign, staff recruiting and training, and strategic policy development for COVID-19 health practices.”
Smith will take a leave of absence from the Board of Trustees while serving as the interim library director.
“Mark Smith, in his role as interim library director, will assure a smooth and orderly transition from the remarkable career of Alice Taychert,” Liberto said.
Taychert’s association with the Hornell Library extends for more than three decades, including more than 25 years as the director, a position she assumed on Oct. 16, 1995.
“Alice has a long and storied history of service dedication and guidance at the Hornell Public Library,” said Norman Ellis, president of the Library Board of Trustees. “The Library Board is especially grateful for her optimism and unfailing determination during the difficult times of the pandemic.”