Edgartown hires Connecticut woman to be new library director

Jill Hughes — Photo courtesy of Jill Hughes

The Edgartown Library board of trustees introduced Jill Hughes as the new library director at Monday’s meeting of the board of selectmen.

Ms. Hughes most recently worked as executive director of the Connecticut Library Consortium, and before that as children’s librarian in Westport, Connecticut.

“I have been truly and genuinely impressed with the dedication and involvement of the Edgartown community,” Ms. Hughes said in a phone interview Wednesday. “The new building project is long overdue for this community. I’ve never been in another library where there is so much action, despite inadequate facilities. It’s clear that the engagement in the community is here, and that’s really what drew me to this position.”

Julie Lively, chairman of the board of trustees, said from the start that Ms. Hughes was the leading candidate of more than a dozen who applied for the job. She said Ms. Hughes learned of the opening from relatives who live on Martha’s Vineyard.

Felicia Cheney, who served as the library director for six years, resigned in December of 2011.

Ms. Lively said the library board was searching for someone who could move forward with planning and implementing the move to a new library. “Now that the direction is set, we need someone to come in and tackle some of the projects we had put on hold, as well as plan for the future move,” she said. “She’s got a well-rounded background. The trustees are absolutely thrilled.”

Ms. Hughes has already made several trips to the Island from her Connecticut home to begin planning for the transition. She will move to Martha’s Vineyard at the end of her children’s school year, and begin work officially on June 26, according to Ms. Lively.

The board of trustees plans an open house at the library on Friday, June 29, from 2 to 4 pm, to introduce Ms. Hughes to the community.