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Friday Memorial Library director resigns

Friday Memorial Library director Kimberly Hennings recently announced that she will be resigning her post as library director, effective Nov. 3. File photo

Friday Memorial Library director Kimberly Hennings announced this week that she will be resigning her post at the library effective Nov. 3.

"Since 2014, I have enjoyed my experience with the Library, the City of New Richmond and the entire New Richmond community. I will sincerely miss this community, which fully embraced me and my family, and has shown immense support of our library," Hennings said in her resignation letter. "As many of you know, my husband works in the city of Eau Claire, and the opportunity for us both to live and work in the same community was one that has grown increasingly important after the birth of our daughter last year."

Hennings accepted a job as assistant director at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire.

"Over the last four years I've enjoyed my role as Director and had the pleasure to work with an amazing group of individuals at the library every day, including staff, volunteers, trustees, and community partners. I'm very proud that during my tenure with the library, we were able to acquire a site - a future home for a new library in the heart of New Richmond," Hennings said.

According to Hennings, the Library Board of Trustees will be conducting a search to find a new library director in the coming months.

"Kim and her entire team have created an amazing sense of place within our community. The Friday Memorial Library is a creative and inspiring place within the City of New Richmond. Thanks to Kim and her team, library programming has expanded and momentum for the new library is building," said City Administrator Mike Darrow. "In the city, we place a significant emphasis on family first for all of our employees. The decision that Kim made was extremely difficult, however in the end, she and her family made a family-first decision. We applaud that decision.

"In short, Kim is a leader. I am really honored to have gotten an opportunity to work with her. Beyond her leadership at the library, she has been a problem-solver and innovator for our administrative team. We wish her the best and know that the sky's the limit with her and her family."

According to Hennings, it will be the Board of Trustees' priority to find the best individual to lead, while still maintaining the momentum that's been established going into the building fundraising feasibility and upcoming capital campaign.

"While there will be questions about how this will impact the momentum of the new library project, we are going to first breathe deep, reflect and celebrate the employees that we have at the library to ensure that they have what they need to succeed," Darrow said. "Over the next 45 days, I have asked our administrative team to assist during this transition. Code name FMAT (Friday Memorial Action Team), members of finance, administration, public works and human resources, along with other departments, will be assisting library staff as we look at options and fill this position."

In her resignation letter, Hennings said she could not thank the community enough for making the library what it is.

"Your energy and enthusiasm helped me come to work motivated and inspired every single day. I look forward to

following the success of the New Richmond Library and the next chapter for the community," Hennings said. "There is a lot of momentum being built for our new community library. Last week, our consultants unveiled an exciting concept plan and next week we will officially kick off our fundraising feasibility study. I know that the Library Board will remain active along with the City Council during this exciting process. In the months ahead, we will be working with community members in ensuring that a new library is built."

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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