The Board of Trustees of the John Jermain Memorial Library will hold is Regular Monthly Meeting on July 17th at 6:00 pm in the Gloria Primm Brown Friends of the Library Community Room. Click here for more information or to view the meeting virtually.

My Last “Message From the Director”

This is my last “Message from the Director,” a loose collection that includes 171 board meeting reports, nearly an equal number of newsletter columns and reports to the Friends of JJML, roughly 740 weekly emails to my coworkers, numerous blog posts, and a handful of letters to the Sag Harbor Express.

I’ve written about the pandemic, my mother’s cooking, and an eclipse. About my intrepid sons, each of whom worked here before I did.  I’ve written about my beloved colleagues, and the awesome board in all its iterations. I’ve written about our loyal, generous, inspiring and sometimes perplexing patrons–including the gentleman eating a rotisserie chicken in the rotunda; he objected to the fact that I objected, pointing out that he was using a cloth napkin.  It really was a nice napkin.

I’ve written about cookbooks more often than maybe I should have, and novels, including Toni Morrison’s Beloved twice, A Wrinkle in Time, also twice, and Louise Penny’s “Three Pines” series, four times. I regularly quote poetry.

I’ve written about my High School science teacher, and my High School librarian, and librarians in general, and libraries in general, and on occasion specific libraries that are not even this one.

I might have written about the construction project.  I might have written that it was not without its challenges.  I’ve definitely written about the HVAC system more than once, but readers may not realize that I wrote about it during my years in the unrestored 201 Main Street building, in the temporary space, and back here, in the bells-and-whistled version of 201. It seems to be my fate to work in an unheated office.

Maybe for that reason I’ve written about the weather–a lot.  And there was an entire column about daffodils.  Really.  I’d like to make public my thanks to the Board for never saying to me, “Cathy, how, exactly, was that report you just read to us about John Jermain?” My gratitude to them for understanding that if JJML is part of the world we serve, then that world is part of us, including the daffodils.

I’ve written about the phone call with board president Christiane Neuville that convinced me to apply for this job.  And every word I’ve written since that time is really about the same thing: how very lucky I am to have been hired.

But there was a moment between the time I was offered the job as director and when I was given my keys that I have never discussed. That story starts like all good stories start, at a dinner table–and it involves my husband, who makes his first appearance in my director’s messages here.  I had just announced to him that I had made a huge mistake, that the job was too big, that I liked my life just the way it was, and that I wouldn’t like whatever was ahead half as well. He told me there was no way of knowing that, in fact no way of knowing anything at all about what was ahead, because it didn’t yet exist. Whatever it would be, would be shaped by all of Sag Harbor collectively as we moved forward step by step.

Well, my husband was right: the library John Jermain became thanks to all of you is a place full of light and joy and community; sometimes with heat, and sometimes daffodils. 

Thank you all for the love and the stories–and here’s to the library yet to be,

Catherine Creedon, Director

photo credit: Catherine Tremblay, JJML Local Content Librarian

9 comments on “My Last “Message From the Director”

  1. To a person whose energy and expectations exceed her committment to excellence in all she endeavored to accomplish…the community which she serviced is indebted to her perservance to follow through with all her energies to see that everything John Jermain Library stood for was accomplished in a manner agreeable to all..The John Jermain Library will forever be thankful to all she has done for our Village. Jack Youngs, Vice President Sag Harbor Historical Society

  2. Bless you on the next phase of your journey wherever it may take you. JJML is richer for having had you at the helm.

  3. Words cannot express how much the Sag Harbor community owes to Cathy for having enriched all of our lives. More than the renovation of the old building and construction of the new addition, Cathy imbued the Library with an identity, a conscience and – most importantly – a heart. Cathy showed us all that a library can be more than brick and mortar. It is now up to each of us to keep that legacy alive.

  4. We have all been blessed and enriched to have Cathy provide so much to our special community.
    Thank you for your energy, availability, positivity, creativity, intelligence and compassion. You have been a gift to SagHarbor.💚

  5. That library was a labor of love. The countless number of meetings that we all sat through and your passion for every detail was inspiring. I’ve been keeping tabs since I left Trunzo 6 or so years ago… good luck on your next adventure!!

  6. I think you were, are and will be a wonderful representative of all that is good in Sag Harbor. Please accept my kudos for your past work and my best wishes for everything else.

  7. I think you were, are, and will be a wonderful representative of all that is good in Sag Harbor. Please accept my kudos for your past work and my best wishes for everything else.

  8. Dear Ms Creedon ,
    I came to our library with my young son ( now grown up) not only to find books, but also in the hope of seeing you !!! Because your smiles , your careful questions and welcoming presence made every visit more precious and more meaningful. We will miss seeing you so terribly much .

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