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Darien Library Celebrates 'Louise Berry Day' As Director Retires

Louise Berry will step down on Friday, Feb. 28, as the Director of the Darien Library. She has held the position since 1979.
Louise Berry will step down on Friday, Feb. 28, as the Director of the Darien Library. She has held the position since 1979. Photo Credit: Contributed by Darien Library

DARIEN, Conn. – The outgoing director of Darien Library will be honored at Louise Berry Day on Thursday, Feb. 27, beginning at 4 p.m. at the library.

Berry will retire after 35 years as the director with a special program in the Community Room and Main Street area. The event will include guest speakers and a video tribute.

Berry, who grew up in Ohio, was appointed director of the Darien Library on March 1, 1979. She previously worked in Westport and began her career at the New York Public Library. She started working in libraries as a teenager.

Darien Library is ranked as one of the Top 10 public libraries in the country for its size, according to Hennen's American Public Library Rating, and is a Library Journal Five Star Library.

"Louise's mantra for the Darien Library has always been delivering 'extreme customer service' -- this has informed every decision made about programs, staffing, outreach, and even the design and flow of the new building,'' said Amy Cammann Cholnoky, president of the Library Board of Trustees. "I'd have to say another key attribute is thinking outside the box, and encouraging risk taking and innovation. There is no resting on laurels with Louise -- she has made sure that our Library is always on the cutting edge, being flexible to remain relevant as technology changes our world."

Alan Kirk Gray, chief administrative officer of the Library, will succeed her as director.

"We will all miss Louise, but a sign of her great leadership is that Alan Gray, her successor, and the rest of the staff embody the principles and vision she has brought to the Darien Libray, and will steward her legacy with talent and enthusiasm,'' Cholnoky said.

Berry plans to retire to New Hampshire with her husband. “Darien has been a great community to work in. I have a fabulous staff, the best in the world, and I’ve loved every minute of it,” Berry said.

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