Library director resigns, takes new job

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published December 20, 2017

 Former Harrison Township Public Library Director Dan Hutchins, left, congratulates Michigan Sen. Jack Brandenburg during the Michigan Library Association Lifetime Achievement Award reception on Sept. 8.

Former Harrison Township Public Library Director Dan Hutchins, left, congratulates Michigan Sen. Jack Brandenburg during the Michigan Library Association Lifetime Achievement Award reception on Sept. 8.

File photo provided by Dan Hutchins

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Dan Hutchins, the Harrison Township Public Library’s first library director, has resigned from his position. Hutchins’ last day on the job was Nov. 22.

He said the decision to leave the library was a difficult one.

“It was a tough choice, because I really loved being director … and felt attached to the library and to Harrison Township,” he said. “After 2 1/2 years, I had really gotten comfortable in the job. I had mixed feelings.”

Hutchins enjoyed his work in the township, but he received an offer he couldn’t refuse — director of a seven-library district system in Berrien County.

“My wife’s family lives in there, in Benton Harbor. I wanted to bring my wife closer to her family,” he said. “I’ve lived in the metro Detroit area my entire life. Life is short. It’s time for a new adventure.”

Hutchins was hired as director of the Harrison Township Public Library in June 2015, shortly after voters approved a millage that would turn the volunteer-run library into a full-time library.

During Hutchins’ time as director, the library started operating 40 hours per week; launched e-books, downloadable music and Consumer Reports online; and started participating in the ConnectEd program, which offers assistance to local students with an array of educational and job-seeking services.

Melissa Goins, a longtime library volunteer who became an employee and is now the interim director, said Hutchins was instrumental in forming a solid foundation for the library as a tax-funded entity.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the years he gave us and wish him the best as he pursues his career path elsewhere,” she said. “I’m certain the library will continue to thrive as a direct result of his impact.”

Goins said members of the Library Board of Trustees have launched a search for a new director, and hope to have a permanent appointment in place as soon as possible. She said library services, programs and hours of operation have not changed.

“Residents can look forward to seeing the full slate of library classes and workshops for adults, children and families through March 2018,” she said, referring to the slate of programs currently scheduled.