Outgoing Royal Oak Public Library Director Emily Dumas, right, and interim Library Director Adrienne Breznau, left, stand inside the library, which is still closed but offering contactless pickup, Feb. 3. Dumas will become the director of the Troy Public Library Feb. 22.

Outgoing Royal Oak Public Library Director Emily Dumas, right, and interim Library Director Adrienne Breznau, left, stand inside the library, which is still closed but offering contactless pickup, Feb. 3. Dumas will become the director of the Troy Public Library Feb. 22.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Royal Oak library director leaving to lead Troy Public Library

By: Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published February 10, 2021

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ROYAL OAK/TROY — When Royal Oak Public Library Director Emily Dumas, who has filled the role for the past two years, saw an opening to lead the Troy Public Library, she jumped on it.

Dumas, who will continue to live in Royal Oak, said the decision was spurred by a strong personal connection to the Troy Public Library.

“I lived in Troy while I was in high school and college, and also, more importantly, my mom was a librarian at (the Troy library) from the late ’80s right until she passed away in 2005,” Dumas said. “I spent a lot of time there, and it’s where I got my start of my love for libraries.”

While Dumas said she loves the Royal Oak Public Library and is proud of her accomplishments there, now seemed like the right time to change jobs. Troy residents also recently passed a millage to support the Troy Public Library, which places it in a good spot financially.

“They have all of these positive things coming their way,” she said.

Some of the goals of the Troy library align with accomplishments Dumas has overseen at the Royal Oak Public Library, including expanding services to seven days a week. Many libraries restricted their hours following the Great Recession. The Royal Oak Public Library is also embarking on a large interior renovation project, another future initiative identified by the Troy library.

Dumas’ last day at the Royal Oak Public Library will be Feb. 12. She will begin her new role Feb. 22.

Although she said she would miss the close-knit Royal Oak library staff, Dumas assured Royal Oak residents that she will continue to be a regular patron at the Royal Oak library and active community member.

“I’m raising a child here. Royal Oak is such a great place to raise a child, and it’s still my home library. We’ll be in here all the time when it reopens,” Dumas said. “We have a very competent interim director who is going to take the reins — Head of Access Services Adrienne Breznau.”

Dumas, first hired by the Royal Oak library in 2009, formerly headed the library’s youth and teen services and was hired to fill the role of director following the retirement of longtime Royal Oak Public Library Director Mary Karshner in March 2019.

Dumas kick-started many popular programs in the library’s youth and teen departments. During the pandemic, she also oversaw the library’s transition to virtual programming, an expansion of its free digital offerings and databases, and accessibility to physical and downloadable materials.

She also oversaw the library’s creation of a free seed library; a “Library of Things,” which features tools, games and other items for checkout; and a makerspace, in which patrons can check out or use various machines, kits, software and equipment for creative endeavors.

In June, the library received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the creation of the arts-based makerspace, which the library pledged to match mostly in employee time.

Breznau, who will serve as interim director until the Royal Oak City Commission hires a permanent director, said she is excited to helm the library as it hopefully navigates out of the pandemic closure.

Breznau was hired in 2017 as head of support services, but her title has changed to head of access services given the changes due to COVID-19.

“I was shocked and surprised (when I heard that Emily got the job in Troy),” she said. “She called me on a Friday night when I was driving home. Then discussions started happening about how to have a seamless transition, and then the library board appointed me interim director.”

Breznau said she has worked closely with Dumas throughout the past year to lead the library throughout the pandemic, and she looks forward to continuing on a positive trajectory and finishing the “many amazing things” Dumas started.

The Royal Oak Public Library is located at 222 E. 11 Mile Road, east of Main Street.

For more information, visit ropl.org or call the library at (248) 246-3700.

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