MONTPELIER — Tom McKone, executive director of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, has announced that he will retire at the end of June.
News of McKone’s departure after five years came in a news release Tuesday.
McKone started as interim director during the library’s search for a new director in 2014, and was asked to stay on permanently. During his tenure, he successfully worked with the board of trustees to establish financial and operational stability after a period of change at the library.
McKone said he made the decision to retire last fall.
“I’m about to turn 69, and I’ve been working for a long time,” McKone said. “I love working here and this is a great place to work but it takes a lot of time, it’s a big job, so I’m just looking forward to having more freedom with my time.”
McKone said he planned to stay in the area and spend more time with extended family and enjoy his passion for travel.
“I really look forward to having more time with my grandchildren and my children and other family and friends,” McKone said. “... I really like to travel and I want to be able to do more things that I don’t have to fit into two weeks.
“I’ve been to 49 states; Hawaii is the only one left. And I love Mexico and South America and Europe. I’ve been to all of those places and plan to go to all of them again,” he added.
McKone paid tribute to the community asset the library has become over the years.
“Both the building and the library itself are valued community assets, and it is an honor to work here,” McKone said. “We have wonderful staff, an excellent board of trustees and strong support from our six communities. This has been my library for over 35 years, and I appreciate it now more than ever.”
McKone said the library’s board of directors would begin a search for his successor immediately.
“They’re planning a process they expect will take about four months,” said McKone, adding that he would be available to facilitate library operations until a successor is appointed.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work here at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and I love it here,” McKone said. “One of the things that makes it wonderful is that this really is a beloved place to so many people.
“Constantly, people say, ‘I love the library, I love the staff,’” McKone said. “So, it’s gratifying to work in a place that has that type of support in the community.”
McKone noted that about half of the library’s budget comes from tax appropriations from Montpelier and five surrounding towns that also contribute each year. The rest of the funding comes from other fundraising and donations.
“We have strong support from the six communities we serve and we have lots of individual donors that contribute. So, it’s wonderfully gratifying to work for the Kellogg-Hubbard,” McKone said.
McKone also paid tribute to staff at the library.
“We have some veteran folks who know so much about our collections and our communities, and we have some newer folks, including me. There are 16 employees, with about eight of them part-time,” he said.
“We also have about 100 volunteers, who over the course of the year, will help the library with various things. The volunteers are extremely important to us,” he added.
Before joining the library, McKone worked in Vermont schools for over 30 years. He was an English teacher and then high school assistant principal at U-32 Middle and High School, working there 24 years. He was later principal of Northfield Middle and High School and the Pomfret School.
Kellogg-Hubbard Library Board President Steve Gold paid tribute to McKone’s service to the library and community.
“Both I and the entire board of trustees have very much appreciated the excellent work that Tom has done to improve and stabilize the library’s staffing, operations and fiscal management,” Gold said.
Gold added that the board has an active search committee and will have a hiring committee in place this month.