After a five month stint as Stillwater Public Library’s (SPL) director, Melody Kellogg is leaving Jan. 25 to become Oklahoma’s top librarian. Kellogg was named Oklahoma Department of Libraries’ Director and State Librarian following the retirement of long-time director Susan McVey. Kellogg begins her new position on Feb. 4.
“Leaving Stillwater has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve made,” Kellogg said. “The community and library staff are amazing. I’m just sorry it was such a short tenure.”
Following McVey’s retirement announcement, many of Oklahoma’s most respected library professionals asked Kellogg to apply for the directorship. SPL Board Chair Robin Cornwell understands Kellogg’s appeal.
“I was so pleased when Melody accepted the library director’s job last year,” said Robin Cornwell, library board chair. “It will be difficult to find someone as capable to replace her. Although I am disappointed to see her go, I look forward to knowing we have a knowledgeable friend and colleague at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.”
Kellogg agrees that her connection to Stillwater will not be ending anytime soon.
“SPL and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries have a longstanding partnership,” said Kellogg. “This position will allow me to stay involved with SPL and provide guidance when needed.”
Upon coming to Stillwater, Kellogg’s focus was to maintain and build upon the success already enjoyed by the library. According to her staff, Kellogg made immense contributions to that goal.
“Working with Melody helped me to rethink priorities and what is most important to focus on now and in the future” said Andrea Kane, circulation supervisor. “This will help us provide the best service we can to the community.”
Stacy DeLano, adult services supervisor, concurs.
“Melody has provided me an invaluable perspective on the business aspect of maintaining a library and has inspired me to look at our library with fresh eyes. Her mentorship will have long lasting effects on how I perform my work for the community.”
For Elizabeth Murray, children’s librarian, it is Kellogg’s quick work in bringing a $9000 health literacy grant to Stillwater that will impact community members the most.
“During the time Melody has been in Stillwater, she gathered an impressive partnership of community organizations to focus on the library’s health literacy goals,” Murray said. “We are excited to take this opportunity Melody spearheaded and use it to make long-lasting positive changes in our community’s health.”
Ultimately, the staff believes Kellogg’s departure is the right move.
“We are certainly sad to lose such an exciting and talented director,” DeLano said. “Professionally though, we know this is absolutely the best thing for Oklahoma libraries. ODL has made a brilliant choice, and we’ll continue to have Melody’s full support even after she leaves.”
In the coming months, the library board will be seeking a new director, but for the time being, it is business as usual at SPL.
“Along with great support from the city manager’s office, we have a fabulous team ready to continue the work of helping community members transform their lives with information and reading,” said DeLano.
The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.). Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.