American Falls Library Board changes library directors

Munk takes reigns as top librarian

by Daniel Moore

Press Staff Writer

American Falls Library Director Havilah Lyon resigned after the American Falls Library Board asked her to on Tuesday April 29.

Library board members had no comment on why they asked for Lyon’s resignation. Lyon said she and the board had a difference of opinion. She had served as the director for just over a year.

Lyon’s resignation also follows the leaving of the library’s chief financial officer, Mary Howell.

Assistant Librarian Kindra Munk immediately became the interim library director. Board Chair Norm Wright said that once the board sees how Munk performs in the position, they may hire her in the position permanently.

Lyon was disappointed the board asked her to leave.

“Although I cannot claim to be happy with the board’s decision, I can say that I am happy with what we were able to get done in the 16 months I was there,” Lyon wrote in a statement. She pointed to the positive changes she made, including  a new library management program, offering eBooks and eAudiobooks, ramped-up programs for patrons, and structural changes like new gutters and siding, along with an English rose garden.

Howell said she wished the best for the library as well.

Both Wright and Lyon felt Munk would serve the community well in the director position. Munk was the assistant director for a year after 13 years as the library director in the school/community library in Rockland.

“She is going to do a great job and I am happy to say that the library is being left in very capable hands,” Lyon said.

The library hired Brenda Clinger as a third party to go over the books after Howell’s leaving. While some minor financial practices have been changed, for the most part the books are in order, Wright said, and those changes will put the library back into the black. Joan Phillips will be hired as a part-time bookkeeper to replace Howell.

“We are going to tighten down just a little bit on some purchases,” Wright said.

While not commenting on the board’s decision, board member Todd Winters was confident that the library would handle the change.

“I have the utmost confidence in our staff and hope to get through this successfully,” Winters said.

Lyon said she hopes to stay involved in the community for now.

“I’m still considering my options but I’m optimistic that things will work out for the best. I love the library world and would love to be able to stay in this field. I’ve never loved a job like I’ve loved this one, and I’ve never loved a community like I’ve loved American Falls… For the moment, I’m not going anywhere, and am still going to fulfill the responsibilities I took on with planning and organizing the American Falls Birding Festival and building a new website for the Greater American Falls Chamber of Commerce. Even if I’m no longer at the library, I hope to still be helpful to the community as a whole.” Lyon wrote.

Lyon said she may go back to school and find a position in a different library later on.

“Lastly, I just want to thank everyone for making me feel welcome here in American Falls. I truly do love this community,” Lyon said.

Munk said that she loves libraries and books.

“There’s nothing I love more than reading and starting a lifetime habit of reading,” Munk said.

Munk has spent a lifetime around books. Munk’s father, Clive Barker, was the superintendent of Rockland School when the school expanded its library into the community. She helped out in her uncle’s used bookstore, where she used to love to curl up with a good book.  Munk and her husband, Curtis, have five children and two grandchildren.

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