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Chappaqua Library Director Resigns After 20 Months on Job

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The Chappaqua Library Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of Director Andrew Farber last Tuesday, the latest upheaval for the library in the past three months.

Farber is scheduled to leave his post this Friday and will be heading to take a librarian’s position at the Greenburgh Public Library, he told The Examiner last week. He has served in Chappaqua since October 2020.

“It was not the right fit for me,” said Farber, who declined to comment further regarding his decision.

He arrived in Chappaqua after serving the five previous years as the director of the Somers Library.

Library Board President Elizabeth Haymson said the board is working with Farber in his remaining time to get the library on the county’s Civil Service list to begin the process of finding a permanent replacement.

“We’re just in the beginning stages of figuring out our plan and getting our paperwork in order,” Haymson said last week.

It was unclear who the board might tap to serve as an interim director.

It appeared that Farber is leaving on good terms, as Haymson thanked him for his time in Chappaqua.

“We did want to as a board thank you and acknowledge that you came in during a time when we were mid-pandemic and we had an outgoing director who had had a very long tenure and you came in and really worked hard here and we appreciate that,” she said.

Adult Services Librarian Amy Berger said everyone at the library is sad to bid Farber farewell.

“His impact for such a short time was substantial and he created an open and kind atmosphere and let everyone help work together to improve the services that we provide and this is a great loss for us,” Berger said.

In April, two library trustees, Lane Shea and Nishat Hydari, abruptly resigned from the board without explanation, sparking some speculation in the community. They have been replaced by Jennifer Fahey and Pam Moskowitz, who won as write-in candidates after no one submitted petitions for the May 17 elections.

While the circumstances around those resignations remain unclear, Shea’s Apr. 3 letter, obtained by The Examiner, stating that she would be stepping down sheds some clues.

“I am resigning as I believe this Board continues to try and exceed its mandate,” Shea’s letter stated. “There appears to be a voting majority block that is willing to pursue matter that is inconsistent with my principals (sic). I believe certain actions and communications from Board members have created potential liability for the Board and the Library, and I am unwilling to be a participant.”

Shortly after her resignation, she had declined to answer questions about her decision.

Hydari’s letter offers no explanation, but on Apr. 28 the library board responded to both former trustees with identical letters expressing disappointment that they chose to resign before some upcoming projects and before a special Apr. 12 meeting.

“We believe that during the course of the April 12th Special Session counsel would have reassured you that their ongoing advice and our concurrent oversight are in keeping with the highest Library Board standards,” the twin letters stated. “Furthermore, as you know from your tenure, much of the board’s oversight is limited and scripted by Civil Service rules and NY State laws. Never did the Board nor would we have done anything to impugn our high standards as fiduciaries of the Chappaqua Library.”

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