Lexington public library hires new director

imhoff's successor deemed a 'perfect combination of personality and skills'

jwarren@herald-leader.comAugust 13, 2010 

Ann Hammond, deputy county librarian at the Alameda County Library in Fremont, Calif., has been named the new executive director of the Lexington Public Library. She will begin in September. Photo provided.

A librarian from California will be the new executive director of the Lexington Public Library.

Ann Hammond, now deputy county librarian with the Alameda County Library in Fremont, Calif., will take over her new duties in September, according to the Lexington Library Board of Trustees.

Hammond's salary will be $120,000 a year, but other details of her contract are not final, said Doug Tattershall, the Lexington Public Library's media relations coordinator.

Hammond, 56, oversaw all community services for the 10-branch Alameda County library, which serves a population of 540,000 and has a $28 million budget. She also has worked as principal librarian for the San Diego County Library in California and as librarian for the Center for Injury Prevention Policy & Practice in San Diego.

"Ann has a wide variety of experience that brings something unique to this leadership role," Buzz Carmichael, chairman of the Lexington library board, said in a prepared statement. "All our finalists were more than qualified for the position, but Ann just had the perfect combination of personality and skills."

Hammond earned a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Florida State University in 1976, a master's degree in agronomy and soil microbiology from the University of Maryland in 1989 and a master's degree in library science from Catholic University in 1993.

She has a husband who will accompany her to Lexington and two adult children who live in San Diego.

Hammond succeeds Kathleen Imhoff, who was dismissed last year after the Herald-Leader reported that she had spent more than $134,000 on travel, meals and gifts over five years with little oversight. A city audit later raised more questions about spending at the library.

Imhoff sued the library board of trustees for more than $5 million in Fayette Circuit Court last month, alleging that the library violated her employment contract by failing to pay her $137,035 annual salary and benefits for the remaining two years of her contract when she was fired. Imhoff's lawsuit further alleges that the library defamed her and that she no longer can find professional work.

It was the second search this year for a new library director. In February, the library board's first choice for director turned down the job, and the board decided to initiate a new search. The search firm did not charge an additional fee for the new search. Its fee was budgeted at $45,000.

In addition to her library career, Hammond has been a forensic scientist, a botany teacher, a stay-at-home mother and a Navy officer, Tattershall said.

Hammond said in a statement that she believes "strongly in the return on investment that libraries deliver to their communities."

"This is an exciting time to be a librarian, with so many innovative practices being implemented," she said. "I'm looking forward to exploring some of these ideas with the Lexington Public Library staff to see what might work best in our community."

Hammond's appointment was announced Wednesday.

Reach Jim Warren at (859) 231-3255 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3255.

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