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Rhinebeck’s Starr Library Hires New Director

Starr Library Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Jaclyn Savolainen as the library’s new director, effect July 1. She will replace Stephen Cook, who is retiring from his position as director after 18 years of dedicated service.

Originally from New Mexico, Savolainen attended Yale University and worked as a management consultant and freelance artist before discovering her calling to be a librarian at Starr in 2010. As Starr’s part-time adult programmer for four years, she describes her time working alongside Stephen Cook as an “apprenticeship,” in which she learned all she could about public library management while completing her Master of Library and Information Science Degree from SUNY-Buffalo online.

“As retiring director, it pleases me greatly to turn over the management of Starr Library to Jaclyn,” Cook said. “Having begun as colleagues, and developing a friendship over many years, I know that Starr will be in good hands. It is clear that many bright days are ahead for our organization.” 

After her time at Starr, Savolainen worked as the assistant director of Beekman Library and then, for the past seven years, as assistant librarian at Dutchess Community College, where she was most recently the acting director. In addition, she has served as a member of the Rhinebeck Central School District board since 2017.

David Lavallee, president of the Starr Library Board of Trustees, praised her record of public service. “Ms. Savolainen is an active and dedicated member of our Rhinebeck community,” he said. “She has contributed to numerous efforts in the village and town. We’re sure she will serve Starr Library well so we can continue to improve and expand our well-regarded services to our residents.”

Stephen Frost, president of the Friends of Starr Library, expressed his group’s support for Savolainen as well: “The Friends of Starr Library join our neighbors in Rhinebeck in welcoming Jaclyn back to Starr as the library’s new Director. We look forward to working with her and the library’s dedicated staff and trustees to keep Starr a vital fixture of the community for people of all ages.”

For her part, Savolainen is delighted to be returning to the place where her career as a librarian began. “Rhinebeck is such a special place with engaged citizens, fantastic resources, charm and beauty, and a rich history,” she said. “I look forward to many years of serving the public through this vital part of our community.”

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“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination.”

    – Caitlin Moran


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