The Sonoma County Library Commission, at its January 7 meeting, voted to hire Ann Hammond as the new, permanent director for the library, which spans 12 branches, two stations and multiple special collections and libraries.
“I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Ann,” said Reece Foxen, Chair of the Library Commission. “I believe she has the exact balance of experience and skills the library needs.”
Hammond comes to Sonoma County from Lexington, Kentucky, where she is serving as the Executive Director of the Lexington Public Library. This is Hammond’s third position as a library executive in California, serving in leadership roles in San Diego and Alameda counties before her position in Kentucky.
Hammond is experienced in public library management, budgeting, strategic planning and collections planning. Under her tenure, the Lexington library system renovated most of its branches and increased donations and community outreach.
“Kentucky is one of the friendliest and most beautiful states in the nation, and will always have a special place in my heart,” said Hammond. “But California is home, and I am overjoyed to be returning, and especially to be joining the Sonoma County Library team. This is an excellent library and I look forward to working with the staff and commission to continue growing services for the people of Sonoma County.”
Prior to her first library job in 1995, Hammond was a US Navy officer, a stay-at-home mom, an agronomist and a forensic scientist. In the 1990s, she met Deanna Marcum, who at the time served as the dean of the library school at Catholic University in Washington, DC. “Within 10 minutes, Deanna convinced me that not only did I want to be a librarian, I had always wanted to be a librarian,” Hammond said. “And she was right, there is no place in our society that is as positive and welcoming as a public library and I feel honored to be a librarian.”
The Sonoma County Library has been without a permanent director since mid-2017, when former director Brett Lear stepped down. Tracy Gray and Jaime Anderson served as interim directors until July 2018, when Susan Hildreth, a veteran of local, state and federal library service, joined as interim director.
“We have had excellent interim Library Directors while we searched for the right person. They have invigorated the staff and the commission,” Foxen said. “Ann will help us move the library into the future, continuing to give Sonoma County residents a library of which they can be extremely proud."
Hammond’s first day will be March 11.