Montclair Public Library director Peter Coyl announced Tuesday that he will resign, effective December 10. Coyl has held this position since March 1, 2017 when he became the 16th Director to lead the 128-year-old organization. Coyl has accepted a position at another Library, to be named on a later date.
“The past five years have been such a rewarding experience,” said Coyl. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to lead an extremely professional, dedicated, and resilient staff in a town whose residents love and support their Library.”
“I joined the board shortly after Peter and served with him during his five year tenure,” said JoAnn McCullough, President of the Board of Trustees. “Organizing and taking on the difficult task of incorporating policies and procedures is but a few of the many gifts that Peter will leave with us. His leadership and patience as a teacher will continue to serve the MPL as he begins the next chapter of his professional career.”
During his tenure the Library received two programming grants from the American Library Association, was a Public Library Association Grow With Google awardee, and was an Inclusive Internship Initiative host site. It also received a multicultural programming award from the New Jersey State Library and an inaugural 2021 Wi-Fi At Work Award by WifiForward.
Under Peter’s leadership the Library began mobile library service with an electric Tuk-Tuk, celebrated the Library’s 125th Birthday, and restored and preserved one of the earliest documents related to Montclair’s founding, the 1752 land deed of Azariah Crane. The Library also expanded its partnerships helping to host Suceed2gethers’ Literary Festival, offered free summer lunches to children through Toni’s Kitchen, and began a social work program hosting an Intern through Montclair State University’s Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy. Coyl also worked tirelessly with the staff to continue providing programs and services safely to the residents of Montclair under extreme financial constraints for the past 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A nationally recognized library leader, Coyl serves as Vice President of the Freedom to Read Foundation, sits on the American Library Association governing body ALA Council and on its Intellectual Freedom Committee. Peter also helped develop and implement the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS) materials delivery service when the statewide run system failed in 2018.
The Board of Trustees issued the following statement: “The Board wishes to take this opportunity to thank Peter for his hard work and commitment to building and growing MPL. Over the last five years Peter’s stewardship has been characterized by innovative ideas and strategic thinking. He showed great strength during the pandemic by maximizing offerings to the public with limited funding. By all measurements MPL has improved on Peter’s watch and the energy and devotion he brought will be difficult to match. We wish Peter the very best in his future endeavors.”
The Board of Trustees plan to name an interim Director while it initiates a nationwide search for Coyl’s replacement.