Fremont Library Bids Farewell to Director with Public Reception
The Fremont Area District Library will recognize library director Raymond Arnett with a public reception on Monday October 16, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Please join us at the library to celebrate Ray’s time serving our community.
Ray Arnett has served as the director of the Fremont library for over 12 years and will be missed by the board, the staff, and the community. He led the library through several restructurings and helped the board, staff, and facility adapt to become a 21st century library. Just recently, the board approved a new strategic plan to propel the library forward for 2018-2021. This new plan focuses on the people, the place, and the platform that make the library function in a fast changing technological age.
Throughout his tenure, the library has accomplished a variety of projects while managing the facility and staff within the growing constraints of the budget. Politically, Ray advocated for libraries at the state level. Due to his advocacy along with other librarians and the efforts of State Senator Goeff Hansen, the legislature approved increased funding for Renaissance Zone reimbursements to libraries as well as increased funding for State Aid to Libraries.
While director, Ray has served as a member of numerous boards including local boards such as Rotary, the Newaygo County Great Start Collaborative and the Great Start Regional Resource Center. He also served for many years as a board member of the Michigan Library Association and the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services. Both of these library organizations have a statewide impact and are a real testament to his reputation as a leader in libraries. In 2016, Ray earned recognition as a Certified Fundraising Executive.
Ray comments, “One of my proudest accomplishments has been the Non-Profit Resource Center. This month, the Fremont Area District Library will be recognized by The Foundation Center for its service as a network partner for the past ten years. This initiative has enabled the library to amass an excellent collection of resources for area non-profits, but also provide numerous free and low-cost trainings to area non-profit volunteers and staff.”
Under his leadership, the library was awarded an ALA grant to host a “Let's Talk About It” series of book discussions about the history of Islam at the Fremont library in Fall 2013 – Winter 2014. This year, the library also successfully brought a Smithsonian exhibit to Fremont through the Michigan Humanities Council. This multi-year project resulted in a successful exhibition here in Fremont of Hometown Teams during December 2016 until January 2017.
When asked how he feels about leaving the library after twelve years, Ray commented “I am very proud of what we as a group have accomplished during these trying fiscal times. I will truly miss the wonderful people here in Fremont and the library board and staff members. This is a bittersweet moment as we recall the wonderful times and friends here in the Fremont area while looking forward to our new chapter of life in South Carolina.”
The library board and staff wish Ray well in his new endeavor as senior pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Anderson, South Carolina.