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Kitchens accepts Montevallo library position

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton/Clanton Public Library director Savannah Kitchens has accepted the position of director at the Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo.

Her last day working for the Chilton County library system will be March 28.

“I did not anticipate that this would happen this quickly, but sometimes an opportunity comes up you just can’t let it pass you by,” Kitchens said.

Kitchens has been commuting from Montevallo to Chilton County for the past year and a half and is excited about working in her hometown.

“I grew up in Montevallo … this has been my home almost my whole life,” Kitchens said.

While she left the area to attend graduate school, after she got married she and her husband purchased a house in Montevallo.

“It really is home in every sense of the word for us,” Kitchens said.

Kitchens heard about the opening for a director at the public library in the town and applied.

She accepted the job last week.

Because library directors always have multiple things going on at once, the Montevallo library wanted Kitchens to start as soon as possible to keep programs going.

“I am looking forward to doing my best to have a good positive impact on my hometown,” Kitchens said.

While she has never worked there, the Parnell Memorial Library is the public library Kitchens has used for years.

“I am a patron of this library,” Kitchens said. “My kids have gone to storytime there. I get books there all the time.”

Kitchens has worked at other libraries in Shelby County and is familiar with their setup. While the libraries are independent, they have partnerships to allow interlibrary loans. Directors also meet monthly.

Kitchens said she has enjoyed her time in Chilton County.

“I am just so deeply grateful that I had the opportunity to work here,” Kitchens said. “This is an incredible community. This is a very special town … I have been really lucky to be here, and I just think whoever comes here next will be really lucky and in a really good situation because it’s a great community.”

She said the staff of the three branch libraries “is what makes this a good library.”

“The staff was here long before I came by,” Kitchens said. “They were already doing what they needed to make this a good place to come, and they will continue to do that long after I am gone I have no doubt.”

She said she has loved her job and enjoyed working with the “kind, dedicated” staff and library board.

During Kitchens’s time as Chilton/ Clanton Public Library director, each of the three branches has added numerous programs for adults. The Clanton location has also started activities for adults.

Kitchens was influential in the library system receiving grants for more than 1,000 new books, including an Association for Library Services to Children 2018 Bookapalooza award and a Library Services and Technology Act grant.