HERKIMER NATIVE TO HEAD UTICA PUBLIC LIBRARY
UTICA – Christopher Sagaas, Head of Branch Services for the Central Albany Public Library, will become the new director of the Utica Public Library, succeeding Darby O’Brien, who will retire in June.
Sagaas said, “I look forward to leading the area’s premiere library.” The Herkimer native added that he also is excited to be returning to his Mohawk Valley roots.
Kelly Walters, President of the Utica Public Library Board of Trustees, said, “The board unanimously approved the recommendation of the search committee to hire Chris. We all think he is the right person to lead the library into the next chapter of its proud history.”
O’Brien became the public face of the library during her 27 years with the institution.
Saagas said, “I am well aware of the reputation of the library and its standing in the community, and I expect to add to its legacy in the years ahead.”
He said he was involved in policy development, contract negotiation, budgeting, and implementation of new public service initiatives during his 16 years at Albany Public Library. He said that most recently he supervised more than 40 employees in two branch locations.
“I am looking forward to continuing UPL’s leadership role with the regional Mid York Library System,” Sagaas said. He said he also plans to work closely with the New York Library Association, which represents libraries across the state on legislative and budget issues. He currently serves on the association’s Legislative Committee, Civil Service Task Force, and is an instructor in its Library Assistant Training Program. He also is treasurer of the City of Albany’s Public Educational and Government Television Access Oversight Board.
Sagaas is coordinator of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), an advisor to Literacy NY of the Greater Capital Region, and he is the library liaison to the City of Albany, Albany Police Department, and Albany County Department of Social Services.
The new Utica Public Library director is a Certified New York State Public Librarian. He earned his master’s degree in Library Science at SUNY Albany in 2000, and he holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He completed the New York Library Association Leadership & Management Academy in 2016.