After 17 years, six as its director, Alan Kirk Gray will be retiring from the Darien Library. His last day will be Aug. 1.

Gray, a Darien resident, replaced long-time library director Louise Berry, who was director for 35 years.

Other positions he has held include assistant director of operations and chief operating officer.

The library board will begin a procedure in a month or two to search for Gray’s replacement, he said.

Gray said a primary role he has played at the library was being “heavily involved in the planning and design of the new library building,” which opened in 2009.

“It was one of the greatest opportunities of my life to be so heavily involved in the planning and development of such a critical element in the community,” Gray said.

Gray, 76, said it’s time for the next generation of leaders of the library “to pick up and move the library into the future.”

He plans to travel to Maine for a month, right after he retires.

He considers the Darien Library one of the “best in the country.” It has recently been designated a five-Star library by Library Journal in The LJ Index of Public Library Service list of American’s Star Libraries 2019.

“I see this extraordinary staff doing great things with the patrons who come in from the community,” Gray added.

More information to follow in the coming months.