Tricia Kelly, Associate Director of the Library, wrote the following tribute for her colleague, friend, and retiring Director Lynne Robbins:
When Lynne took the helm of the Boyden Library in July 2003, the building shook and the staff feared what was ahead. She brought much enthusiasm and boundless energy as she learned about her staff, the library, and the community. As a change agent, she asked many questions in order to understand the policies and procedures that were in place.
Lynne believes exceptional customer service is essential to this community and is a hallmark of her staff. Because citations challenged students, Lynne and the librarians created the Deerfield Academy MLA Bibliographic Citation Guide with detailed examples and formulas. Lynne spearheaded the implementation of the Innovative Interfaces Millennium system to replace the failing Dynix Scholar online catalog, and she tactfully resolved major issues with Triple I.
Lynne designed flexible study spaces throughout the library to encourage collaborative projects and class gatherings. She expanded technology in every arena of the library: the website as the portal to resources and services; LibGuides for information literacy and instruction; integrated online system for acquisition, cataloging, and circulation, and the addition of databases, eBooks, QR codes, and streaming videos to the collection. Under Lynne’s leadership, the librarians developed modules for Noodle Bib to teach students how to convert their citations into endnotes or footnotes, and used iPads to teach more effective classes. The entire staff honed their technical skills and assisted students with printing their final projects with great patience.
When the library and bookstore staffs were downsized in the 2009 fiscal crisis, Lynne gathered her staff to discuss their feelings of loss and then helped them rebound by optimizing their talents in the restructuring process.
Lynne will always be remembered for her many care packages of Caesar salad, lasagna, shortbread cookies, and trifle when staff recuperated from surgery or illness. She visited my mother on Mother’s Day at the motel where we were living while displaced from our home. As a gift to staff, she hosted semiannual retreats to Chandlers restaurant for lunch and conversation.
As International Student Advisor, Lynne shepherded hundreds of students through Deerfield’s academic schedule and the social scene. Every fall she offered her students an orientation to research, avoiding plagiarism, and optimizing the use of technology, as well as playing games and watching student-produced videos. She arranged hundreds of home-stays with Deerfield families, and she opened her homes in Deerfield or Plainfield when last minute changes happened. Many international students benefited from both her wise counsel, and her willingness to transport them to Greenfield and beyond.
Lynne also read admission folders for ninth grade girls, and served on the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, calendar, strategic planning, and reaccreditation committees, just to name a few. Although she attended many weekly meetings, she was willing and able to fill in at the circulation desk during staff shortages due to personal and family illnesses.
As a mentor, friend, and colleague, Lynne, you will be missed. The library staff wishes you, Lew, Chris and Mike, a restful and relaxing retirement.