NEWS RELEASE: Lynchburg Public Library Director Marilyn Martin recently announced she will be retiring from her position as of June 30, 2020. Martin was appointed to the position in 2013 upon the retirement of long-time director Lynn Dodge. Svrcek has appointed Beverly Blair to assume the Director’s position upon Martin’s retirement. Blair is currently the Library’s Supervisor of Youth Services.
Martin is a 33-year employee and was head of the Downtown Branch and Public Law Library from 1987 until 2013 before assuming her duties as director. While at the Branch Library, Martin also served as System Administrator beginning in 1990 when the Library moved to an automated library system. She also served as acting head of Adult Services for 18 months prior to becoming director.
During Martin’s tenure as director, the Library migrated to the TLC automated library system in a cooperative with Campbell County Library and the Bedford Regional Library. Library materials are shared throughout the area. A new Story Room was opened in 2015.
Martin graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and earned her Master’s in Library Science at Emory University. Interested in preservation and history, she is a past president of the Lynchburg Historical Foundation and a current member of the Lynch’s Ferry Editorial Board.
“I’ve enjoyed my time with the City of Lynchburg and the Library. It has been a fulfilling career, and I leave believing I have been able to touch the lives of many residents through their love of learning and reading.” said Martin.
“Marilyn has done a tremendous job with the Library,” said City Manager Svrcek. “Her leadership, vision and love for what she does have moved the Library forward to be a portal of learning, enjoyment and accessibility for the entire community.”
Svrcek continued by saying that Martin has prepared her staff well for her eventual retirement.
“I have great faith in Beverly, and I know she will do a great job as the new director. She has shown her leadership abilities in her current position, and she is well prepared to assume her new duties as director.”
“I am very excited and appreciative for this new opportunity,” said Blair. “I look forward to this challenge as the team at the Library continues to work together to provide the very best service possible to the community.”
Blair has worked in libraries for 16 years and carries a specialty in children’s and teen services and a strong background in urban library environments. She grew up in Lynchburg and graduated from E.C. Glass High School in 1998. She continued her education at James Madison University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and then moved to Boston, where she received her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in 2004.
Blair worked in public libraries in the Boston area until 2010 when she and her family moved back to Lynchburg. She became the school librarian and media specialist at R.S. Payne Elementary School for three years until she moved to the Lynchburg Public Library in 2013.
Among her most important contributions to the Lynchburg Public Library include working with the Youth Services team to increase early literacy programs for children ages five and younger, starting STEAM programming for school-age youth and offering creative outreach programming for Pre-K and Kindergarten students.