Lynchburg's Library Director Retiring After 39 Years

Lynchburg, VA - She's a living legend at the local library, and after many years of service, the director of the Lynchburg library Lynn Dodge is retiring this week.

Friends held a celebration for her Wednesday.

Dodge took over as director in 1974. In those 39 years of service, she's touched many lives inside and outside of the public library.

"She's a face people recognize so they get excited when they see her," said Beverly Blair from the library staff.

"Lynn is one of the nicest people you will ever meet," said Cheryl Bray, who's been on the library staff for 32 years.

She's opened her heart and sometimes even her wallet for those in need.

"She would give them money for the bus," said Bray.

And if they needed a warm place to sleep...

"She may call a shelter and see if there's room for that person," said Bray. "She does genuinely care about people."

Dodge fought hard to keep the downtown branch open, and she launched outreach programs, where library staff take books to the young, elderly and vulnerable.

And of course, "classical music on the sidewalk," said Kimball Payne, the city manager.

When Dodge got up to speak, she gave the credit to her colleagues.

"They're the ones who made it happen day to day," said Dodge. "I think when you see that you can make a difference in people's lives. That's what it's all about. I want to thank you for giving me an opportunity to do that."

Dodge's friends couldn't thank her enough.

"You, Lynn Dodge, will certainly leave this city greater and more beautiful and more educated than it was when you came here so many years ago. And we thank you for that service," said Bonnie Svrcek, deputy city manager.

Her official last day is July 1. Marilyn Martin, the downtown librarian, will take over as interim director.