Warren County librarian to retire in August

Nicki Lynch, director of Samuels Public Library, stands outside the courtyard of the Front Royal facility on Criser Road. Lynch, who has been director since 2009, will be retiring this summer. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Librarian Nicki Lynch will be retiring from Samuels Public Library in August.

Lynch, 65, of Berryville, has served as director of the library since May 2009. She said she is sad to say goodbye, but is ready for the opportunities retirement holds for her. She plans to retire Aug. 8.

Lynch said she has been a part of library systems in surrounding counties for 39 years and is glad to have been a part of Warren County’s library. Prior to her role as director, she served as coordinator of children’s services from 1982 to 1988 at the library.

As director, she said her job description has changed over the years to include more fundraising work.

“You have to constantly learn new things,” she said, especially in technology and ways to raise funds for the library.

“Talking with people and getting them excited about the library,” she said has become a large part of her job. “And people love this library.”

She said every age group uses the library, but added she sees a lot of grandparents with their grandchildren and homeschooled students taking advantage of the programs offered. People who don’t have internet access or a computer at home also stop by the library when they need to get online.

The library sees about 600 to 1,000 people each day but also serves people who don’t even step foot into the building because of ebooks and the library’s database collection.

She said since she was kid she has enjoyed reading and believes that reading “was an important part of growing up,” and is glad to experience that with others.

Since she began working at Samuels Public Library, she has helped create many programs for infants to the elderly, due to community support, donations and grant funding.

She said they just finished up their annual fundraiser, “Taste for Books: Around the World in 80 Days,” with guests able to sample wine, food and beers from all around the world. This event raised $20,000 for the library.

Due to a donation, she was also able to have a children’s garden built outside with herbs and spices planted. The garden will be used in an “Introduction to Other Cultures” cooking class.

She added that three Eagle Scout projects have been completed, with the creation of a wooden bridge in the wetlands garden area, picnic tables and the purchase of Shakespearean plays.

The library also offers English as a Second Language classes, art appreciation classes and computer classes, which are free to attend.

The library has also created a used book store, which began this month, and is open four part-time days a week, she said.

Meeting rooms are also available to local organizations that need a quiet space to meet, she added.

Lynch said she will miss the “interesting, fun people” she has met over the years when she retires.

With her free time during retirement she said would like to get back into creating artwork, specifically watercolors, and would like to get out into nature and kayak. She said she is also looking forward to spending time with friends who have also retired.