The London Library offers its heartfelt thanks to Inez Lynn who retires today as Librarian and Chief Executive following a 29 year career at the Library.
Inez first started working here as a cataloguer in 1988, becoming Deputy Librarian six years later. In 2002, she was appointed as the Library’s first ever female Librarian and in that role has overseen a remarkable process of change that has transformed the Library’s services, facilities and working spaces.
Inez led the RIBA award-winning building project designed to refurbish large parts of the Library and increase space for members and the Library’s expanding collection. Following major planning and building work between 2006 and 2013, all of the main reading rooms have been upgraded and impressive spaces - such as the Lightwell, Times and Art Rooms and the Periodicals area - have been transformed. Inez was also at the forefront of the project to acquire what became TS Eliot House, providing staff with dedicated office space for the first time.
From the outset Inez has been central to the Library’s deployment of information technology. She pioneered the introduction of computer catalogue and circulation systems and the introduction of the discovery software, Primo (better known to Library members as Catalyst) - the Library’s hugely well-received on-line catalogue and reservation system. Members have also benefited enormously from an impressive on-line service providing access to a huge array of e-journals and on-line databases.
Inez is passionate – and immensely knowledgeable - about books, libraries and the science and art of looking after them. She has steered the development and expansion of our collection and made major innovations in the way in which it is cared for - including the appointment of the Library’s first Head of Collection Care and the setting up of an in-house book conservation team.
An emphasis on professional development has been a theme throughout her career. A notable example is the London Library Graduate Trainee scheme which gives young graduates a chance to learn various aspects of library management or library science prior to commencing post-graduate study and professional qualifications. A large number of our graduates have benefited and gone on to have successful careers in the library sector and beyond.
Other innovations have included the first member survey, a full governance review culminating in a new Charter and Byelaws and the introduction of an internal financial-management function in the shape of the Finance Director post. And it was Inez who led the Library’s 175th anniversary celebrations last year which included the publication with Pushkin Press of the “Found on the Shelves” series of books and culminated in the memorable five day “Words in the Square” literary celebration held in St. James’s Square in May 2016.
Inez’s contribution has been immense and is very much down to her that the Library has been able to embrace major change while continuing to provide the unique resources and atmosphere that members cherish. We are indebted to her for the role she has played so steadfastly over the past three decades.