Lakeland University Blog

Lakeland librarian to retire, named Librarian Emerita

Lakeland librarian to retire, named Librarian Emerita


Lakeland librarian to retire, named Librarian Emerita

Lakeland University Director of Library Services Ann Penke is retiring this month after 36 years of service to the institution.

Her retirement concludes a long, distinguished career as the university’s second-longest-serving librarian. Penke’s final day is Friday, August 18, and a reception to celebrate her will be held near the Daily Grind on Thursday, August 31, from 2-3:30 p.m.

To recognize her commitment and achievements, Penke today was named Lakeland’s inaugural Librarian Emerita, which will enable her to have full access to the library’s holding and the university’s archives as well as encouragement to continue to review those materials and provide updates to the Lakeland community about her findings.

Penke’s tenure was marked by several and leadership roles, including:

  • She has represented Lakeland in the Monarch Library System, a unique relationship that ensures that members of the Lakeland community have access to a wider range of resources than would be available on our campus alone. Lakeland is the only academic library in the system.
  • She is a fierce advocate for the library’s role in ensuring the public has access to a range of materials and recently led Lakeland in establishing a challenged materials policy to ensure that pedagogically relevant materials remain available to our community.
  • She has mentored our LU-Japan colleagues in establishing and maintaining a library that serves students with a range of language needs and from countries around the world.
  • She also led the effort to acquire the Kodaly collection from Holy Family College and actively supported the relocation of the Hayssen Academic Resource Center to the library.
  • Her unwavering care for the library itself, which required her on more than one occasion to navigate the structural irregularities of working within an old building – whether channeling flooding or roof leakage, managing severe temperature fluctuations due to HVAC issues and navigating access challenges within a three-story building with a two-story elevator system.
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