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Heinbuch to retire after 36 years with Greenfield Public Library

Lynn Heinbuch, left, poses at her retirement party Friday with Linda Kintigh, a member of Heinbuch's board for two decades. Heinbuch is retiring as Greenfield Public Library director after 36 years.
Lynn Heinbuch, left, poses at her retirement party Friday with Linda Kintigh, a member of Heinbuch's board for two decades. Heinbuch is retiring as Greenfield Public Library director after 36 years.

GREENFIELD — After serving the community of Greenfield for more than 30 years, Library Director Lynn Heinbuch is retiring.

Heinbuch loved reading from a young age and found her passion for library work in high school, when she worked in the Orient-Macksburg High School library. After graduating, Heinbuch attended Southwestern Community College and earned her associate degree in education.

“And then I took time off to get married, have a family and then I started working … in the Greenfield Public Library,” said Heinbuch. “When it was across the street in the old Carnegie library.”

Heinbuch joined the staff in the adult section in 1982. She balanced life with her family and job, all while simultaneously taking classes to earn her accreditation through the State Library.

Heinbuch went on as head of the adult section to co-direct the library with the then-head of the children’s section, Lorraine Schneider. This setup is unusual, as Heinbuch explains.

“It doesn’t normally work (having co-directors),” said Heinbuch. “But because we’re a small library and we had worked together for a number of years, it worked out very well and we balanced each other.”

Heinbuch became the sole director of the library after Schneider’s retirement, approximately four years ago.

She emphasized that her favorite component of her work was building community through the library.

“Every small town librarian will tell you this; their favorite part (of the job) is interacting with the community,” said Heinbuch. “You know everybody and you know their connections, who’s related to who. You know their likes and dislikes … That’s my favorite is anticipating what people need and want — I’ve gotten pretty good at that.”

The Greenfield Public Library has partnered with numerous organizations and businesses throughout the years in an effort to best serve the community and bring people together.

“That’s very important,” said Heinbuch. “It was important when I started and it’s even more important now. So, library now is like a destination, it’s a gathering place.”

Looking to the future, the library has found a replacement in Anna Shilling who has been hired as the incoming director of the library. Shilling previously served as director of the Granger Public Library and has been working with Heinbuch to learn the specifics of the Greenfield Public Library.

Heinbuch added that, while she is looking forward to retirement, this is not the last the library will see of her. She plans on volunteering some of her time to assist with the genealogy section of the library, a part of her job she thoroughly enjoyed.

“It (genealogy) is kind of like putting a puzzle together,” Heinbuch said with a smile.

However, the majority of her time is now expected to be spent traveling with her husband, Gary, and spending time with her family — her newly born great-granddaughter in particular.

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