After 21 years, A Deserved Retirement

July 1, 2021

Congratulations to Lyn Korenic, Head of the Kohler Art Library, as she begins a well-deserved retirement! Lyn has been an art librarian for nearly 40 years and the Head of the Kohler Art Library since 1999. She is only the second person to hold this leadership position in the Kohler’s 51 year history–Bill Bunce being her sole predecessor. Lyn also worked for the UW-Madison Libraries between 1973 and 1981 in circulation, cataloging, and at the Kohler, before she went to library school, which was encouraged by Bunce. She earned four degrees from UW-Madison–a BA, MFA, and two MAs, and completed her doctorate in art history in 2006 from UC Santa Barbara.

Early in her career, Lyn was a reference librarian in the Fine Arts Library at Indiana University (1982-84) before she traveled west to California to join the staff of the Arts Library at the University of California, Santa Barbara. There, Lyn initially worked as Assistant Arts Librarian (1984-88) and then served as Head of the Arts Library (1988-1999). Since the beginning, Lyn has been professionally active, especially with the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), with whom she served on various committees and had a term as president in 1990.

Since returning to Madison and to the Kohler Art Library, Lyn has worked to continue and expand the legacy Bill Bunce set in place for the Kohler. Lyn has grown the art research collection by adding over 60,000 volumes. Lyn led major improvements to the Kohler space, including the addition of compact shelving (the first in the UW-Libraries system!) and the renovation of space for library instruction. In 2011 she was promoted to Distinguished Academic Librarian.

Library Director Lyn Korenic in her office, 2009.

Many know Lyn through her energetic stewardship of the Artists’ Books Collection. Through her teaching and outreach,  Lyn was able to introduce these treasures to thousands of students and community users over many years and hundreds of viewing sessions, reaching users on campus, across the state, and beyond. Lyn has thoughtfully developed the Artists’ Book Collection, more than doubling it in size, and launched the Artists’ Book Collection Database in 2007. In partnership with former Silver Buckle Press curator Tracy Honn, Lyn founded the annual Bernstein Book Arts Lecture, which brings distinguished artists to campus. Over the years, Lyn has curated 74 exhibits, an outreach activity that she has enjoyed immensely. Many of these exhibits drew on the Artists’ Books Collection. Her last exhibit  was the collaborative exhibition Speaking of Book Arts at the Chazen Museum of Art, shortly before the 2020 pandemic.

Lyn has also co-taught an Art Librarianship class in the iSchool every other year from 2012-2020, an experience that she reflects is “a wonderful way to mentor students and pass along my passion for the field.” She joined forces with Prof. Gail Geiger (Art History) and Louise Robbins (iSchool) to advocate for the Art History/iSchool dual master’s degree. Lyn has always been strongly committed to providing excellent services to faculty, students, and other library users. She has an unparalleled knowledge of the library’s collections. She will be greatly missed! We wish her well as she settles into her emerita role in the Madison environs.