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On the Record With ... Lynn Hammerlund

Lynn Hammerlund works as a catalouging, acquisitions and music librarian at Judson University in Elgin. Hammerlund also is an associate professor and recently was named as the 26th Illinois Library Luminary.
Lynn Hammerlund works as a catalouging, acquisitions and music librarian at Judson University in Elgin. Hammerlund also is an associate professor and recently was named as the 26th Illinois Library Luminary.

Lynn Hammerlund of Lake in the Hills is a librarian at Judson University in Elgin and a library trustee for the Algonquin Area Public Library.

She has been with Judson for 30 years, where she also is an associate professor. She teaches students how to do research. At the school, she is known as the trivia queen.

“People call me and say, ‘I can’t find this answer,’” Hammerlund said.

Hammerlund has served on the Algonquin Area Public Library Board for 24 years and was re-elected to a six-year term.

She recently was named as the 26th Illinois Library Luminary, which is like the hall of fame of librarians in the state. She received the news she was named a luminary after she returned to work after being treated for breast cancer.

Hammerlund was diagnosed with breast cancer around Thanksgiving; it had spread to her bones. She underwent a lumpectomy and radiation and now is cancer-free.

Hammerlund recently spoke with reporter Joseph Bustos about being a librarian and the luminary honor.

Bustos: How does it feel to be named a luminary?

Hammerlund: Well, I didn’t know I was nominated. When the OK from the committee came through, I said, ‘What? You’re kidding.’ This is usually at the end of a career. I consider myself in the middle of it. I was surprised. It blew me away. I’m a person, when I have ambitions, I go after it. I knew about library luminaries, I just never thought I’d be one. I didn’t think I had done enough. I guess I have. I was honored and very extremely humbled because of the company I joined.

Bustos: You’ve been on the Algonquin Area Library Board since 1988. Why have you stayed so long?

Hammerlund: Well, I’ve realized, in five years, the bonds will be retired for a new library and renovation of the other library. I was there when we passed the referendum to do it. ... [Also] it’s a challenging times for libraries. We’re redefining our role. ... I really do love what I’m doing, and we have some challenges coming up.

Bustos: What are the challenges?

Hammerlund: With the Internet, people think they know they can do research. Right now, are we a print collection, or an e-book collection, or both? I think we’ll always house books. ... We have to figure out what our role is going to be. Things have to change. The information industry has changed ... we’re redefining ourselves and have redefined jobs.

Bustos: What’s the best part about being a librarian?

Hammerlund: My job is never the same every day. It encompasses all of human knowledge and serving people.

Bustos: When you’re not working as a librarian, what do you do in your spare time?

Hammerlund: I’m a huge sports fan. I also am the official scorer of the men’s and women’s basketball team. I started that when my husband coached my daughter’s basketball team.

When I was 6 years old, I learned how to score baseball. I have the mind to do that. For me, it’s cataloguing the game.

The Hammerlund lowdown

Who is she? Lynn Hammerlund is a Algonquin Area Public Library trustee and a librarian at Judson University. She recently was named an Illinois Library Luminary.

Town: Lake in the Hills

Age: 54

Family: She and her husband, Jeffrey, have two grown children.

Favorite book: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare”

Favorite movie: “Contact”

Favorite meal: Her homemade lasagna

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