Library Director

The Library Board has hired Robyn E. Vittek as the new Director of Mt. Lebanon Public Library, starting November 1. Robyn will assume the position vacated by Cynthia K. Richey upon her retirement on October 11. Robyn is currently the Director at St Clairsville Public Library in St Clairsville, Ohio, and previously worked for the Akron-Summit County Public Library in Akron, Ohio. She holds a B.A. in English from The Ohio State University, a M.S. in Education from Franciscan University, and a Masters in Library Science from Kent State University. The Board believes she brings the right mix of experience and innovation to Mt Lebanon Public Library to continue its outstanding reputation.

We know you will join us in welcoming her.

Cynthia K. Richey, Director of Mt. Lebanon Public Library, to retire in October

Effective October 11 of this year Cynthia K. Richey will retire as the Director of Mt. Lebanon Public Library, after 32 years of service at the library. She has been Director since 1996. Cynthia’s last day at the library will be October 10 and she wants to thank the community for all the support it has given over the years. Join her from noon to 5:00 p.m. that day for cake and lemonade. Cynthia’s retirement celebration continues that evening at the library’s fall fundraiser: A Novel Affair: Once Upon a Time (celebrating children’s classics) will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the library. Tickets are $30 and all proceeds benefit Mt. Lebanon Public Library.

“I love Mt. Lebanon Public Library and will miss working here more than anyone can know,” Cynthia said in announcing her decision to retire. “I'll miss the programs, the wonderful community support, all of our partner organizations, and the building itself. But most of all, I'll miss the people. This is an extraordinary community, one with the best, most dedicated library staff, trustees, Friends of the Library, and volunteers. And the unflagging support of our patrons, elected officials, and municipality is unmatched in any quarter. I have been fortunate, indeed, to have had the opportunity to work here since 1983. It's been a privilege to help this library transform into one of the very best in the state and become the true center, the very heart, of our community.”

Cynthia’s accomplishments have been recognized with many awards and honors. She received a 2006 New York Times Librarian Award, one of only twenty-five librarians selected nationally. In 2005 Cynthia received the Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Library Association. She received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences in 2007. Cynthia was named a 2012 Legacy Laureate by the University of Pittsburgh in recognition of her professional and personal accomplishments. She received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

In the citation designating Cynthia as a “Legacy Laureate, one of the University of Pittsburgh’s most distinguished alumni,” it was noted that she “made Mt. Lebanon Public Library a center of community life, developing special collections and implementing unique programs, and in the process earned a national reputation as a leader in the field, sharing her expertise with colleagues through publications, workshops, seminars, and conferences throughout Pennsylvania and the United States.”

Cynthia served as President of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, in 2004. She also served on the Council of the American Library Association for several years and chaired the prestigious Newbery Award committee for 2011.

In 2007 Cynthia was appointed to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Council of Library Development and appointed Council Chair in 2009, a position she still holds. Cynthia served as President of the Pennsylvania Library Association in 1994. In Allegheny County, PA, Cynthia served from 2005 – 2010 on the Board of Directors of the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA), including two years as Vice President.

In 2013 she was appointed to the Board of Visitors for the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

Cynthia was named an Honorary Life Member of the Pennsylvania PTA in 1993 for her work in bringing children, books, schools, and libraries together. In 2011 she was honored by Mt. Lebanon Village for her exceptional service to older adults in the community.

Prior to coming to Mt. Lebanon Public Library in 1983, and serving as its Head of Children’s Services for more than 10 years, Cynthia was the children’s librarian at Pleasant Hills Public Library and at the Squirrel Hill Branch of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Cynthia holds a B.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.L.S. from the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, where she was elected to Beta Phi Mu, the national library and information science honor society.

About retirement Cynthia says, “My husband Jerry Richey retired on July 6 and we've always wanted to retire around the same time so we can do things together while we are healthy and do the things we don't have time for now--like traveling, visiting our far-flung family (especially our 19-month-old grandson in San Francisco!), hiking, volunteering for causes dear to us, and reading all the books we want to read. We’re looking forward to a more relaxed pace.”