SUTHERLAND Shire Council's manager of library services, Lyn Barakat, who retired last week after more than 34 years service, has been officially thanked by mayor Kent Johns for her outstanding contribution to the community.
"Lyn has ensured that Sutherland Shire has been a leading and a progressive library service, quite often being the first to introduce new services and systems," Cr Johns said.
Ms Barakat started with the council in 1981 as deputy chief librarian having previously worked with the Department of Technical and Further Education.
She was promoted to manager in 1989.
She oversaw the establishment of the Sutherland Central Library (Athol Hill MBE Memorial Library), the Caringbah Library, the transfer of the library from Bangor Shopping Centre to Menai Town Centre, the establishment of Cronulla Library, the relocation of Miranda library from Westfield to Wandella Road, and relocation of the Engadine Library.
"Lyn brought a new approach to the range of collections and to collection management within the library service," Cr Johns said.
"She has been involved in many organisation-wide reviews and assisted the council in achieving many efficiencies.
"Even though council has expanded the library service in terms of floor space, collections, services and opening hours, the staff numbers within our library services have remained stable since the 1980s."
Cr Tracy Cook praised Ms Barakat's contribution.
"Lyn is a remarkable and innovative leader, who has embraced all changes to library systems over the past 34 years," Cr Cook said.
"Her contemporary, passionate and transformational approach to leading all library services and systems is to be commended, and has enhanced our Sutherland Shire library services immensely.
"A little known fact is that Lyn is also an accomplished singer and frequently performed in council staff productions in the Sutherland Entertainment Centre.
"Lyn could always be heard on the morning of Christmas Eve singing carols with her friends and colleagues on the steps of the council."