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Coordinator of media services retires

March 19, 2001

The hum of duplicating machines has been part of Lynda Conner's daily life for three decades. But Conner now can look forward to the quiet of home, as she retires after 30 years with the University.

The sounds and smells of Media Services, hidden on the ground floor of the library, differ from those on the main floor. Here, the rhythmic whooshes and clicks of duplication equipment create near-constant background noise. The air is thick with the acrid and not entirely pleasant smell of warm machinery. Mercifully, Conner has acclimated to both.

"People often ask us 'What's burning?'" says Conner. "The laminating machine gives off a candle-burning scent.

"You don't pay a lot of attention to the sounds and smells after a while."

A woman who generally shies away from the spotlight, Conner lights up like a theater marquee when she talks about her time at Austin Peay.

"Not everybody gets the opportunity to work in a job for 30 years that they truly enjoyed every day. I feel very blessed," she says.

Conner's love for her job is apparent from the moment you walk into Media Services. She greets you with a friendly smile as she asks, "How can I help you?"

"We strive to do the most we can for students," she says. "I've always tried to not let them leave without using all the resources I had to help them."

Before coming to Austin Peay in 1971, Conner worked with audio/visual material in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. She came here on a project funded by the National Science Foundation called the Center for Teachers, which provided workshops and resources for science and math teachers.

When the grant funding the project ended, the University put Media Services under the direction of the Felix G. Woodward Library.

Conner would see numerous changes during her long tenure with the Center.

"There has been a dramatic change in technology since I first came to APSU," she says. "Today's high-speed copy machines are much more advanced than the early machines using carbon."

Conner says her only work-related lament is that more students don't take advantage of the Media Center. "APSU is providing something for students that other universities don't," she says. "Unfortunately, many students don't know what we offer."

The hardest thing about retirement, she says, is leaving her coworkers. "Most of us have worked together for more than 20 years. We've been through many things together, and we've seen each other's children grow up."

Carl Moseley, electronic equipment technician, says Conner's retirement will leave "a big void. Lynda Conner is my friend and supervisor," he says, "and she provides motivation and inspiration. The University and community probably are not aware of how invaluable she is."

Betty Osborne, media specialist agrees. "We have learned a lot from her leadership," she says of Conner. "I'm trying to think of her not as retiring--just going on vacation."