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University librarian ends a decades long chapter of service

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Gabriella Cummings
Staff Writer

University of La Verne’s Librarian Donna Bentley gave her last lecture sharing what impact she wants to leave on the campus and how she is spending her days now that she is retired on Tuesday via Webex with 36 people in attendance.

Bentley said that when she was hired there weren’t many librarians, so she was able to learn about all the studies the University had to offer. From biology to art, she was the only person to help both students and professors. She has been at the University for 32 years.

“I stayed because I really like the students and faculty and liked the mission statement, it really attracted me,” Bentley said. “I loved working with the faculty, I loved working with the students.”

She said she had loved the University’s community since she started and how much it has developed in her years working in the library. 

Bentley gave parting advice to current students at the University—make the librarian your best friend.

“It will amaze you so much that even virtually you can talk to a librarian about what you’re working on and where you are struggling,” Bentley said.

Bentley officially retired on July 1 and moved to Maine. She noted the campus shut down in her decision to retire.

While living in California,  Bentley also worked for an adult literacy program but had to stop due to the fact that she could only work evenings and many of the individuals were there during the day. She said she hopes to start working for an adult literacy program for adults that were not taught how to properly read once people are able to meet together again after COVID. She said she will most likely also volunteer at a local library. 

Jack Meek, professor of public administration and director of the Center for Research introduced Bentley at the start of the lecture.

“You cannot underestimate Donna’s consistent contributions done with expertise and professionalism,” Meek said. “Her pleasant demeanor allowed us to flourish.”

Lynn Stanton-Riggs, associate provost and professor of education emerita, praised Bentley for her work over the years.

“You were a huge part of my family’s nine degrees from the University of La Verne,” said Stanton-Riggs, who also retired over the Summer. “Your support, care and deep knowledge has served our students well beautifully for many years,” 

President Devorah Lieberman thanked Bentley for her time at the University and her impact she made on the campus.

“Donna, this is beautiful. It is so typical of you to always be thinking about and acting how best to help the greater community. You are a role model for this,” Lieberman said.

Gabriella Cummings can be reached at gabriella.cummings@laverne.edu.

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