Home > Upper Moreland > Upper Moreland Library Community Mourns Loss

Upper Moreland Library Community Mourns Loss

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Jesse Reilly
The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

The woman who was instrumental in moving the Upper Moreland Library from the basement of the township building to its current location passed away last month and community members are still mourning the loss.

Lillian Burnley

Lillian Burnley, who served as the library’s director for 15 years until her retirement in 2007, died Jan. 19 at the age of 68.

“She organized the move and carried the books across the street, she got everyone to help,” library board member Bernice Keebler said. “She was heavily involved in the process.”

Burnley was raised in the Willow Grove area and graduated from Upper Moreland High School. She worked at the East Cheltenham Library prior to her tenure at Upper Moreland. But, Keebler said, once she took the reins, she ran with them.

“The library was her life,” she said. “I know it was very difficult for her to retire, she told us with tears in her eyes.”

Although she suffered from a number of health conditions, she never left them interfere with her dedication to the library.

“She was always able to get the job done,” Keebler said.

Assistant Library Director Cathy Gilmore agreed.

“She was very committed to working here,” she said. “She loved the community, she thought it was a big part of the library.”

Even though she was a great librarian, Keebler said Burnley was an even better person.

“She was just lovely to work with,” she said. “She was always so friendly and helpful.”

Burnley is survived by her husband, Robert; and sons Robert Jr., Jeffrey and Christopher; as well as grandchildren Rebecca, Melissa, Elizabeth, Lauren and Abigail.

“She loved taking care of her grandchildren,” Keebler said. “She was very devoted to her family.”

Like a number of community members and officials, Gilmore said Burnley would surely be missed.

“She’s the one that hired me,” she said. “As someone who was just starting out in the field, she was very encouraging, she loved it here.”

Republished with the permission of The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

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