New library collection to be created in memory of Lucy Boyle
When 13 year old Lucinda Madeleine Boyle, “Lucy” to her friends and family, passed away unexpectedly from surgical complications in March of 2015, her tragic loss was felt far and wide.
The daughter of Daniel Island Library Branch Manager Tim Boyle, Lucy was known to all as a sweet, smart, inquisitive young lady who loved coding, creating computer games, pottery, cooking, and knitting. Her two favorite subjects were science and math, and like her father, she was a voracious reader. Lucy’s untimely death not only impacted her beloved family, but also the Daniel Island community, where Tim has served on the library staff since the branch opened in 2007.
“Everyone was just kind of stunned at her passing,” said Daniel Island resident John Gilsenan, a longtime library supporter. “We thought this is going to be a routine fly ball and then she’ll come home, and then it just fell apart on them.”
After talking with other residents, as well as library staffers, Gilsenan became determined that Lucy’s loss should not go unremarked by the Daniel Island community. Last summer, he began working with a small committee that included Berkeley County Councilman Josh Whitley, Berkeley County Library Board Chair Pat Richards, and Berkeley County Library Director Donna Osborne Worden, to come up with a plan to honor Lucy, whom many affectionately called a young “wizard in training.” As a result of those discussions, they have created the Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund, which will be used to establish a special collection at the Daniel Island Library, and later at other Berkeley County library sites, featuring materials inspired by Lucy’s interests.
“It was really a team effort from the get-go,” said Gilsenan, who was described in a Berkeley County Library System press release on the project as a ‘tireless advocate’ for the cause. “…Every library user on Daniel Island knows Tim Boyle. He is the ‘Answer Man on Duty’ at all times for all of us. Tim always comes through. When Lucy became ill and unexpectedly died last March, we all knew it was time to come through for him, for Mrs. Boyle, and their surviving daughter as well.”
They considered doing a memorial garden, but decided something more engaging and interactive might be more fitting. The Lucy Boyle Collection, a resource depository, will focus primarily on materials with a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) theme.
“We want to do a variety of materials that honor what her interests were, because she had so many,” added Worden. “She was really a wiz! She made jewelry, she did this, she did that. She was just an incredible young lady. When the library staff were thinking about doing a tribute to Lucy, they talked to Tim and he said she was really involved in coding and she belonged to an organization called Girls Who Code, so it kind of grew out of that, too. We said why not, in addition to having a memorial collection, take it a step further and create some programming for tweens and teens, and do it system-wide, where they can have fun learning about STEM and coding?”
The Daniel Island Library has set aside a special area to house the collection and will be able to loan out the materials to other branches in the library system. The target age group for the collection will be 8 to 14, though it will be available to all users.
“The whole purpose is to get children in these ages, because that’s when they begin to formulate what they’re going to do later, and steer them in the direction of these areas that are in such demand,” said Worden, who also intends to apply for grants for the fund. “Our plan is to begin the programs here (on Daniel Island) and engage the children here, to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Based on their evaluations and input we can take it to other locations.”
“The Digital Corridor is on the rise here in Charleston and through this collection our Library System will serve as an incubator for the children who will staff and grow the corridor in the future,” added Gilsenan.
How can you help? A fundraising account for The Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund has been established at NBSC on Daniel Island. Individual and community contributions can be made by dropping off cash or check donations at the Daniel Island Library into a special box designated for the fund; mailing a check made out to the Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund to NBSC at 230 Seven Farms Drive, Suite 100, Daniel Island, S.C. 29492; or dropping off a donation for the Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund at any NBSC location. In addition, donations can be made online via Go Fund Me by visiting the Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund page at www.gofundme.com/LBMemorialFund.
Gilsenan and the fund’s other creators are hopeful the collection will serve as a wonderful vehicle to keep Lucy’s precious and impactful spirit alive for the benefit of children and others who share her passion for learning.
“Lucy Boyle was a gifted child and coder who was writing software for video games in her final years,” added Gilsenan. “This initiative will fulfill her aspirations and the potential she had to share with all of us and her fellow wizards.”
Tim Boyle expressed appreciation on behalf of his family for the community’s efforts to honor Lucy.
“Deborah and I are gladdened and grateful that the community has come together to memorialize our dear daughter, Lucy. The library was one of her favorite places, and we hope her spirit will live on here.”
How Can You Help?
* Drop cash or check donations at the Daniel Island Library into a special box designated for the fund.
*Mail a check made out to Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund to NBSC at 230 Seven Farms Drive, Ste 100, Daniel Island, SC 29492
* Drop off cash or check donations for the Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund at any NBSC location.
* Make a donation online via Go Fund Me by visiting the Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund page at www.gofundme.com/LBMemorialFund
*For additional information, visit http://berkeleylibrarysc.org/lb-memorial-fund/.