Lori Maederer has been with the Blanchard staff 12 years. She remembers going to the library as a child after a move to Newcastle from Phoenix and being welcomed by Kimbrough.
“You got the feeling from those first visits then that you were being welcomed as a family member, and that never changed,” Maederer said.
Although that attitude didn't change, the scope of the library, and even its location, did. In its first 10 years, the library was housed in the Rich Appliance Store. In 1971, it moved to the old city hall building, where Kimbrough first worked.
Future moves took it to two storefront locations on Main Street, south of U.S. 62, then to the former United Methodist Church just north of the highway leading into town from the east.
For more than a decade, Kimbrough worked with city council members and town leaders, pushing the need for a new library as demand increased in the growing community.
That ultimately led to reality, with the council approving the site at 205 NE 10 St. The new library opened in May 2010.
Kay Lowry, who has worked with Kimbrough since 1982, describes her as “one of the most genuine people you could ever meet. She is self-sacrificing and always puts others on her staff ahead of herself.”
Christian Potts is the public information officer for the Pioneer Library System.