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Beloved librarian retires after 11 years

October 4, 2011

Dinah Thacker holds a retirement card signed by patrons in the Bourbon Public Library. She has been the children's librarian there for the past 11 years.

BOURBON — Dinah Thacker retired from the Bourbon Public Library last week after 11 years as children's librarian. Thacker came to the library after working as a seamstress, church secretary and bookkeeper, and dental assistant earlier in her life.
"One of the things I appreciate most about working here is that I always enjoyed coming here as a child," said Thacker. "It became a home."
She pointed out the circulation desk in the children's department and explained that the desk had been in use at the library since she was young. Thacker committed herself to improving the children's department during her years at the library—and it shows.
"She is really good at those extra thoughtful things," said library director Heather Barron, pointing out Thacker's handiwork in the elaborately decorated children's playhouse and gazebo.
Barron explained that Thacker spent much time and effort especially developing the children's summer reading program. One of Thacker's projects included transforming a storage room at the library into an "Under the Sea" room for children's story time. This year, the same room became the passenger area of an airplane so children could imagine flying to different destinations for the theme, "One World, Many Stories."
"(Thacker) has transformed the storage room," said Barron. "She is incredibly crafty and creative."
Thacker waved away Barron's comments, quick to share the credit for her work with others.
"The community service here has been a group effort," said Thacker. "We all work together as a unit for any project. That's one reason I've enjoyed working here so much."
Thacker is a self-described organizer, and has spent hours making sure that the library's summer reading craft materials are properly stored for the next year. She has recycled the library's old card catalogue drawers and they now hold items such as "large pipe cleaners" and "doll's hair." Her pride in her work is evident as she explained the different resources that the children's room has to offer—the meeting room, craft events, computer games, and more.
Now that she is retiring, Thacker plans to spend time organizing her own home and visiting her family. Thacker has one daughter who lives in the area, but said that many of her family members live out of state.
A giant "miss you" card, signed by numerous patrons of the library, went home with Thacker on her last day. The relationships she has developed at the library over the years won't be forgotten by the dedicated librarian.
"I like the small hometown feel of the Bourbon Public Library," said Thacker. "We've had a lot of comments (from patrons) that they feel welcomed here. It's like we are one big family."

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