Emily Kimbrough, Hoosier native and European traveler

“I believe that there are no memories that are okay to forget. Every man’s memory is his private literature. Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same. Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.” – Emily Kimbrough

Emily Kimbrough. The Indianapolis Times collection, ISL L722.

Emily Kimbrough was born in Muncie, Indiana on Oct. 23, 1899. At the age of eleven, her family moved to Chicago. She attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania before moving to Paris, back to Chicago, Philadelphia and finally settling in New York.

Kimbrough began her writing career in Chicago in 1923 with Marshall Field Magazine, the department store’s quarterly catalog. In 1926, she moved on to become the fashion editor and then managing editor for Ladies’ Home Journal. She wrote about her years at Marshall Field’s in “Through Charley’s Door,” published in 1952. From the 1930s to 1950s, she wrote freelance with articles published in Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker.

While raising a family, she began to write and lecture about her fascinating travels, misadventures and experiences. “Our Hearts Were young and Gay,” co-written with her closest friend and actress, Cornelia Otis Skinner, describes their 1920s tour of England and France, as young women in their 20s. She continued to write several books about her European travels, eventually having a bibliography of 16 books.

In 1976, the city of Muncie created the Emily Kimbrough Historic District, later being placed on the National Register in 1978.

By Nyttend - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18019895

Emily Kimbrough Historic District

Kimbrough died Feb. 10, 1989, in Manhattan, New York City.

This post was written by Chris Marshall, digital collections coordinator for the Indiana Division at the Indiana State Library.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Kimbrough
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Hearts_Were_Young_and_Gay
http://www.muncie-ecna.org/kimbrough.html
https://www.nytimes.com/1989/02/11/obituaries/emily-kimbrough-90-magazine-editor-and-popular-author.html

Journey of a librarian: Library travels and retirement

My professional journey has literally been a trip from here to there in the library world. It all started when I went to library school directly from my undergrad program in 1975 -one of the best choices I ever made.

Current head shot.

What was the library world like in the late 1970s? The ’70s were information-rich with bound books full of knowledge. I learned to leverage the resources, whether it was doing reference or interlibrary loan. I started out at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the granddaddy of all Carnegies, as a science librarian. It wasn’t all low tech, as there were dial-up computers. I quickly stopped searching Chemical Abstracts by hand and switched to database searching. The rapid automation of libraries for information searching led to significant advancement of library operations.

From Pittsburgh I headed to Houston, where I entered the world of a corporate librarian. The company was a geotechnical engineering firm and I continued to provide science information. The continued automation of library tasks was present in this new position. A colleague and I were tasked with re-cataloging the corporation’s entire library collection. Fortunately we didn’t have to this manually. This involved training in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), an online resource for cataloging books and providing interlibrary loans. This was fine training in the library world of providing access to information.

In the Alleghenies in western Pennsylvania, circa 1978.

There was a short pause in my library travels, though. I returned to Troy, Michigan and was expecting a second child. I didn’t work as a librarian at this time. I became something of a “power user” of my local Michigan public libraries, the St. Clair Shores Public Library and the Troy Public Library.

Once the children were school age we moved to Carmel, Indiana, where I worked as an instructional aide in an elementary school. Besides my hours coinciding with my children’s schedule, I increased my technology competencies with instructional software and local area network administration. This segued into my position at Indianapolis Public Library, where I provided instruction on the online catalog and Microsoft Office applications. Now I was skilled, not only in library tools like cataloging and databases, but with a background in operating systems and network administration.

My traveling was not over, because I next moved to Los Angeles, where I worked first for Burbank Public Library and then for the Los Angeles Public Library. I had returned to public libraries. Hallelujah! This is where I wanted to be, but it’s not the end of my story.

My final move was to return to Indiana to the great city of Indianapolis. Indiana – and Indianapolis in particular – has a great tradition of public libraries. I was blessed to be hired by Indiana State Library to be a public library consultant. It is the culmination of a career of public service with strong information skills. I offered the Indiana public libraries my expertise in public libraries, information and technology services.

I will retire shortly. I look back at libraries in the ’70s compared to libraries of today and I marvel at what must be in store for the future. I have never been static in the library profession and I won’t be static in retirement. I will continue my travels where destinations will be determined not by employment but the attraction of beautiful sights and public libraries.

This blog post was written by Karen Ainslie, public library consultant and state E-rate coordinator. For more information, contact the Library Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or via email.