By Anne Gibson

One knows a library is soon to open when the building is completed, and a librarian has been selected to lead the staff. The new library building is near completion and the selection of Mary McKinney by Pima County Library Executive Director Amber Mathewson as the librarian of the W. Anne Gibson-Esmond Station Library brought enthusiastic cheers from both the eight-member board of the Friends of the Esmond Station Library and community members. Ms. McKinney received her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Arizona and is sometimes heard to exclaim “Go Cats!”

For 16 years Ms. McKinney has lived a short three miles from the new library. Her first library assignments began in 1999 with various positions at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, the Lew Murphy-Wilmot Library, and the Richard Elias-Mission Library. In 2010, she arrived at the George Miller-Golf Links Library where she was the appointed Librarian. Serving 11 years at the Miller Golf Links Library found her mingling with many of the library customers that she will serve again at the new library.

When asked what made her want to be a librarian she replied, “Likely, it is having spent much time in libraries while growing up that sparked my interest in finding out more about career opportunities there. I worked as a library page while in high school, and that gave me a glimpse into working in a public library environment. I kept moving toward that goal, and I have not changed my mind yet, so I think it worked out well! As soon as I heard that a new library in the Vail area was on the horizon, I was interested.” Ms. McKinney continue, “Opening a new library is exhilarating. Southeast residents have been waiting a long time for a library, and they are excited that it is nearing completion. Every day at the Miller-Golf Links Library, patrons ask staff when the new library will open. I, too, am happy, excited, and eagerly awaiting when the community can finally begin to use their new library. I feel fortunate that I will be there when it happens,” she said.

Edward D. Buster, Pima Library Advisory Board District 4 representative and Vice President of the Friends of the Gibson-Esmond Station Library was quick to embrace the selection of Mary McKinney as managing librarian. “She is superbly accomplished, mentored, and well-seasoned professionally, with an extensive background of success, ample competencies, and demonstrated leadership, and management qualifications to make a deeply positive and long-lasting impact in this role upon our welcoming communities,” said Mr. Buster.

The Gibson-Esmond Station library is one of 27 Pima County Libraries governed by the county. The library was projected to open in January, but due to the Covid 19 virus concerns the opening has been postponed.

Whittley “Anne” Gibson is a third generation Tucsonan and alumni of the University of Arizona. She has been an active community member in the greater Vail area since the late 1970s.

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Anne Gibson