Becoming a legend in your own time is a feat few of us can imagine, and being able to fully enjoy that status as one celebrates the century mark is a gift few in life have achieved. So Story City is delighted to be able to help Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne celebrate this very special birthday, as we join with her thousands of fans to mark this momentous occasion.

The library in Story City is on her list of organizations which have benefited greatly from her attention and philanthropy. I am personally very blessed to count Fran as a dear friend, and cherish the time she has spent with me over the past 10 years. She not only welcomed me when I began this job at the library, but she also has endeared herself as she has praised, encouraged, offered suggestions, lobbied and even begged for others to help us here at the Bertha Bartlett Public Library. In keeping with years of devotion to this community, and in honor of her mother, the Bertha Bartlett Public Library and the boards and staff of the library have benefited from her graciousness, her generosity and her faithfulness all throughout the years.

The library staff have all learned that Fran is paying attention to what is happening here. Her visits have allowed us all to see how important this library (which bears her mother’s name) is to her. Whether she is here in Story City, or reading the newspaper in Jacksonville, she stays in touch with our efforts, our achievements and the many changes the library and the entire community experiences.

What would this library be without Fran’s influence? I can’t imagine! I hear from those who have known her their entire lives that “Our Frannie” is something special and always has been. When she comes to visit, the walls seem to absorb her energy, and it stays within the walls as she waltzes through the community, lifting us all up. We have been able to do more because of Fran; from the Kinne wing, to special gifts to help us stay ahead of the learning curves of technology and other advancements, she has questioned if our building and our staff have good tools to work with, offering help when in doubt, and encouraged the continued support of the people who use the library throughout the year.

I’m hoping this birthday is celebrated regally, as she has touched all corners of this country, and many corners of the world. To know her is to love her, but dear Fran, we can’t possibly find a gift that will compare to the gifts you have given us. So we send you our love across the miles, and wish you the very greatest birthday, hoping all your wishes come true!