February 17, 2018

Kimberly Martin | Movers & Shakers 2004

Library Builder


Kimberly Martin is just 30, but she’s been reinventing the Bonner Springs City Library since late 1998, even before she earned her library degree. Some 20 minutes west of Kansas City, Bonner Springs is a small town (service population around 10,000) in a bustling metropolitan area. Martin’s goal is to provide service on a par with the larger systems.

To do so, she and a board member launched a new fundraising project: the town’s first formal dinner dance. The $6000 raised in 2001 went to the library’s first collection of music CDs. In 2002, the fundraiser paid for materials for a homebound delivery service, and in 2003 it built a collection of Spanish and English as a second language materials, a response to an influx of Spanish speakers.

Martin says she loves the variety of her work: ‘No day is the same.’ She works behind the scenes and on the reference desk, does collection development and scheduling, presents at city council meetings, and performs story hours for kids.

‘The library’s always been a very comfortable part of my life,’ Martin says. While an undergrad at Emporia State she worked at the Emporia Public Library. One of her supervisors there was Kaite Mediatore (a 2003 Mover & Shaker). ‘She was young and had a great position,’ Martin says. ‘It made me realize that this is a profession where you can really make a difference.’

After college, Martin couldn’t decide on grad school, so she figured, ‘I’ll give libraries a try.’ Her nearly three years at the Kansas City Public Library, KS, ‘completely confirmed what I wanted to do with my life,’ she says.

Now, as she’s created a presence in the community and built up the library, she’d like to stay. ‘I don’t see it as limiting. The community is growing, as is the profession. I’ve been working hard on getting more space for the library. Once we’re there, I’d like to keep making it better.’




Current Position: Director, Bonner Springs City Library, KS
Degree: MLIS, University of Missouri, Columbia, 2001
Community Activities: VP, Bonner Springs/Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce; Cochair, 2002 & 2003 Bonner Springs Tiblow Days Celebration Spare Time: Huge supporter of Kansas City Chiefs