By Paula Walter
Linda Icenhour is the librarian at the Johnson County Public Library. Icenhour began volunteering at the library in 1985 before being hired as a librarian in 1988. At that time, the current library was in the process of being built. In 1991, she became the library director, a title she continues to hold today.
Part of Icenhour’s duties at the library include meeting with the board and setting a budget. Laura Hayworth and Lucy Cavanaugh also work for the Johnson County Public Library. “Anything that happens at the library, I’m responsible,” she stated. Icenhour is currently working on an addition to the library that will serve as a reference room.
Icenhour was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her father, who was from Johnson County, served in the military. Her mother was from Shouns. “I left Hawaii when I was about three,” she stated. Their next move took them to Florida, mainly in the Pensacola area. Her two brothers were born in Florida. “We were all born while my father was in the service,” Icenhour added. Her father, who served in the Navy during Vietnam, retired in 1975. Before his second tour back to Vietnam, he brought his family to Sunset Drive in Mountain City.“He figured Mountain City would offer better support for the family,” she added. Icenhour was approximately 12 when she moved to Mountain City. “The people were warm and embracing,” she stated. When Icenhour’s father returned from Vietnam, they were then stationed in Memphis and lived on base. “At the time he retired, we were living in Memphis,” she stated. “He taught math to wannabee pilots.”
Not only does Icenhour stay busy at the library, but she and her daughter, Amber, have written and illustrated several books. “She and I have become a mother-daughter writing and illustrating team,” she stated. “I have published two children’s books to date, and I’m working on a third.” Icenhour writes, and Amber does the illustrations.
The first series of books published by Icenhour and Amber is Joey’s Big Imagination and Joey’s Big Imagination Blastoff. They have also released Adventures of Jam and Jelly. Two other books have been written but at this time have not been published.
Icenhour and her daughter are working on another book entitled Scarecrows on Main, based on our very own Scarecrows on Main that appear on Main Street during October.