Missy Dillingham

Missy Dillingham

Longtime Brentwood Children’s Librarian Missy Dillingham has died, according to the City of Brentwood.

"It this with great sadness that the John P. Holt Brentwood Library acknowledge the passing of our beloved Children’s Services Manager Missy Dillingham," the city said in a news release.

Dillingham died suddenly Monday morning at her home. 

She began her 38-year career with Brentwood in 1984, serving as the city's first and only Manager of Children's Services for the Brentwood Library.

Dillingham was honored with the Daniel A. Taylor Memorial Award in 2011 for her contribution to children’s services and served as the head of the Children’s and Young Adults Services roundtable.

She also served on several Tennessee Library Association committees, including serving on the Advisory Council as a co-chair of the Conference Planning Committee.

In 2020, she won the Frances Neel Cheney Award for "a significant contribution to the world of books and librarianship through the encouragement of the love of books and reading.” 

"No amount of awards or accolades can communicate the true and lasting impact Missy had on the people of Brentwood," the city added. "She was an advocate for literature for generations of Brentwood residents over her 38 year tenure. According to the legends, Missy could tell you the Dewey Decimal number for just about any subject you could name. She traveled as far as Russia and was a language buff. If she’d had no limits she would have spent her time gardening and baking. Her favorite book was 'When You Reach Me' by Rebecca Stead." 

Condolences and tributes poured in on the library's Facebook page at the announcement of Dillingham's death.

“Missy was passionate about children’s literature reaching the hands of children and families," John P. Holt Brentwood Library Director Susan Earl said in a news release.

"She was often training interns and served as a statewide resource for anything relating to children’s literature. Missy’s dedication to the library was shown through conducting programs, selecting titles, and ensuring all families are welcome is something that will be missed."

Dillingham is survived by her husband of 32-years, Robert Dillingham, and her extended family. No funeral arrangements have been made public at this time.