Some of her work in Missouri includes organizing the book mobile, educating librarians across the state and increasing circulation levels.
Colleagues say it's bitter sweet to see her leave.
"She knows what libraries should be, what libraries are and where libraries are going. She understands their importance to the community and we really hope our next director can give us those qualities," says Alan Stolfus.
Read plans to return to the library after retirement as a volunteer at the The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art to catalog books.
In her spare time, she plans to go kayaking and hot air ballooning with her two dogs.
"I don't see me slowing down because I'm not built that way. The sofa is not my favorite item of furniture in the house," says Read.