Barbara Fitch Hildebrand and her husband Alex bought farmland along the San Joaquin River south of Manteca in 1945 and moved to the property in 1962.
She graduated from Pasadena Junior College in 1941 as the class valedictorian and earned a degree from the University of California at Los Angeles with the highest honors in 1943 and was awarded two Stanford University fellowships - one for teaching and the other for research.
After moving to Manteca, Hildebrand set up the Nile Garden School library and ran it several years as a parent volunteer. Other schools in the district modeled libraries after the one Hildebrand established.
She became involved with the Manteca Library after passage of Proposition 13 cut into operating funds. She has served as a library volunteer from 1974 to the present and handles virtually every aspect of volunteer work including helping to train other volunteers. For the past 21 years, she's also ordered and displayed tax forms that the community would not have had if it weren't for her efforts. Since records started being kept of volunteer service five years ago, Hildebrand has logged 4,555 hours. In 1998, the number of hours donated to the community through library service by Hildebrand numbered 911.
Hildebrand is a charter member of the Friends of the Manteca Library and has served as treasurer since 1981.
She has served on every library task force and advisory board formed this decade.