Kimberly Dobbie looks on as her son, not in the photo, checks out a baby lobster at the Lewiston Public Library last week. Dobbie and her twin 11-year-old boys spent a lot of time at the library in the weeks before she died, getting help from librarians as she tried to navigate the process of moving out of a homeless shelter and into her own apartment.

LEWISTON — Kimberly Dobbie and her twin 11-year-old boys spent a lot of time at the Lewiston Public Library in the weeks before she was fatally stabbed, getting help from librarians as she tried to navigate the process of moving out of a homeless shelter and into her own apartment.

The librarians got to know and admire Dobbie, 48, for the way she handled herself and cared for her boys under difficult conditions. The staff also got to know Albert Flick, the man charged with murder in her slaying, and weren’t always as comfortable with his presence.

Children’s librarian David Moorhead said the first time he saw Flick, “I got a bad vibe. Not a murderer vibe, but a bad vibe.”

Moorhead said he almost told Flick, 76, he couldn’t be in the children’s section.

“But then he said he was helping (Dobbie),” Moorhead said Wednesday.” She backed that up. They were together a lot. He seemed to be part of her support team. …

“(Dobbie) never approached any of us and said she didn’t want him around.”

Dianna Larrabee, a Community Concepts worker at the library, agreed.

She said she often saw Flick. He acted normal, appropriate, polite, she said.

“There were no issues,” Larrabee said. “He wasn’t giving me that vibe of creepiness. He seemed like a nice guy helping her out. He’d say, ‘I’m just helping Kim today,'” Larrabee said, breaking down in tears.

Larrabee staffs The Hub, a Community Concepts resource center at the library that offers help to those in need like Dobbie and her sons. People often approach The Hub desk to learn what resources are available for food, clothing and shelter. Dobbie and her twins were living at Hope Haven Gospel Mission, a homeless shelter on Lincoln Street.

Larrabee and other staffers got to know Dobbie and her sons. The library is not just a rich source of information, education, books, videos, movies and cultural programs for everyone. It also offers a quiet, respectful, nonjudgmental and welcoming day shelter for those who are homeless.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever been poor, but people treat you very differently,” Moorhead said. “There’s a lot of waiting around, you have to be here at this time and have to do this and that.”

Dobbie was trying to navigate the bureaucracy of getting housing vouchers to get out of the homeless shelter and into an apartment, Moorhead said.

“She complained about the way she was treated in general,” he said. “People assume if you’re homeless, it must be your fault. Here, we try to be nice to people. We’re just librarians.”

When Dobbie came to Lewiston in May from Farmington, her sons were going to school in Farmington. With no car, she had to put them on a bus each morning, then go to the station to pick them up every day.

“Meanwhile, social services people were telling her they had to meet with her when she had to pick up her kids,” Moorhead said.

Her boys would spend hours at the library with her, reading or on the computer. Moorhead noticed one of her sons liked to do “serious reading” on the computers, such as exploring Google Earth or history maps, instead of playing video games.

Library workers were impressed by how Dobbie cared for her sons, Moorhead said.

“She was trying to give them everything,” Moorhead said. “I didn’t see her ever do anything that didn’t involve trying to make a home for the boys.”

After a couple of months, Dobbie got her housing voucher and moving day was set for Monday.

“She said goodbye to all of us on Friday,” Moorhead said.

Dobbie was killed Sunday while doing laundry

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