MLA Featured Library Employee — Peggy Ridlen

Meet our most recent Featured Library Employee for the Missouri Library Association, Peggy Ridlen!

What is your name, your library, and your role at the library?

Peggy Ridlen, Instruction Librarian; Professor Jack C. Taylor Library; Fontbonne University

What originally got you interested in working at a library?

It was my love of reading as a child that initiated my interest in working at a library. I did not learn to read until I was 8 years old. * However, when I did, a whole new world erupted.

What keeps you coming back every day?

I have the best job in the world! Academic librarianship provides a purposeful life suited to my abilities and personality. The mission, values, vision, commitment and students of Fontbonne University foster the opportunity to impart the value of libraries and literacy to the next generation.

What’s challenging about your work?

Ongoing student engagement in raising awareness of intellectual freedom and the importance of information literacy in an increasingly digital world.

Has your work made you either curious, or passionate, or awestruck about something?

The short answer to this question is EVERYTHING. Working in a resource rich environment naturally enhances intellectual curiosity. Specifically, my work in higher education has made me realize the importance of MLA advocacy for libraries.

Who is one of your mentors?

My mother who collaborated with my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Stanley to teach me how to read.

What book, author, artist, show, or music are you engaging with this week, either personally or professionally? Persuade us in one or two sentences that we should pick this up, too.

My Own Words; Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a great book about a great woman who has done great things! Most people do not realize the influential role this iconic supreme court justice played as a young lawyer to advance equal opportunities for women in the US.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

*If it weren’t for access to public and school libraries with fantastic librarians, I probably still wouldn’t know how to read!


Would you like to nominate someone to be our next Featured Library Employee?  Examples could be:

…a new employee you’d like to introduce

…someone with a unique job or on a unique career path

…an employee you find inspirational

…a coworker whose gifts you wish were more widely known

…someone who’s “an institution” full of interesting stories

…a role that has a new focus or is reaching a new audience

…someone you’d like to make more visible to potential employers

Submit name(s) and contact information, along with place of employment, to Shannon Mawhiney at  We’ll do all the work of contacting; we just need you to connect us!

Archived Conference Presentations

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For all who wish to relive the marvelous 2018 MLA Conference, or view the slides to that presentation you had to miss, or look up that reference on a slide that went by too fast…the 2018 conference presentation archive is coming along!

There is still time to send your presentation with posting permission from all presenters to the webmaster, if you don’t see yours on the list. Please convert all PowerPoint files to PDF for compact transfer and archiving.

Experienced Public Librarians: Want to Mentor?

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The Public Libraries Community of Interest is looking for experienced public library employees who are interested in mentoring new librarians. This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and give back to the library community. Eligible mentors must be members of the Missouri Library Association and have at least 5 years of library experience with at least 3 years in their current field. Mentors must work or have worked in a public library and must be able to commit to at least one meeting per month for up to a year with their mentee. Meetings can be held via phone, e-mail, or in person. Anyone who is interested in being a mentor is encouraged to fill out a mentoring sign-up sheet by using the following link:

Mentors and mentees willed be paired in Jan 2019.

To find out more about the Public Libraries Community of Interest mentoring program click the following link: