MLA Statement on HB2044

The Missouri Library Association is aware of and monitoring Missouri House Bill 2044 (known as the “Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act”) and any other legislation that has an impact on libraries. The Missouri Library Association will always stand against censorship and for the freedom to read, and therefore opposes Missouri House Bill 2044.

The Missouri Library Association is committed to supporting all types of libraries. MLA exists to support the mission, vision, and values of those libraries, which connect their communities to vital resources. We support the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement. Public libraries exist to provide equitable access to information to all of its users, as it is key to having an informed populace. Public libraries already have procedures in place to assist patrons in protecting their own children while not infringing upon the rights of other patrons or restricting materials. Missouri Library Association will always oppose legislation that infringes on these rights.

Cynthia Dudenhoffer
President, Missouri Library Association.

MLA Featured Library Employee — Liz Prewitt

Liz Prewitt

Meet our most recent Featured Library Employee for the Missouri Library Association, Liz Prewitt!

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

I’m Liz and I work at the lovely Prairie Commons Branch. I’m shocked I was nominated because I am just a clerk. Someone once told me to never say you are “just” something. So with that being said, I am a clerk at the library!

What originally got you interested in working at a library?

I’ve been going to Prairie Commons with my mom since I was a baby. However, I wasn’t that kid who loved reading. I did however, love books. I loved the art on all of them. I was drawn to how cozy and quiet the library is. So when I was in high school and decided to apply for my first job, I thought, what could be better than the library! The summer I turned 18, I started working here. Fast forward 13 years later and I’m still surrounded by all these beautiful books.

What’s challenging about your work?

Working at the library has a lot of great perks. First of all, I have worked and work with some incredible people. It makes me the happiest when I can find that book a parent can’t wait to show their child or when I got to go to school assemblies for Summer Reading Club. It’s so sweet when a child runs up afterwards telling the YS and I how much they read and they got a joke for us. I remember this one little boy who always came in the library and I would just help him find material or give him a library sticker and one time he told his grown up that I was the coolest person here. Stuff like that makes my day. Lastly, I am really blessed that I get to work at a place where I can use my artistic skills. I have made some really fun interactive displays for all ages. I like to be able to make the library look welcoming and fun for all. I want books to stay cool!

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

I have grown up at the library. When I started here I was just 18 and naive about a lot. I still can be at times. I think the past few years especially I have been awestruck just to see all the programs we offer and materials we offer now. Like, want to see the moon? We have a telescope you can check out. Have a child with sensory needs? We have a sensory storytime. I am just so proud of the workers here who make so many things possible for everyone. I think we really impact some people’s lives in such a great way and that’s what makes me passionate about my job.

Who is one of your mentors?

I feel like thinking of a mentor is always a hard question. For instance, my go to answer would be my mom. But so many people have shaped the way I have grown in my life. I have had and have some incredible bosses and co-workers that have shaped me and taught me so much. Whether it was to help me through hard situations, show me how to have thicker skin, helped me artistically, or just remind me that I got this! With that being said, I have to mention my 4 nieces. They are my little mentors that remind me to always just live in the moment and all the bad things will pass.

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.

One day I was at a bookstore and came across the book, Notes to Myself, by Hugh Prather. It just explores his daily life thoughts and really hit so many parts of my heart. Anyway, St Louis County Library didn’t have any of his other books. But now that we have access to Mobius, I requested many of his other works from various libraries all over. I am super excited for them to come in. If you want to sit by the window this winter and sip a drink while getting into your feelings about life, this is the book.

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

I feel really humbled and honored that I was nominated for this. I love my library and I hope you come out to Prairie Commons and come see some of our unique, crafty displays and grab some materials while your here!

 

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 smawhiney@missouristate.edu.  We’ll do all the work of contacting; we just need you to connect us!

National Library Legislative Day 2020 – Register Today!

Happy 2020, Missouri Librarians!

National Library Legislative Day has been announced and registration is open! On May 4th and 5th, 2020, librarians from across the country will meet in Washington, D.C. to speak with U.S. Representatives and Senators. Arrangements have been made at the Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center, just a few minutes from Capitol Hill.

The first day, at Georgetown, will involve briefing and training on issues and how to talk to your federal legislators. That afternoon, we will try to visit Senators Blunt and Hawley. On the 5th, we will meet with all of our Representatives.

It is a unique experience, and I would encourage you to consider it. Registration is very limited (capped at 400 attendees nationwide), so register early! Registration is $175 and includes breakfast and a reception on the evening of the 4th. Hotel information is also available at that link. ALA has reserved a block of rooms at $219 per night and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. You cannot sign up for the room block until you have registered for the event, though. There are other hotel options around Georgetown and DC. However, most lodging will be at least that much. Now that the cost is out of the way, find more information and register: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/nlld.

If you know a library supporter (trustee, friend, general supporter) who would like to attend for the first time, there are scholarships available to non-librarians here: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/NLLD/funding.

As we get our group together, I will send out more information. As always, let me know if you have any questions!

Dan Brower
Legislative Committee Chair
Missouri Library Association