MLA Featured Library Employee — Peter Neely

Peter Neely, Columbia College

Meet this issue’s Featured Library Employee for the Missouri Library Association, Peter Neely!

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

My name is Peter Neely. I work at Columbia College as the Digital Services Librarian.

What originally got you interested in working at a library?

My interest began when I eventually realized at a young age that libraries provided a chance to engage with my community and share new or unfamiliar methods of acquiring information – and that was too appealing to resist.

What keeps you coming back every day?

Mostly the students, so many are passionate and eager to find that perfect article or are seeking to educate themselves outside of the classroom, it’s hard not to admire their diligence!

What’s challenging about your work?

Working with vendors is honestly the most challenging aspect of my job at the moment.

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

My work has made me realize how important communication is in any field. It’s important to be clear and transparent to your patrons!

Who is one of your mentors?

This is a hard one to answer. I was particularly close to my grandfather, he taught me patience and compassion while showing what you create and put into the world is more important than what you take from it.


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!

MLA 2021 Conference Proposals


It’s happening! It’s time to call for Conference Proposals for the 2021 MLA Conference. We invite you to submit your proposals for “Charting the Future Together,” the 2021 MLA Annual Conference. The conference will be held September 28th-October 2nd. Currently, the plan is to be in-person at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Chesterfield (St. Louis metro). Discussions about the possibility of a hybrid or virtual conference are ongoing though.

This call is open for all types of program submissions: breakout sessions, table talks, poster sessions, and pre-conferences. This is a great opportunity to share with fellow library folks what you have learned during these unprecedented times. Don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to share their great ideas! The criteria and form for submitting program proposals for the conference are available here.

Proposals are due by May 14th, 2021.

If you have questions regarding the submission process or questions about proposals in general, please feel free to contact us at  We look forward to hearing from you!

Asia Gross
Desiree Schumann
Jennifer Alexander
2021 MLA Conference Co-Coordinators