MLA Featured Library Employee — Ginger Allard

Ginger Allard

Meet our most recent Featured Library Employee for the Missouri Library Association, Ginger Allard!

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

Ginger S. Allard
Missouri State University Libraries (Duane G. Meyer Library)
Cataloging Associate

What originally got you interested in working at a library?

As a junior in high school attending a rare Zuni Movie Theatre (New Mexico) outing, I watched Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O’Hara) slap Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes) in the most beautiful library that I’ve ever seen and I fell in love with Cecil B. DeMille’s technicolor fanciful libraries of the era and thus wished to work in a library.  Also from a very early age, I was fascinated with my parent’s ornate Family Bible (KJV) that my mother would read to our family on Sunday.  My favorites as a tiny child that my mother read to we siblings were various Little Golden Books, The Little Red Hen, and a Forest animals book that I’ve never been able to find the title since but avidly remember the pictures and tiny library in a tree ensconced in that lovely children’s read.  My mother often took us to the fanciful Ernie Pyle House Library down the street from where we lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico from 1953 to 1968.  I loved the typical children’s novels of the 1950’s particularly those heroes and heroines of Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but also mysteries and fantasy places.   The Ernie Pyle House/Library is a historic house at 900 Girard Boulevard, SE in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Built in 1940, it was the home of famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle from then until his untimely death in 1945 during World War II. It now serves as a branch of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library, containing Pyle memorabilia and a monument to Pyle. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.

Given the arrival of Forbidden Planet, Space Rangers, Martian Chronicles, Star Trek, Star Wars, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, etc., the science fiction world made an impression on me and there was a fascination with the futuristic library and what it would entail with physical books.

What keeps you coming back every day?

The opportunity to come across a superb read or quote in an unlikely book.

What’s challenging about your work?

Creating the proper subject and genre headings for books or theses.  Losing the physical book environment and the loss of those items that could have at least been scanned and placed into the cloud library.

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

Yes I have always thought of creating an illustrated only coffee table book with pictures of fanciful libraries in TV shows and commercials, movies, Broadway plays, etc.  (i.e. Perry Mason, Star Trek, Bewitched, Harry Potter, etc.) complete with physical books of their genre.   (Of course coffee table books along with coffee tables are hard to find except in museums these days)

Who is one of your mentors?

Head Cataloger, Marilyn McCroskey   Marilyn’s work ethic is fantastic and I’ve always admired her commitment to the Libraries and the art of reading along with the Cataloging field.

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.

Music/Dancing: YouTube:  I love to watch the best of America’s, Britain’s and other countries’ Got Talent and listen to various one-time artists give it their best and many times it’s a one-time experience not to be missed.  Very emotional!

In a future Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab (VARL) environment:  Just for fun, if I would enjoy viewing simultaneously the brilliant historical performances of Michael Flatley from Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames fame and Stavros Flatley and son (The father/son Greek Riverdance duo) who performed on Britain’s Got Talent (2009).  Studying Irish dancing vs British-Greek Cypriot dancing would be quite enlightening and mesmerizing in a visualization studio environment.

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

I’m an avid glimpser of The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World websites updated annually.  Of course I’m particularly in awe of the memorably ornate and fanciful libraries with unique histories and inside/outside wow architectural designs.    (i.e. Abbey Library of Saint Gall in St. Gallen, Switzerland and Admont Abbey Library, Admont, Austria)

 

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!

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 15TH – MLA Request for Proposals

Hello MLA Membership,

We have extended the deadline for Requests of Proposals for the 2019 Conference. The form went live on April 1st and will now be open until Saturday, June 15th, 2019. Thank you for everyone who has already submitted a proposal we’re really excited to read through your proposals. After considering our printing deadlines, we have decided to extend the deadline for a couple more weeks to give everyone one more chance to consider participating in conference this year by presenting.

BE BOLD AND PRESENT AT CONFERENCE THIS YEAR! Requests for Proposals form. Even if you are not ready to present this year, please forward this invitation along to your coworker, committee member or students, this is a great opportunity to get presentation experience is a safe and encouraging space.

As in years past there are several presentation formats, please take some time to consider what you’re excited to share with your peers this year and what format you think would be best communicate your content. Details on these formats can be found on the form itself, but if you have any further questions please email us at 2019MLAKC@gmail.com.

LIBRARY LAND STAGE
This year we are offering conference goers an alternative to breakout session throughout Thursday and into Friday morning. The Library Land Stage, located in the Exhibit Hall, will feature up & coming authors and storytellers from around Missouri. Running from 9-5pm on Thursday and 9-12pm on Friday, the Library Land Stage will continually increase traffic through the exhibit hall and offer more engagement opportunities between conference attendees and vendors, as well as, offer everyone something just a bit unconventional. Please see the form for more details about this event and we will continue to push more information about all our events out to you through our webpage and our Facebook page.

Before we let you go, we also have two other forms that opened Monday.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNIES
Please check out the MLA website for access to the Vendor Registration form, we need all the support we can get to make this conference amazing. There are several opportunities to support the conference; please consider having a booth in our Exhibitor Hall, it’s a great way to connect with conference attendees and build relationships. Purchasing ad space in the conference program that will go out to every attendee at the conference and will be available digitally to everyone. There are also Platinum, Gold and Bronze level opportunities to sponsor events and swag at conference, please see the Vendor Prospectus and/or the Vendor Registration form for full details.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Conference this October!

Conference Co-Coordinators
Katie McDonald, Tiffany Mautino and the 2019 Conference Planning Committee

MLA Featured Library Employee — Clare Hollander

Meet our most recent Featured Library Employee for the Missouri Library Association, Clare Hollander!

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

Clare Hollander, Kansas City Public Library. I am a children’s librarian, currently managing the youth services floor of our Central location.

What originally got you interested in working at a library?

Originally, it was all about the books, like so many people. I loved browsing, reading, talking about books. Writing. My first library job was as a student helper in 6th grade, and my favorite thing to do was to sort cards using the card sorter (remember those?). I’ve always enjoyed alphabetizing.

What keeps you coming back every day?

The people. What good are the books if you don’t connect them to their readers? It is my favorite thing to do I think, Reader’s Advisory.

What’s challenging about your work?

Managing the unique nature of our set-up regarding our collections. More than half of our books are in closed-stacks due to the limitations of architecture! We are able to put many of our books face-out and at eye level for many of our patrons which is great for browsing, but when looking for specific things, patrons rely on us to run to the stacks. We love to do it, but keeping up with the new books coming in finds us constantly shifting books to the back to make room. It’s complicated. And challenging!

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

Yes, pretty much on a daily basis! This week I was a bit blown away to overhear a parent commenting on all of the tactile things we have available for kids to handle besides books. Writing and drawing with various implements, playing with puzzles, puppets, board games; these things vs holding a computer mouse or device all the time is one of the reasons this particular parent likes bringing her 8 year old to the library. I had no idea it was getting that bad out there!

Who is one of your mentors?

I was very lucky to have come on board at KCPL a year or two behind April Roy, current past president of MLA, and she has mentored me from the very beginning particularly around story times and the literature of early childhood. My story times sometime see as many as 100 or more participants, and I learned so much about how to make it flow from her training me years ago how to handle large groups, from choosing the materials to dealing with chatty parents. I see her influence in my work on a weekly basis and I am eternally grateful to her.

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.

Jon Scieszka (rhymes with Fresca). In honor of national poetry month I’ve been reading aloud his book Science Verse to the 3rd 4th and 5th graders who come for read-alouds and check out once a month. Not only is he funnier than anyone, he’s super smart and creative, too (check out his website if you don’t believe me: www.jsworldwide.com ).There’s all kinds of science here, (the end pages are the periodic table of elements—or are they?) as well as all kinds of poetry represented by his parodies of famous works, sometimes put to famous tunes such as “I’ve been working on the food Chain.” One group of 3rd graders left singing the chorus/refrain “who’s for lunch today? Who’s for lunch today? Eat or be eaten, that’s the only way!” Nothing is more gratifying than to finish reading a book this awesome and have a hand go up out there immediately to ask “can I borrow that book?”

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

Jon Scieszka is on the Governing Board of the Rabbit Hole, a local endeavor in Kansas City with the mission of creating an Explor-a-storium, an interactive museum of the picture book. The Rabbit Hole will be opening later this coming fall in time for the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week in November and like everybody else, I can’t wait! Check out their website for more information: www.rabbitholekc.org

 

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!

MLA Featured Library Employee — Donna Riegel

Meet our most recent Featured Library Employee for the Missouri Library Association, Donna Riegel!

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

Dr. Donna L. Riegel – Director – Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library (part of the MO State Library)

What originally got you interested in working at a library?

I’ve been “working” in libraries since just after the flood…ok…maybe not quite that long.  I started out as a page, so I guess you could say I’ve progressed fairly well.    With multiple degrees, I’ve spent a lot of time in libraries…so decided I might as well work in them, too. When given the opportunity to get a library degree and a promotion, I couldn’t say no.  Over the years I have been a librarian in a corporate setting, in an academic setting, and in local, county, and, now, state libraries.

What keeps you coming back every day?

My first impulse was to say “the paycheck”, which, while true enough, isn’t the major motivation.  I like my job and the people I work with.  There is a shared vision of serving the people of Missouri with the best resources we can.  I have worked in a number of libraries, all with their own unique qualities; however, Wolfner staff have a passion for their patrons that I have rarely seen anywhere else.  These people care about the patrons in a truly personal way.  I will miss that when I retire.

What’s challenging about your work?

Making it all work together.  Taking the best of a situation and making it truly amazing.

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

Before coming to Wolfner, I had never worked with a state agency, nor had I worked with special clientele.  There was no way I was prepared for the awesomeness of staff and patrons.  Working at Wolfner is a true career…a means of serving the needs of our patrons in ways they didn’t imagine.  Getting the message out is also important.  We serve only a small percentage of those eligible for service.

Who is one of your mentors?

I have been fortunate to have had many mentors along the way…even if they didn’t know they were mentors.  I’ve learned something from every boss I’ve worked for…most of the time, learning great things; sometimes learning how not to act as a manager.  Barbara Reading, who was the State Librarian who hired me, was one of the best. There were probably times when she questioned whether she had made the right choice!  I like to believe I lived up to her expectations.

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.

I’m currently reading the Miranda James’s Cat in the Stacks mystery series.  It’s light reading, which is what I need after a day at the office. And its protagonist is a librarian with a cat.  What else do you need! It’s kinda like Jessica Fletcher…way too many people dying in her vicinity…but keep ‘em coming!

On a more serious note, I am “hooked” on Finding Your Roots on PBS.  I am always astounded on how much information they can come up with for their subject celebrities.

 

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!

Urge Your Legislators to Support Library Funding

Good morning, Missouri librarians!

Our Virtual Advocacy Campaign will be available through tomorrow, March 7th. If you were unable to join us in Jefferson City for Library Advocacy Day, you can still reach out to your legislators through our campaign, found here.

Follow the link and fill out the form. The system will automatically select your local representative and senator. On the next screen, you will see those legislators and the message that will be sent on your behalf. We worked with ALA to create a standardized message to make this first foray into virtual advocacy easy for everyone. All you need to do is click Submit and your message (email) will be sent!

The system is geared toward individual voters with recipients tied to zip codes. If you are representing your library that covers multiple zip codes/districts, contacting your legislators directly through email or phone may work better for you. To find your legislators and contact info, follow the links below:

Missouri Senators – http://www.senate.mo.gov/
Missouri Representatives – http://www.house.mo.gov/sitemap.aspx?pid=16

Thank you for all that you do, and let me know if you have any questions.

Dan Brower

Legislative Committee Chair

Missouri Library Association

Missouri Conference on History – today’s the last day to register!

The premier center for the study of Missouri history and culture
Cape Girardeau Columbia Kansas City Rolla St. Louis Springfield

 

Standard Registration Ends Today, February 20

Register online now for the sixty-first annual Missouri Conference on History March 6-8 at the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. The conference, hosted by the University of Missouri–Kansas City and Park University, brings together scholars, teachers, and other professional historians to share in the presentation of research, to exchange information on teaching and curriculum, to consider ways to promote the welfare of the profession and general interest in history, and to discuss other concerns common to all historians.

Standard Registration (2/13/19–2/20/19): $55 ea.
Late Registration (2/21/2019 or later): $65 ea.

Registration includes all conference sessions, an array of networking and evening activities, and additional events that invite attendees to experience and celebrate local history for a small fee. In 2019 the Missouri Humanities Council is offering a new program of financial assistance to both undergraduate and graduate students. Travel grants will cover the conference registration fee, lodging at the conference hotel, and up to $150 of additional related expenses. Learn more.

All presenters and participants must register for the conference.

Register Now

Start networking with other history professionals now on social media by using #mchkc19!

 

Open Doors: Reaching Underserved Populations

 

As librarians, providing equitable access to all patrons should be a top priority. The patrons visiting our libraries should reflect the diversity of the communities we live in. Unfortunately, there are many populations that go underserved. How can we broaden our reach to better serve all our community?

Join us on Thursday, February 28 for an Amigos Library Services online conference, Open Doors: Reaching Underserved Populations, where we will explore methods and best practices for reaching an important part of your community.

Kicking off our conference is keynote speaker, Dr. Michele Villagran, consultant, presenter, and founder of CulturalCo LLC. Her keynote will explore how cultural intelligence makes a difference in the information profession and asks the question, “are you culturally competent?” Throughout the rest of the day, a variety of peers and experts will present on a diverse range of topics, with each time slot offering three different programming options.

Don’t forget, as a benefit of Amigos Library Services membership, attendance is FREE at all online conferences!

Register here!

Registration closes February 24!

For more information about this conference, contact Megan Bryant at bryant@amigos.org or 800-843-8482, ext. 2896.

Chapter Advocacy Exchange webinar: Libraries and the 2020 Census, Feb. 27

Please join us for our next Chapter Advocacy Exchange webinar:

February 27, 2019 — Libraries and the 2020 Census: 2:00 PM CST – 3:00 PM CST
State and local governments are organizing for the upcoming 2020 Census, and libraries should have a seat at the table. Governors, state legislators, mayors, philanthropic funders and other leaders across the country are forming Complete Count Committees and allocating resources to help get communities get counted. These efforts offer library staff and supporters opportunities to increase awareness of library services, strengthen community relationships, and support libraries’ work related to census outreach. Hear from librarians who have been involved with Complete Count efforts and learn about new advocacy resources from ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy team.

Our guest speakers will be Michelle Perera, Director of the Pasadena (Calif.) Public Library; Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian; and Diane Foote, Executive Director of the Illinois Library Association. We will also be joined by Gavin Baker, ALA’s Assistant Director of Government Relations and Larra Clark, ALA’s Deputy Director of Public Policy.

Register here: https://ala-events.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8mFmAIXSTWqOgiaIAPUqPQ.

Please share with library advocacy leaders in your state.