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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do all the work of contacting; we just need you to connect us!