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MLA Current Featured Member: Ann Riley, University of Missouri Associate Director of Access, Collections, & Technical Services and ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect

photo of Ann Riley Background: First, please tell us a little bit about yourself: Name, employment & current responsibilities, education, etc.:

My name is Ann Campion Riley, and I am the Associate Director for Access, Collections and Technical Services at the University of Missouri. I received my MSLS along with a Bachelor of Art in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I have a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. I've been a librarian for over 30 years. I've worked at New Mexico State University, the University of Illinois, Lewis and Clark Library System in Illinois, Antelope Valley College in California, Maryville University in St. Louis, the U. Of Missouri, St, Louis, St. Louis Community College, Meramec, Southern Illinois University, and, for the last seven years, the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Q1: When did you decide that you wanted to be a librarian, and why?

In high school, I volunteered in our school library and loved it, and the librarian encouraged me to become one, too, but when I was in college I decided to go to graduate school in English lit. As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, I worked in the library, and saw the PhD students in English and other areas come back to get library degrees to get jobs. I wanted to get a job, so I decided to go to library school!

Q2: What do you like most about being the Associate Director of the Access, Collections, and Technical Services at the University of Missouri?

So many different challenges make every day interesting. Being in a large library that is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) offers opportunities to work with libraries all across the nation and the world on some of the big issues affecting learning and research as they relate to libraries. I love the big picture stuff, the issues of what universities and libraries face in the future.

Q3: What do you think are the biggest challenges in directing a department of a large, academic research library?

Much of it is what all librarians and supervisors face, just on a larger stage. For example, we have many budget challenges, because although we have a relatively large budget, we have to support a huge range of programs and resources for about 35,000 students and several thousand faculty, and coordinate work with our law and medical school libraries. We are also a key player in MOBIUS lending and borrowing. A leadership challenge is to help staff in MU Libraries know how important their work is in the large role MU plays in student success and research support in Missouri and the world.

Q4: Earlier this year, you were elected ACRL’s Vice-President/President-Elect. So far, what do you like most about this new position?

Having the support of so many professional peers is thrilling. I feel so honored to have been elected. Thanks to everyone out there who voted for me. (Plus, when you’re elected, you get invited to all the good ALA parties.)

Q5: What do you hope to bring to the ACRL in your coming term as President?

ACRL is a large and strong organization, and I hope to provide leadership in growing their role in professional development. Also, I want to help keep them responsive to members’ needs, and work to keep membership dues as affordable as possible.

Q6: If you were to hire another librarian for the University of Missouri’s Access, Collections, and Technical Services,what skills and/or qualities would you look for in a candidate?

At MU we look for hard workers who can offer flexibility, team spirit and a positive attitude along with good academic credentials. The ability to learn new things and evolve with change is essential.

Q7: Why are you involved in the Missouri Library Association?

Our state association helps build cooperation and community across all types of libraries. I love Missouri, and libraries, and they come together in MLA. We have to support our local associations for the experiences they offer to all librarians and library workers.




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This page was last updated
July 15, 2014

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