From the Director - September 2008

Melissa Carr, DBRL Director

Congratulations and thank you are due to Frances Bush who is celebrating 40 years of service to the patrons of DBRL! While attending high school, Frances chose to do an internship at the library, then located on 7th Street in downtown Columbia. Library Director Gene Martin was so impressed with Frances that he hired her to work in the Circulation Department.

Frances joined the Outreach staff in 1981, when the library started the Books by Mail service. During that time, she helped mail close to 20,000 items and worked with 2,000 Books by Mail patrons. Since then, Frances has provided a wide range of library services to our Outreach patrons and continues to hold down the command center in the Outreach Department. I am grateful that Frances has devoted her talents to our organization for 40 years!

I would also like to thank Patsy Craghead who served as a DBRL Trustee from the Callaway County Library District for 12 years. A recently retired media specialist for the Missouri School for the Deaf, Patsy also worked at the Callaway and Columbia Public Libraries early in her work life. I have greatly enjoyed working with Patsy in all of these capacities. She is a tireless advocate for libraries and has been a joy to work with over the years. She remains on the Friends of the Callaway County Public Library board.

Let me introduce Shawn Cockrum as our new board member, filling the position vacated by Patsy. Shawn lives in New Bloomfield and is director for the Missouri Migrant Education and English Language Learning Program. He is a former New Bloomfield School Board member. I know he will be a great asset to the board with his work and volunteer background.

Shawn’s first official meeting was a special Friday night and Saturday morning board training session. Part of this training was in preparation for strategic planning the board will begin in September. It is time for the regional board to revisit our library service priorities and methods for delivery. The Ellen Miller Group of Lenexa, Kansas will be leading the process. A specialist in library planning, Ellen began her career as a librarian with the Library of Congress and has served as a Friend and trustee, and she is the co-author of “Library Board Strategic Guide: Going to the Next Level.”

The members of the DBRL Board of Trustees collectively govern the library system by setting policies and making budget decisions. They also act as library advocates, promoting the important role libraries play in strengthening our community and educating citizens. I am grateful to all 19 of them for the time they volunteer to DBRL.

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