Interview With Callaway County Library District Board President Mary Ann Beahon

Callaway County Library District Board President Mary Ann Beahon

Each trustee serves on his own district board as well as on the regional library board, which is the governing body responsible for policy-making and fiscal oversight. A contract binds our three member library districts into a regional system, allowing us to pool the resources of our whole region to give residents better service at lower cost.

Over her many years as an active participant on the One Read task force, Mary Ann Beahon's interest in the library grew, and she chose to get more involved with the library by applying to be on the board of trustees. She now serves as president of the Callaway County Library District board.

When she's not tending to library duties, Mary Ann dons the title of Director of University Relations at William Woods University where she has been happily working for 12 years. When at home, she spends time with her husband of 40 years and finds ways to spoil her 1-year-old granddaughter, the first-born child of daughter Kelly and her husband Kris. She eagerly encouraged them to sign up for the Imagination Library and tipped them off to the PAL (Play As Learning) kits that can be checked out from the library.

Mary Ann graduated from the MU School of Journalism AND has a master's degree from the University of Kansas School of Journalism, but proclaims her allegiance to the Mizzou Tigers' black and gold!

1. Why do you think libraries are important?
Libraries provide a rich resource for everyone in the community, with no restrictions. Wealthy or poor–anyone can participate in the library's many programs and use the library's wide variety of materials.

2. What is the role of the district president as you see it?
As the district president, I chair the district board while always keeping the interests of the local library and the citizens of Callaway County in mind. Also, I serve as a liaison between the local community and the regional system, and promote the library's services within my community.

3. What are you most proud of regarding the Callaway County Library District?
The library in Fulton celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008–that's a century of service to the community. We have a fantastic staff and a wonderful, restored building–both there to continue providing excellent service for years to come. I wish to say “thank you” to the community for supporting the library. With their help, we can continue to do good things.

4. What makes DBRL special?
The staff, many of whom have worked at the library for decades, are wonderful. In addition, having a regional system is special because it allows us to share materials, equipment and staff, providing so much more for the Callaway County community than an individual library could.

5. What challenges does DBRL face in the coming year or years?
As Columbia and Boone County continue to grow, the library will continue to face expansion concerns. The Library-To-Go lockers being installed in Hallsville and Holts Summit are one solution, but we must find others.

6. Do you have a favorite memory or story about libraries from your youth?
Library story hours were always a treat as a child, but my favorite memory is as an adult. When visiting my hometown, I watched my daughter ride her bike to the library, then come back with her basket full of books. I felt I had done my job well–instilling the love of reading in my child.

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