Interview With Trustee Dorothy Carner

Vice-President/Secretary of the Boone County Library District Board and the Daniel Boone Regional Library Board
Vice-President/Secretary of the Boone County Library District Board and the Daniel Boone Regional Library Board Dorothy Carner

Each trustee serves on his or her own district board as well as on the regional library board, which is the governing body responsible for policy-making and fiscal oversight.

Dorothy received her master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin and also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and education from Missouri State University. She came to Columbia in 2007 to help design and open the library at the Reynolds Journalism Institute on the University of Missouri campus. Before that, she and her husband Bill owned a financial publishing business headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, where they both grew up. After selling their company, they moved to Austin, Texas, then to Columbia. They have two grown children working on master’s degrees in Los Angeles.

Why do you think libraries are important?
Public libraries are great cultural equalizers and hubs of community activity, providing access to the world of information. We can use them to be educated or entertained or just escape the physical world for a while. Rich or poor, rural or urban, young or old, citizen or immigrant: everyone is welcome at the library and privacy is assured.

Today, we have the choice of enjoying the library’s physical space for either its solitude and community or its virtual space for the convenience and self-sufficiency it offers. Among the many community resources that deserve our appreciation, we should cherish the library. It is our community’s beacon and the lights should never go out.

What are you most proud of regarding the district board?
I was so proud of how the entire DBRL library staff, the city of Ashland, the Boone County board, the DBRL board and the entire community came together to make the new Southern Boone County Public Library a reality. It is such a wonderful facility with a great staff and a truly engaged community. It was like watching a baby being born and experiencing the joy and pride at its arrival.

What challenges does DBRL face in the coming years?
Funding will always be a challenge. We are all very grateful that the citizens of Columbia and Boone and Callaway Counties have consistently supported their libraries despite the fluctuating economy.

Other challenges will include remaining technologically current. Technology brings challenges, but it also brings opportunities. It can provide a medium to have a conversation with our library patrons to ensure that services, resources and staff continue to meet their needs.

Do you have a favorite memory or story about libraries from your youth?
I lived in a rural area outside Springfield when I was growing up, so my first experience with libraries was the bookmobile. I counted the days between its visits because the books that I borrowed allowed me to learn new things and visit places all over the world.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
As a member of the DBRL Board of Trustees, my board member colleagues and I take this responsibility very seriously. We promise to be good stewards of the tax money provided by the citizens of Columbia and Boone and Callaway Counties for the Daniel Boone Regional Library.

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