Melissa Carr to Retire in January – Daniel Boone Regional Library

Melissa Carr to Retire in January

Melissa Carr in the children's area of the Columbia Public LibraryDaniel Boone Regional Library Director Melissa Carr will retire January 15, 2018. She’s been at the library for 46 years and has been the library director the last 21 years.

“I still truly love my job and am very excited about the future of our library, so this decision was difficult for me. January seems to be the natural transition time for both the library and my family as we start 2018 with a new Strategic Plan and, hopefully, a simplified governance structure,” said Carr. “DBRL has an amazing and talented staff, a dedicated and wonderful board of trustees and a region full of individuals that care deeply about their library. It’s a great combination that has made this job such a joy.”

Carr began her library career at Daniel Boone Regional Library in the Circulation Department while an undergraduate at the University of Missouri. She received her Masters of Library Science degree from the University of Missouri in 1975 and worked in several leadership roles at the library until being hired by the Board of Trustees as the library director in 1996.

Melissa Carr at her desk, circa late '70s“While our mission of promoting literacy has remained constant over the years, how we go about it has changed,” said Elinor Barrett, Associate Library Director. “Melissa has successfully led our organization through these changes. Today we have online streaming music and movie services, downloadable audiobooks and eBooks, online classes and other digital research resources. In fact, our website has become the second most heavily used branch in our system. Melissa’s vision and interest in embracing new technologies has enabled this library to keep pace with the different ways our patrons want to receive information.”

During Carr’s tenure as library director, the branch library was established in Ashland, the Callaway County Public Library was renovated, the current Columbia Public Library building opened, a second bookmobile was added to better serve children out in our counties, the One Read program was founded and flourished, and the digital branch ( became a reality.

“Two of the characteristics that have made Melissa such a good leader are her commitment to careful fiscal management of the tax payers’ dollars, and her assembly of an administrative team that share this commitment,” said Susan Daly, past president of the Daniel Boone Regional Library board. “We periodically prepare facility management plans that help us anticipate upcoming needs so that we have funds available when we need them. We will miss her. She’s been such a valuable asset to this library system and to the communities we serve.”

Margaret ConroyThe Daniel Boone Regional Library Board of Trustees has hired Margaret Conroy as DBRL’s next director. She’ll be leaving her current job as the assistant director of the St. Charles City-County Library District in St. Charles, Missouri to return to Mid-Missouri. She begins January 18.