Last night, August 27, the Maryville Chapter of the Missouri Writer's Guild met for its regular meeting. The presenter was Stephanie Patterson, Director, of the Maryville Public Library.
Stephanie provided a wealth of information related to the library's role in the community, as well as its local goals and objectives for the 2019-2020 period, and provided information related to the NWMO regional goals for 2019-2023, in which the library plays a large part.
In addition, Stephanie answered many questions related to how the library makes its decisions regarding book purchases and retention, as well as how it addresses updating of the library's many other resources. She also discussed the issues that librarians face today as they are being called upon to do much more than their predecessors decades ago as technology has grown, and larger social issues and expectations for services change.
Included in her presentation was information related to local authors, briefly discussing the expansion of self-publishing and how that is affecting decision making. What are the trends in various genres? What materials are used to determine how purchases and resources are acquired? What is the process of deciding what books are retained? Do book reviews make a difference in the decision to purchase? Issues such as cover art, internal art, audience, and subject matter that all authors need to keep in mind. She provided some insights into e-books and some of the changes that are taking place that affect pricing and access.
As the meeting came to a close, Stephanie answered questions. Her expertise and education in these matters made the meeting a very productive one and gave attendees a lot to think about as they move forward with their individual projects, hopefully with some insight on how to partner with the local Maryville Public Library, and other libraries. Based on her presentation and information provided the Maryville Public Library appears to be on track with respect to their mission, which is to "help the citizens of Maryville (ages birth to death) succeed and enjoy life through reading, learning, creating, and connecting."
We thank Stephanie Patterson for taking the time to speak to our group and for providing so much useful information and insight.