April 21, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Robyn Truslow
Calvert Library Director Carrie Plymire, has been elected by colleagues across the country to serve a three-year term on the national Public Library Association (PLA) Board of Directors. PLA’s mission statement is “PLA enhances the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.” They do this by offering continuing education opportunities, various library initiatives and a biennial national conference that draws over 8,000 public library professionals. In October, PLA received an award for its co-creation and implementation of Every Child Ready to Read, a research-based program that develops library staff skills to teach parents how to develop literacy skills in children.
When asked why she decided to run for the PLA Board, Plymire said, “This is a critical time for libraries and I believe advocacy is essential. Public libraries transform thousands of lives on a daily basis…whether that be by helping someone start a business, get a job, learn to read, find the perfect music for their wedding, print a prototype on a 3D printer, or just by finding a great book to escape into for a little while. I’m proud to play a role in that transformation. PLA also developed the board position that I have been elected to specifically for a “small and rural” librarian, so I am doubly looking forward to being a voice on the Board to represent the hundreds of small and rural libraries nationwide who have different challenges than the large urban library systems whose directors generally comprise the PLA Board of Directors.” Because Plymire’s position is especially designed for a small/rural librarian, the association will pay a stipend for her to travel to the four yearly meetings.
One of PLA’s roles is to advocate for public libraries on a national scale and to encourage and train staff to do advocacy locally. The budget proposal before Congress eliminates all funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) which represents all federal funding for libraries. The impact on Maryland libraries would be significant. PLA will be involved in the process of educating legislators about how well-leveraged that funding is and the significant impact it makes on communities throughout the nation. While federal funding is a minimal portion of a library budget, the services funded through IMLS are significant. Calvert Library has received $68,300 in federal funds over the last three fiscal years for staff development and a Facilities Master Plan. Subgrants to MD library systems in FY14-16 total $1,114,424. In the scope of the Federal budget, this funding is a drop in the bucket - but libraries turn those dribs and drabs into transformative services for their customers. In the last year, the funding has provided a statewide interactive information service available 24 hours a day (AskUsNow!) that provides more than 2,400 answers a month, a statewide community reading program (One MD One Book) with more than 7,500 participants, summer reading to prevent summer learning loss for over 204,000 young readers, assistive technology for each public library location, professional development, laptops used to teach coding, game design, virtual reality, film making, 3D design and more.
Carrie Plymire became Calvert Library Director in July of 2013. She is a graduate of the Maryland Library Leadership Institute, Leadership Southern Maryland, Leadership Washington County and the Texas Library Association’s Executive Leadership Immersion Program. Plymire earned her Masters in Library and Information Sciences from Drexel University, an institution with a great reputation for a rigorous and tech-oriented degree. Her undergraduate degree was done at St. John’s College where the focus is on studying the “Great Books” of the western world. The emphasis on critical analysis and intense discussion has served her well in her leadership roles. Plymire is a past President of the Maryland Library Association and has served other leadership positions in the association throughout her career. She currently serves on the Board of the Young Professional Network of the Calvert Chamber of Commerce and on PLA’s Legislation and Advocacy Committee.
Photo: Calvert Library Director Carrie Plymire poses for Get a Library Card Week at Calvert Library Prince Frederick.
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