Meet Anitra Townsend, Administrative Services Administrative Assistant at the Mississippi Library Commission! Anitra helps the administrative staff with a variety of tasks, filling a medley of roles as she assists where she is needed. She started with us July 5, and although she has only been here for a short time, she says that she loves her job. "I like that I'm not tied down to one particular spot. I'm learning so much about the library because I work with so many different people on so many different things." Townsend is currently working on her Bachelor's Degree in Professional Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Human Resources from Jackson State University.
When asked why she thinks libraries are important, Anitra responded, "I've had a library card for as long as I can remember. For me, the library provides an essential community service with access to services I wouldn't otherwise have or be able to afford." She says that her local public libraries have always been a great place to visit, whether to just check out books, or to go to study, like she did at Eudora Welty Library when she was younger, or to watch a movie they were showing, like she would do as a young mom at Charles W. Tisdale Library. "If I couldn't find something I needed, those helping hands were the best. It was like having my own personal research team."
Townsend loves to read. Two of her all-time favorite books are Jubilee by Margaret Walker and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. She really enjoys fiction by African-American authors, but says a new goal is to read more Mississippi authors in general, particularly Eudora Welty. "I'm a Mississippi girl. I want to know what's going on in my backyard. As an adult, I enjoy that connection a lot more than I did as a girl. Being here has really ignited my hometown love."
Anitra used to love ballet dancing and spent many years practicing the difficult technique. Now, though, she jokingly says that her children are her hobby. With two in high school, one in elementary, and one in pre-K, her days are busy and rewarding. When she talks about their achievements and goings on, her obvious pride in them shines through. "Family is very important to me. I'm really looking forward to making MLC a part of my family, too."