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Monday, February 13, 2017

Meet MLC Monday: Lacy Ellinwood

Meet Lacy Ellinwood, Senior Library Consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission. Lacy aids in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of statewide programs that assist public libraries, as well as researching and analyzing trends for library services. She also assists local library personnel in project development, planning, and proposal development. In addition to all of this, Ellinwood also works with Friends of the Library groups, which serve to support libraries through community outreach, advocacy, and funding from outside sources. Lacy has been at MLC since October of 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and a Master of Library and Information Science, both from the University of Buffalo. She is also a graduate of the 2014 Mississippi Public Library Leadership Institute.

Ellinwood says that she loves helping Mississippi's small and rural libraries from every corner of the state have interesting things to offer and achieve the best service possible for their communities. Working at the state level with her job at MLC makes her feel like she's making a real difference for our public libraries. She also loves the Library Commission building, which she says is beautiful to walk into every day! When asked why she thinks public libraries are crucial to Mississippi and its citizens, Lacy replies, "Public libraries really embody the heart of the community and are meant to be enjoyed by everyone. This is why libraries are important, because I promise you, there is something there for everyone. Just walk in the door or check out your local library website!"

Many people think that all librarians have always loved to read, but that just isn't true. Lacy says she didn't find a love for reading until she was in her early 20s. "I wasn't a reader growing up, which is blasphemy to say as a library professional. I needed to find a love for reading without the rules of reading lists or school tests." She names Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree as one of the books that has stuck with her over the years. "It's one of my favorite life changing book moments. I remember having it read to me at summer camp as a kid and having an emotional reaction which has obviously stayed with me. #bookfeelings" Ellinwood recently revisited Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and says it's a fabulous example of how great literature is timeless. "I love how anyone can relate its themes to today's current events and feelings."

When she isn't working to promote libraries, Lacy says she enjoys knitting, but rates her skills as "poor". "I can make a warm infinity scarf, though!" She also likes trying new recipes, which are always successful the first time, but never quite as good the second time around. She also has a secret addiction for purchasing discarded library cookbooks from the 1950s and 1960s.

Until next time, happy reading!

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