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Monday, January 7, 2019

Meet MLC Monday: Louisa Whitfield-Smith

Louisa Whitfield-Smith joined MLC's Library Development staff as a Library Consultant in November 2018. She and our other consultants work as liaisons between public libraries in Mississippi, giving advice and providing information and resources to library directors and staff.

Since she started working at MLC, Louisa says she has found that she loves traveling all over Mississippi on state highways and back roads as she visits libraries and librarians who are working to provide the best possible service to our communities. Louisa is a huge library advocate and says, "We librarians are committed to providing the same high-quality service to everyone who walks in our doors. There’s something powerful that happens in a space where all are welcome and treated the same."

Louisa is a Murrah High School legacy; she even graduated on her mother's birthday! She received a master’s in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University and won an Urban Libraries Council top innovator award for communities in crisis for her work as a civic engagement librarian. She has served on RUSA’s Notable Books Council and the ALA Center for Civic Life Advisory Board, reviewed for Booklist, and judged for the Foreward INDIES awards. She is also a proud graduate of the Granger Leadership Academy.

Louisa has loved to read her entire life; in fact, her first word was book! She claims her allowance growing up was an account at Lemuria Books, which is a great independent bookstore here in Jackson. She says the last good book she read was Dawn Dugle’s The BRAVO! Way: Building a Southern Restaurant Dynasty. "It’s a lucid, engrossing, fast nonfiction account of how Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal built BRAVO!, Broad Street Bakery, and Sal & Mookie’s through hard work, a commitment to our community, and excellent customer service."

Louisa loves Mississippi, her family, comics, good long form journalism, hiking, swimming in lakes and rivers, S. R. Ranganathan, baking, tabletop gaming, and trashy movies, preferably those featuring a ragtag team working against all odds on one last job. She also loves to travel, having visited all 50 states and circumnavigated the globe.

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