Meet Carrie Willson, Director-at-Large
I’ve been the Director of Calvert (Md.) Library since July 2013. Before moving to Southern Maryland I worked for the Washington County Free Library, Western Maryland Regional Library and Hagerstown Community College’s Brish Library. I’ve served the Maryland Library Association (MLA) as president, conference chair and in division leadership roles and I’m currently on the MLA Legislative Panel. I’m serving my second term on PLA’s Legislation and Advocacy Committee. Because I am only just learning to say no. I’m also on the board of the Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Network and of Leadership Southern Maryland where I chair the program committee. I love to cook interesting food with my husband, reclaim bits of garden from the local deer herd, hang out with our very handsome cat, Max, and, of course, read.
Why I wanted to serve on the PLA Board
I’m honored by the opportunity to represent the needs and perspectives of small and rural libraries on the PLA Board. Through advocacy and collaboration public libraries of all sizes can build strong communities and provide exceptional public education for all. Also, as Melanie Huggins, a past PLA Board member, said in her “Meet the Board” profile, I’m thrilled to "sit at the table with the cool kids."
My vision for the future of public libraries
I want the future of public libraries to be like their present, but with better marketing. Public libraries will continue to help their communities wrestle with difficult challenges like opioid abuse and homelessness. We’ll also continue to be places that value learning and help facilitate the learning of our customers. Public libraries will, I hope, always be hubs of creativity that value diversity and work hard to be inclusive and welcoming to all. We’ll collaborate like mad to bring every possible resource to bear for our communities and we’ll keep embracing change and learning from our mistakes.
My favorite book
I’ll read just about anything, but the book I read most often and love the best is Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. The heroine is zaftig, has an amazing shoe collection, and, unlike most women in romance books, doesn’t want to have children. The book makes me laugh every time I read it, and I love Crusie’s strong female characters.
Somewhere I love to frequent in my community
I’m lucky enough to live on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in a county that values its parks and land preservation. The beach, replete with fossilized sharks’ teeth, is a short walk through my neighborhood and miles of trails at American Chestnut Land Trust are a just across the road from entrance to said neighborhood. Being in the woods and beside the water centers me, unless it’s over 90 degrees with 90% humidity—then my favorite place is on the couch, with a book.
Photo: Carrie Willson poses in front of her library's Peanuts-themed display for Library Card Sign-Up Month 2016.