Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Rep. Rusty Black were in town to speak about library issues Thursday morning at the Livingston County Library.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Rep. Rusty Black were in town to speak about library issues Thursday morning at the Livingston County Library. Ashcroft spoke about the importance and power of libraries in everyone’s lives. “Libraries actualize potential,” he stated. Libraries have become community meeting places, small business hubs, and much more. He said there are 364 state-supported libraries across Missouri. When asked how the public could help support their libraries, he suggested writing letters to state representatives. State offices are barraged with emails and phone calls, so old-fashioned letters really stand out, he noted. After speaking and taking a few questions from the public, Ashcroft went to the Children’s Department to read the book, “Goodnight, Missouri,” for the library’s Dial-a-Story program. Dial-a-Story is a storytime via phone line. Listeners can call 1-660-240-8850 at any time to hear a story read by the Children’s Department staff or local community members. Stories change every Monday morning. Ashcroft’s read is scheduled for the week of Feb. 26, according to Jodi Moore, children’s services coordinator. After reading the book, Ashcroft toured the library and then he and Rep. Black headed to their next stop in a series of meetings across the northwest part of the state.