Robin Westphal, who served as Livingston County Library director for 12 years and moved last year to become library director in Johnson City, Tenn, has returned to Missouri and on Monday began duties as the new state librarian.
Robin Westphal, who served as Livingston County Library director for 12 years and moved last year to become library director in Johnson City, Tenn, has returned to Missouri and on Monday began duties as the new state librarian. The State Library is a division of the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. “We are excited to bring Robin back to Missouri to help lead the State Library,” Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft stated in a news release. “She brings an exceptional level of knowledge and experience and already has a deep familiarity with Missouri’s public libraries, having served as president of the Missouri Public Library Directors. We are excited Robin will be bringing her talents to the State Library.” The Missouri State Library promotes the development and improvement of library services throughout the state, provides direct library and information service in support of the executive and legislative branches of Missouri state government and strives to ensure all Missourians have equal access to library services. In her capacity as state library director, Westphal will oversee the Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library, the Missouri Heritage Library portal which provides access to Missouri’s online digital historical collection, and administer federal grants for libraries. She will oversee a staff of 40 working in reference services, library development services and the Wolfner Library. Her experience as a Missouri library director provides added value in her position as the main contact person for library directors throughout the state. “Part of what made me a good candidate was that I had been a library director in Missouri and know how the grant cycle works and what the library needs are in Missouri,” Westphal said. “I knew at Livingston County what I needed and wanted from the State Library.” Westphal earned her Master of Library Science degree from Emporia State University. The move back to Missouri brings her closer to her daughters: Kelly, a student at KU School of Pharmacy, and Jamie, an accountant in Colorado Springs, Colo. “I’m a Midwest girl at heart,” she said. “I know this job will bring me back to Chillicothe. I’m looking foward to serving in this new role to help the Livingston County Library.”