Special to The Gazette

Robin Newell, executive director of the Emporia Public Library, was recently installed as the President of the Mountain Plains Library Association, a 12-state association of librarians, library paraprofessionals and friends of libraries in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

Its purpose is to promote the development of librarians and libraries by providing significant educational and networking opportunities.

Newell is a fellow of and mentored for the biennial MPLA Leadership Institute, which was developed to respond to the need for renewal of the association in a way that also met the needs of the library profession and of individuals who lived and worked in the MPLA region’s libraries.

“My experience with the MPLA Leadership Institute really was life-affirming and life-changing at the same time,” Newell said. “It changed me in that it really affirmed that I was in the right place at the right time. I do believe that the institute not only shares skills, but also actually shares a way of life, and helps prepare you for the opportunities that you have in a library career.”

Newell said she is honored to serve in this position, giving back to the organization that has provided guidance and support throughout her career. Newell has served as vice president for the past two years, has been elected as the recording secretary and during her almost 20 years of involvement with the organization, has chaired the Conference, Professional Development, Bylaws and Nominating Committees. Newell is the past president of the Nebraska Library Association and the Kansas Library Association.

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