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Meet the MLA ’24 Presenter of Inside and Out: Supporting and Empowering Your Staff by Promoting their Achievements

Leading Together, Growing Together Symposium

In the weeks leading up to MLA ‘24 in Portland, we are profiling the experts leading each of the symposium sessions by sharing their answers to questions about themselves and their session. We continue the series with Inside and Out: Supporting and Empowering Your Staff by Promoting their Achievements led by Meghan Kowalski.

Join Meghan for her session on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 9:00-10:15 a.m., pacific time. To learn about all the Symposium sessions and their presenters, please see the Symposium Session Schedule.

What are you most looking forward to seeing/eating/experiencing in Portland?

This will be my first time in Portland. I love an opportunity to visit a new city. I'm most looking forward to visiting Powell's. I used to work in a used bookstore and always adore seeing other used bookstores. Each one has its own character. In terms of food, I plan on eating as many doughnuts as humanly possible. 

What’s a fun or surprising fact about supporting and empowering staff?

It's so easy to forget that our colleagues have awesome lives outside of the office. When we only see each other at work-related things, we forget all the other fun stuff we all do. I love hearing about what my colleagues are doing outside of the office, so I can cheer them on. When we support the whole person - inside and outside the office - it's so much easier to collaborate and communicate because you get a bigger picture of who they are as people. 

How did you get started in librarianship?

Can I say it was the family business? My father was the head librarian at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I grew up seeing him work and found it fascinating. One summer in college, I was interning on Capitol Hill while also working at my college library to make some money. I realized I enjoyed my library work FAR more than politics. That summer, I decided to get my MLS while working full-time at the University library. That started my formal career in librarianship and I've moved through positions in both technical and public services. 

What’s the main thing you want participants to take away from your session?

People are people, they are not cogs in a machine. If we want to create cohesive and productive teams, we have to know the whole person.

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