The United States Library of Congress has named Missouri State University as the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Center for the Book, with the Meyer Library serving as its home base. Dr. Tom Peters, Dean of Libraries at Missouri State, is Director of the Ozarks Chapter.
“The Meyer Library is proud to be named an affiliate of the Library of Congress’s National Center for the Book,” says Dr. Peters. Other regional chapters are hosted by the Mercantile Library in Saint Louis and Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg.
The mission of the Missouri Center for the Book is to “promote books, authors, and the larger community of the book,” Dr. Peters adds. It is a statewide organization whose regional chapters affirm the importance of books and reading to Missouri residents, celebrate the state’s literary heritage, and recognize the contributions of Missouri’s authors, book illustrators, booksellers, publishers, librarians, and others involved in the literary arts.
As its first official act, the Ozarks Chapter will co-host a reading by Missouri Poet Laureate, William Trowbridge. Free and open to the public, Trowbridge’s reading will be held in the Coffee Ethic in downtown Springfield (next to the Park Central Branch Library) on Saturday, September 28, at 4:00 p.m. The event’s other hosts include the Missouri State University English Department and English Society, which are underwriting Trowbridge’s Springfield visit.
The Poet Laureate’s reading is a featured event of Wordfest, a weekend series of public readings and writing workshops. Wordfest activities will be held in various downtown venues starting Friday evening, September 27, and continuing all day Saturday, September 28.
Wordfest is a project of the Springfield-Greene County Public Library System, with support from the Missouri Humanities Council and the Missouri Literary Festival. The Missouri State University College of Arts and Letters will provide shuttle service between Park Central Square and the University’s newly-opened Brick City art building on 215 W. Mill Street. From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 28, art professors Judith Fowler and Eric Pervukhin will lead children’s workshops in letter-press printing and book making. Co-sponsored by the Ozarks Chapter, these hands-on workshops will take place in Brick City and are provided courtesy of the Missouri State University Department of Art and Design.
Author of five poetry collections, Trowbridge was named state Laureate by Governor Nixon at the recommendation of board members of the Missouri Center for the Book. For more information on Trowbridge’s poetry reading and Wordfest activities, visit wordfestsgf.wordpress.com. Though the Ozark Chapter’s website is under construction, book lovers can find the Missouri Center for the Book on Facebook.