The mission of the Missouri Public Library Hall of Fame is to recognize historically-significant contributions to the improvement of Missouri public libraries. Additionally, the Hall of Fame serves to educate librarians and the public about the tremendous foundation created by previous generations of Missouri public librarians.
Class of 2022 Honorees
1. Esther Gilman (1916-2000) – served as director of Trails Regional Library from 1957 to 1982. Read full biography.
2. Gene Martin (1926-1999) – served as director of Ozark Regional Library from 1956 to 1961; Cape Girardeau Library, from 1961 to 1966; and Daniel Boone Regional Library from 1966 to 1991. Read full biography.
3. Stewart W. Smith (1905 -1975) – served as the first director of St. Louis County Library from 1946 to 1968. Read full biography.
Class of 2021 Honorees
Consideration of a nominee is based on their contributions to the Missouri public library community.
Some examples of contributions to the Missouri public library community include:
- Displayed significant leadership to the Missouri public library community
- Successfully lobbied for the passage of state laws to create new units of public library service or new sources of library funding
- Successfully worked to create larger units of public library service
- Successfully worked to create public libraries in areas previously without library service
- Served in leadership capacities in professional organizations, committees, divisions, consortia, and related organizations in Missouri and/or representing Missouri libraries on the national level
- Successfully worked to create new regional or statewide networks, consortia, or services
- Consistently offered innovative new services and served as a model for the Missouri public library community
Consideration of a nominee is not based on their length of service.
A nominee does not have to be a library director.
A nominee does not have to hold a master’s degree in library science.
A nominee must be retired or deceased.
A nominee must have worked at a Missouri public library.
The inaugural class (2021) will consist of nine (9) inductees, followed by up to three (3) new inductees each year.
Nomination and Selection Process
The Hall of Fame Committee will nominate individuals for consideration each year.
A library or individual can also nominate a Missouri public librarian for the Hall of Fame by emailing the nominee’s name, along with a brief synopsis (200-300 words in length) of the nominee’s qualifications, to Steve Campbell, Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The nomination deadline is February 28, 2022.
The Committee will research the qualifications of each nominee; consider each nominee’s qualifications; and vote to decide whether or not to induct the nominee.
The Hall of Fame Selection Committee will consist of a minimum of three (3) members appointed by the president of the Missouri Public Library Directors. Committee members must be members of the Missouri Public Library Directors.
The Hall of Fame Committee members will serve two-year terms. Committee members may be re-appointed. There are no term limits for Committee members.
2021-2022 Hall of Fame Selection Committee
Rachel Grime, Little Dixie Regional Library
Stacey Embry, Morgan County Library
Tony Benningfield, Jefferson County Library
Steve Campbell (Chair), Scenic Regional Library
Missouri Public Library Hall of Fame Nomination Form
Once an individual has been inducted, the Committee will conduct additional research and write an official biographical sketch of the inductee.
If the inductee is living, the Committee will contact the inductee and invite them to be present and speak briefly at the induction event.
The Committee will attempt to contact family members or colleagues of deceased inductees to notify them of the induction. A family member or colleague will be invited to be present and speak briefly at the induction.
Nominees will be inducted into the Missouri Public Library Hall of Fame at the June Missouri Public Library Directors’ meeting each year.
Each inductee’s biographical sketch and photograph(s) will be placed on the Hall of Fame website.