Dr. Blanche Sanders, Dean of University Libraries at the J.D. Boyd Library at Alcorn State University has been selected to serve on the Mississippi Library Association’s (MLA) Executive Board (E-Board) for 2021-2022.
Dr. Sanders will serve as the Chair of the MLA-Black Caucus Roundtable. As Chair of the Black Caucus Roundtable she will be assisting the MLA E-Board with programming luncheon and lecture events. Each year at the Annual Mississippi Library Association Conference, the Black Caucus Roundtable holds a ticketed luncheon event to raise funds for the Virginia Brocks-Shedd Heritage Award Scholarship. This scholarship supports minority students enrolled in the School of Library and Information Science Program at the University of Southern Mississippi. One applicant will be chosen to win this prestigious scholarship. Sanders stated, “I am proud of this opportunity because several of the librarians at the J. D. Boyd Library have benefited from this scholarship.”
She was nominated by her colleague Danielle A. Terrell, who previously served as chair of this roundtable. The current Black Caucus Roundtable Chair decided to decline her position and asked for a volunteer to take her place for the upcoming year. “I was very excited to accept this position because with the state of the world today, we need more Black librarians to support our schools, colleges and universities and our communities,” said Dr. Sanders.
Dr. Sanders said with her newfound position she plans to encourage the young staff members and student workers to consider attending library school and come back and work for the J. D. Boyd Library. She stated, “I plan to serve as an advocate for the advancement, promotion, and improvement of library services and programs and I will continue to advocate for the recruitment of African American librarians as we provide leadership within our communities and our country.”
She also plans to create effective dialogue with students to demonstrate the value of librarians and libraries. She’s optimistic in advancing the goals and missions of the institution by engaging strategic initiatives that will connect them with library resources, services and programs.