Mid-Continent Public Library Honors Abigail Douglas with Community Spirit Award

Abigail Douglas, Assistant Branch Manager of the Excelsior Springs Library was awarded the Maggie Jackson Community Spirit Award by MCPL (photo S Jason Cole).

Independence, MO – On Friday, July 14, the ninth annual Legacy Luncheon hosted by Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) was held at the Midwest Genealogy Center to recognize the exceptional contributions of librarians and celebrate the bright future of the library. The highlight of the event was the presentation of the prestigious Maggie Jackson Community Spirit Award, which was bestowed upon Abigail Douglas, Assistant Branch Manager of the Excelsior Springs Library.

The Legacy Luncheon, attended by library staff, community partners, and esteemed guests, featured entertainment by The Wires, a dynamic and cinematic string duo from Kansas City. The event commenced with the introduction of MCPL’s Library Director, Aaron Mason, who emphasized the significant impact of the library and its dedicated staff on the community.

The Maggie Jackson Community Spirit Award, named in memory of the late MCPL staff member Maggie Jackson, honors individuals who demonstrate exceptional passion and commitment to their community through their work at MCPL. This year, Abigail Douglas was recognized as the deserving recipient of the award for her outstanding contributions.

MCPL's Library Director, Aaron Mason shared insights from his initial months in the role (photo S Jason Cole).

Stephen Chalmers, the Excelsior Springs Branch Manager, spoke highly of Abigail during the award presentation. Chalmers recalled meeting Douglas in 2014 when she was a library student interviewing him for her class assignment. Impressed by her enthusiasm and dedication, Chalmers later hired Douglas as the Assistant Branch Manager when a position became available in 2018.

Douglas, a native of Excelsior Springs, has consistently exhibited a deep connection to her community and a desire to give back. She is active with the Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as the Chamber Board Chairperson. Abigail has also been instrumental in reestablishing the downtown farmers market over the past two years and has been a key member of organizing events such as Waterfest all while helping to maintain the Excelsior Springs Library remains a vital hub for residents.

Expressing her gratitude, Abigail addressed the audience, acknowledging the citizens of her community who nominated her for the award and recognizing the support and mentorship she has received from her colleagues and mentors at the Chamber of Commerce and the Library.

Keynote speaker David Von Drehle spoke about his friendship with his neighbor Charlie White and how he was able to share Charlie's stories with the world (photo S Jason Cole).

Abigail was followed by the event’s keynote speaker, David Von Drehle, an award-winning author and journalist who shared insights from his newest book, “The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man,” which in June 2023 reached number 3 on the New York Times bestsellers list.

The Legacy Luncheon highlighted the incredible contributions made by librarians like Abigail, who embody the spirit of community and work tirelessly to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals in the Excelsior Springs area. MCPL continues to serve as an essential resource and pillar of the community, fostering a love for learning and knowledge.

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