Toni Massari McPherson grew up on the East Coast and got her degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She came to Alaska during the ’70s after spending a year as a VISTA in Delaware and working for a small Pennsylvania newspaper for a couple years. She jumped into the Alaska adventure with both feet, including spending a year in a tepee while she and her firefighter husband built their home in Girdwood. She was a reporter and arts and entertainment director at the Anchorage Times until it closed. As the marketing director of Energy Rated Homes of Alaska for 10 years, she helped the program become the national standard for raising home energy efficiency. At the same time, she freelanced for a variety of local publications including Alaska Military Weekly, Alaska Newspapers and, most recently, F Magazine.
For the last 8.5 years, Toni has served as Anchorage Public Library’s Community Relations Coordinator, serving in a variety of roles including PR/marketing director, volunteer coordinator and program manager for the library’s book sales. She has worked with other staff to expand the library’s profile in the community and has witnessed an on-going metamorphosis in the local institution. Over the last year, the library has invested in a community-wide study of how it should evolve to serve Anchorage in the 21st century. In her talk she will describe some of the results of survey and how it is translating into the Loussac plan for re-modeling. She will also describe challenges the library faces moving into the future.