On Board with...Tony Howard
Tony Howard joined the Library Board in November 2011.
Describe the importance of public libraries.
As an educator, the public library to me is “the people’s university” because it is available to all, regardless of age, skill level, or ability to pay. School children depend on the public library for books and materials that supplement those of the school library and for library access when school libraries are closed. Public libraries are essential for the development of language skills in preschool children. Many parents cannot afford to buy books for their children, and in any case, could not supply the extensive and varied collection that the library offers. The contributions of public libraries to our democracy, our formal education, our lifelong learning, and our information-driven society may be too numerous for me to list.
Describe your background and what you bring to the board.
I was born and raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, and completed my bachelor’s degree at Millikin University and my master’s degree at Eastern Illinois University. I am currently the assistant principal at Edison Middle School and previously taught Science and AVID the last five years at Edison. I believe that I bring my experience as an educator and school administrator to the board to bridge that much needed relationship between the school and the community.
Tell us a little about your family, pets, etc.
I currently live by myself in the Ashland Park subdivision on North Prospect. Most of my family lives in the St. Louis area and California. I really have a passion for education, music, and sports. I am a really big St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Lakers fan. I enjoy fishing, table tennis, pool, and basketball as hobbies in my spare time.
What have you read, watched, or listened to lately?
I just recently finished reading The Art of Talking to Anyone by Rosalie Maggio and The Art of Asking by Terry Fadem. I am currently reading Crucial Confrontations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. I really enjoy reading books that will not only increase my common knowledge but that I can apply to everyday life situations.