Barbara Palmer gift supports UMSI students

Barbara Palmer 

Barbara Palmer, AMLS ’68, recently made a significant gift commitment to support students at UMSI. Barbara has been a longtime supporter of UMSI students, and established the Yaney/Longon/Wetherell Family scholarship at the school in 2007 to support MSI students committed to school library media and school librarianship, as she has been throughout her career.

Part of her new gift commitment will further support this scholarship, because, she says, “I want to encourage and support those who still see a need, in this rapidly changing Information Age, to work with children and young adults, to help them appreciate literature, to seek and evaluate information, and to use technology as a tool for their future."

Palmer’s gift will also establish a new endowment, the Barbara Yaney Palmer Experience Internship Award Fund, which will support students participating in unpaid internships. This funding will help students get the internship learning experiences they need while relieving some of the anxiety around financial concerns. Her gift will also be used to support the SI Horizon Fund – a fund started by the UMSI Recent Graduate Campaign Council to support students participating in outside experiences that enhance their classroom learning.

Of her support for these initiatives, as well as her longtime support of the UMSI Alternative Spring Break program, Barbara says, “Getting students out of the campus setting–to apply and share their new skills while helping non-profit organizations–everyone wins here!"

In addition to her degree from UMSI, Barbara has a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan and has spent her career in the education and library fields. She has worked as a second grade teacher in Wayne County, MI and Indianapolis, IN, a librarian for multiple schools in the Lubbock, TX Independent school district, and as the Library Media Center Director at Hill Middle School in Naperville, IL and Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, IL. Since 1998, Barbara has been operating an online only bookstore, Blythe Spirit Books.

Barbara’s gifts, ultimately, have been about her belief in helping others. "My family ethos has been to help and encourage others, with time, with effort, with money--or even with just a smile."