Specializing in collection development, Mary D. Morgan became involved in her profession from her mother, who inspired her to go into teaching. She was always attracted to the library because of her high school mentor, Idele Wilson. When she moved to Kentucky, there were no school library positions available so she went into the classroom. After she retired from education, she went into social work. Overseeing a team of nine inmates, Ms. Morgan currently serves as a librarian at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in La Grange, Kentucky, since 2000. She began her professional career in the same position within Ascension Parish Schools in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, in 1966, remaining in this role for two years before transferring to Jefferson County Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1968 to 1975.
Following this tenure, Ms. Morgan began teaching within Webster County Schools in Dixon, Kentucky, from 1975 to 1979 and Hardin County Schools in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, from 1982 to 1987, also directing the latter’s Media Center & Print Operations. Remaining in Hardin County, she then taught at the district’s day and residential juvenile facilities from 1987 to 1991 and middle and senior high alternate schools from 1991 to 1993. Retiring from education after 27 years in the field, Ms. Morgan became a social worker at the Hospice of Central Kentucky in Elizabethtown from 1993 to 2000, Gentiva Health Services in Louisville in 1995 and Lincoln Trail District Home Health in Elizabethtown from 1997 to 1998. In addition to these posts, she was the president of the Webster County Teachers Association in Dixon from 1977 to 1978 and secretary for the Kentucky Library Network Board in Frankfort from 1986 to 1987.
Prior to the start of her professional life, Ms. Morgan pursued a formal education at Louisiana College in Pineville, earning a Bachelor of Education in 1965. She then matriculated at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where she received a Master of Library Science in 1968. From there, she went on to attain a Master of Education from Murray State University in 1976 and Master of Social Work from the University of Louisville in 1992. When she graduated from college, Ms. Morgan had a brief position in the William Norton Memorial Library. At the time, James A. Allen was the director of the library and served as a great mentor to her. Presently, she is also a certified social worker in the States of Kentucky and Indiana.
Outside of her primary trade, Ms. Morgan is a lifetime member of the National Education Association and maintains involvement with a number of related organizations in her field such as the American Library Association, the American Association of University Women and the National Association of Social Workers. Likewise, she is active with the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation and the Filson Historical Society. However, Ms. Morgan is most proud of being a founding member of the Kentucky Library Network in 1985 because it laid the foundation for giving Kentucky residents access to more than two billion resources worldwide.
In recognition of her myriad efforts, Ms. Morgan was honored with the Exceptional Service Award by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies of the American Library Association in 2015, making her the only prison librarian selected for the award. She was awarded an Outstanding Service Award that same year, and is the recipient of the coveted Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Furthermore, Ms. Morgan was selected for inclusion in the 26th edition of Who’s Who in the South and Southwest and several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, and Who’s Who in the World.