Local author and librarian Maureen Millea Smith is a connector. When she’s not helping patrons in her role as adult services librarian at the Edina Library or writing—she’s a published author and contributor to the “Read” column in this magazine, the “Browsers” articles in the Monday Star Tribune and several literary journals—she’s strategizing ways to connect people to discuss important topics.
In 2005, Millea Smith and Edina Library director Marcia Wattson collaborated with the Edina Community Foundation’s Dick Crockett to launch Edina Reads, a community-based intergenerational book club that encourages reading, lifelong learning and thoughtful conversation.
During a 2011 Edina Reads gathering, 80 adults and teenagers gathered to discuss bullying and share their personal experiences, based around the novel, A Thinking Man’s Bully by Michael Adelberg. In 2016, the Foundation honored Millea Smith with the Volunteer of the Year Award, celebrating her achievement of planning more than 50 Edina Reads events, allowing 1,500 participants to interact with authors.
When the pandemic forced Edina Reads online in 2020, Millea Smith innovated, collaborating with Edina Cable TV, producing interviews with local authors and artists to create the Edina Reads Summer Series, From the Author’s House to Yours and From the Artist’s Studio to Yours.
A writer herself, Millea Smith won the Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story in 2007 for her first novel, When Charlotte Comes Home. She is currently working on her latest novel.