Anita Winger (Staff)

Anita Winger stands on her treadmill at her office space in Mitchell Memorial Library.

Anita Winger works a 40-hour week at MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library, but thanks to the university’s “MSU on the Move” program, she’s walking many miles while managing tasks right at her desktop.

Winger is one of about 100 MSU employees who this fall acquired new exercise equipment for the workplace, made possible through a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. The grant is helping the university expand and create more opportunities for the campus to engage in healthy activities related to physical fitness, nutrition and overall wellness.

The busy mother of three stays on the go, but Winger said having an under-desk treadmill helps her reach exercise goals. Not only is she tracking her steps with a Fitbit, but she also is participating in a virtual marathon challenge and preparing to run the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon on Jan. 7.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Winger moved to Starkville in 1994 with her husband Jeff Winger, professor and acting head of the physics and astronomy department. Since working at Mitchell Memorial Library, a lot has changed over the years. A mid-1990s construction project was taking place when Winger started, and now the library is undergoing a massive expansion that will house exhibits and documents for the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library.

In addition to the physical changes and additions to the library, Winger’s role has changed over the years, as have technology and other updates. The automation system manager has worked through library preparations, serials cataloging and computer systems.

Winger said she loves working with the Mississippi Library Partnership, a library consortium that shares automation costs and technical expertise through a common integrated library system.

“I enjoy interacting with the libraries. I’m able to run a lot of reports for them and get information that is helpful in supporting them as they run their libraries,” Winger said.

As for walking and working, Winger said it seemed like a neat thing to try.

“In some ways it helps me concentrate better. Once you get used to it and into a rhythm, it almost improves my focus, and I can’t describe why,” Winger said. “It may not be for everyone, but it’s working great for me.”