Interview With Trustee Bill Young

Trustee Bill Young

Each trustee serves on his or her own district board as well as on the regional library board, which is the governing body responsible for policy-making and fiscal oversight.

Bill Young was on the faculty of Westminster College in Fulton for thirty-five years and also served as chaplain there. In his retirement, he has continued to research and publish in the field of religious studies and has also branched out into another longtime interest—the early history of baseball. He has been an enthusiastic patron of the Callaway County and Columbia Public Libraries and has also been impressed by the new library in Ashland. His wife, Sue, is a retired educator who taught at the University of Missouri and Rock Bridge Elementary. Bill and Sue have two married children and two grandchildren.

Why do you think libraries are important?

Libraries are portals to the knowledge and wisdom of the past, but also pathways to the creativity and imagination of the present and future. They are quite simply essential to the vitality of human cultures, and they are evolving to respond to our changing world.

What is the role of the district board as you see it?

Board members are, first and foremost, ambassadors for the library, reaching out to share with others in the community the amazing breadth and depth of services available. The board also is the steward of the financial resources the community provides, assuring they are used wisely and well. We also set policies and support their implementation by our excellent staff.

What made you apply to be on the library board?

When I retired, I looked for meaningful volunteer opportunities. My wife and I, our children, and now grandchildren all love the library and use its services often. Serving on the board allows me to show my appreciation for all DBRL has meant to our family over the years.

I am grateful to the Boone County Commissioners for giving me the opportunity to serve for the next four years on the library board and for their strong support of our regional library system.

What are you most proud of regarding the district board?

I have been most impressed by the leadership of my fellow board members and the professionalism of the staff. They are always willing to help those of us who are new to the board learn what it takes to be effective in our roles.

What challenges does DBRL face in the coming years?

One of the most important challenges is responding to the rapid growth of digital materials—eBooks, audiobooks and magazines, and streaming audio and video.

DBRL will need to assure that all members of the community have access to our digital branch and that our collections, facilities, and staffing are keeping pace with the expanding digital demand. In the past year, DRBL has added new digital downloading capabilities, and I urge patrons to utilize them. All you need is an active library card. The library staff is wonderful at helping patrons figure out how to use the new digital services. I know from experience!

What makes DBRL special?

Having been a patron of DBRL for nearly forty years before joining the board, I knew about and utilized many of the services of our library. However, in my first year on the library board I have been amazed by the creativity of the staff in providing a wide array of excellent programs for patrons of all ages. There is truly something for everyone at DBRL. Take a look at to see for yourself.

Do you have a favorite memory or story about libraries from your youth?

I remember my mother reading to me stories from books she checked out from the library. My favorite was a children’s history of the world that planted seeds for a lifelong desire to learn about other peoples and their cultures.

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