Interview With Callaway County Board President Mike Luebbert
Mike Luebbert is president of the Callaway County Library District. Each trustee serves on his own district board as well as on the regional library board, which is the governing body responsible for policy-making and fiscal oversight. A contract binds our three member library districts into a regional library system, allowing us to pool the resources of our whole region to give residents better service at lower cost.
Mike began serving on the board in August 2001 when he was asked to fill an unexpired term. He is a sales partner at Carpet Values and an active member of the Mid-MO Corvette Club, which works to raise money for the Mid-Missouri chapter of the Dream Factory. His wife of 35 years, Karen, works at Ecumenical Ministries in Fulton. He has two daughters: Megan and her husband Scott live and work in Fulton, and Kristen teaches high school sciences in the Chicago area. Her husband Josh is serving in the US Navy in Afghanistan.
Why do you think libraries are important?
Libraries are important because they open avenues to citizens to obtain books and other reading material, access research data, learn or improve computer skills.
What do you think the district has accomplished under your leadership?
We opened up a new main library in Columbia and totally remodeled and updated the Callaway County Public Library in Fulton. Patronage has increased tremendously.
What challenges does the regional board face right now?
Continuing to provide services at the speed technologies advance and providing ready and local access to library services.
What are you most proud of regarding your district or services in your library? In the region?
I feel VERY proud of having been part of the expansion of facilities and the huge increases in patrons at each facility. The expansion projects that the DBRL system has undergone in the years I’ve served on the board include the new facility in Columbia, the newly expanded/remodeled facility in Fulton, the leased facility in Ashland, and the bookmobile which is used system-wide, allowing patrons greater access to library services. Constant changes in technologies available to libraries make it a challenge for DBRL to stay current. I feel very proud that we’ve been able to offer our Callaway County patrons the opportunity to expand their knowledge and take advantage of the opportunities available through the library—whether they be reading materials, computers, audiobooks, books that can be downloaded from patrons’ homes, the availability of meeting rooms, or a wide spectrum of classes and programs. Door counts indicate a significant increase in our citizens using “their” library in Fulton. Of course, patrons always benefit from the knowledgable and helpful staff at the Callaway County Public Library.
What is the last book you read?
I just finished Michael Connelly’s Angels Flight, a murder mystery/detective novel.
Do you have a favorite memory or story about a DBRL library or your childhood library?
As a youth, my mother used to take me to the library. I was a voracious reader. (Still am.) As a teenager I used the excuse of “I’m going to the library” in order to drive the family car on weeknights … I actually did go to the library where I spent lots of time perusing the stacks for reading material.