Meet the Board: Julie Baka – Columbia Library District

Julie Baka and her family made Columbia home 14 years ago and found the library to be a perfect resource for homeschooling their children. She likes the people in Mid-Missouri and appreciates all
the sunshine this part of the country gets. Today, she and her husband own two e-commerce businesses.



What three words do you think best describe the library?

Wonderful, resources, helpfulness.

When friends or family find out you’re on the library board, what do they say?

People like to tell me about an experience they had at the library and that it is wonderful.

What has surprised you most about serving on the board?

I am totally and pleasantly surprised by how well the library is managed. From having served on other boards, it is a pleasure to learn about budgets, strategic plans and such, whereas, in other organizations that has not always been the case.

What do you wish other people knew about the library?

That there are so many services available. The library is much more than just books or magazines to check out. The classes and research resources available are awesome.

How is the library different today than it was ten years ago?

Digital downloads have made the library a totally different model than what it was 10 years ago. I want to recommend that everyone check out all the magazines, music, books and so much more that you can use from your personal electronic devices.

If you could dine with an author or book character who would it be?

Author Elizabeth Lowell. She writes fun books, and I like the characters. I assume that someone who writes people I like would be someone I would like, too. Also, I like geology and art, and her books often have art or precious metals in the storyline.

In the spirit of the library’s lifelong learning mission, what would you personally like to learn more about?

There are two things that I am finding myself wanting to learn more about — retirement options, so I make good decisions as I approach that milestone, and how to be a good advocate for causes I believe in.

Would you like to share anything else about your background or family?

We homeschooled our kids. The library was the best resource for everything they wanted to learn about and a place where they loved to spend hours. They are both successful young adults now with college degrees. I believe DBRL helped to make that possible.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Learning new things is very important. I truly believe that some of the best things we learn are things we pick up when we aren’t trying to be educated, but just having fun. So use the library resources for fun. It’s okay to check out the light romance, the far-out sci-fi, the graphic novels or whatever makes you smile.