Meet the Board: Kate Markie

Board member Kate MarkieKate Markie, Columbia and Boone County Library District Board Member

Kate Markie and her husband Peter moved to Columbia in the fall of 1976 when she was working on her dissertation in philosophy from the University of Rochester.

Kate went to law school at the University of Missouri, worked at the Missouri Supreme Court clerking for judge Robert T. Donnelly and for the state Public Defender System. She is now retired after 27 years serving as an attorney for the University of Missouri.

What do you like about living in Mid-Missouri?
I love the fact that Columbia is surrounded by large natural and agricultural areas. We have so many parks and opportunities to enjoy prairies, forests, wildlife and just wonderful space. At the same time, we also have the cultural advantages the university and colleges bring: music, art, crafts and so on. (We have the most wonderful farmer’s market, fantastic restaurants, the We Always Swing Jazz Series, True/False, Access Arts, craft shows and stores and the annual quilt show at the Columbia Public Library.) We have the best of both small town and city life.

When friends or family find out that you are on the library board, what do they say or ask?
People light up! They always tell me how much they love our library, how the staff has gone out of their way to help them and how their families have grown up in the library.

What has surprised you most about serving on the board?
I had never realized the range and depth of the library’s services or the extent of its connections with various parts of the community. For example, the bookmobiles, vans and Book Bike that visit communities throughout Boone and Callaway Counties, going to day cares, nursing homes and events; the videos and audio recordings available at the library and online; and the early learning kits filled with books and toys for parents and their young children. And there are programs of all sorts, from tutoring to League of Women Voters forums to ukulele lessons. And, somehow, during this pandemic, the library has been able to provide many programs online.

What do you wish other people knew about the library?
I would love for people to check out the many materials available online from the library. And I’d like them to know that they have access from their own homes with just their library cards. I am a big knitter, and I love to download audiobooks to listen to while I am knitting.

If you could have dinner with a famous author or book character who would it be?
This is such a hard question! If I must choose only one, it would be writer John McPhee. He has the most wonderful sense of curiosity and has written about an enormous diversity of things. His books and articles are beautifully written and exhaustively researched, and he is reputed to be one of the kindest men, beloved by his students and fellow writers.

In the spirit of the library’s mission to promote lifelong learning, is there anything that you would personally like to learn more about?
One of my future projects is to go back and re-learn the math that scared me when I was a senior in high school, as well as the foreign languages I have mostly forgotten. Caesar in Gallia, here I come!

Each library board member serves on his or her own district board as well as on the Daniel Boone Regional Library board, which is the governing body responsible for policy-making and fiscal oversight.