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Barbara Miksicek is the Librarian for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
What do you consider your biggest challenge in your job/career? Or, what is a challenge you faced in your job or career, and how did you deal with it?
During my 32-year career at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, I have already moved the library to a larger location and, a few years later, automated the entire collection (we were using typed catalog cards until 2002). I also authored two editions of the book In the Line of Duty: St. Louis Police Officers Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice. In addition to the daily challenges of managing the St. Louis Police Library, the nation’s oldest and largest police-owned library, as a solo librarian, I now face the enormous challenge of creating a formal archive of historical records and objects. This will include designing the storage area, collecting relevant items as the police headquarters moves to a new location after 85 years, cataloging and photographing the items, and eventually designing a small museum. My job is always challenging and there is NEVER a boring day.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is the satisfaction I feel when patrons leave the library happy with the information I was able to provide. I’ve been told an entire wall would be needed to display the diplomas of all the officers I have helped earn degrees. I give tours and lectures about SLMPD history and I love educating people about our illustrious past.
What do you value about SLA?
I have been a member of SLA for about 30 years. I depend on the publications (especially the salary survey), the journals, and the members’ comments on the listserv to help me stay connected to the library world.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I read a LOT of police-oriented books. It seems my patrons believe that I have read EVERY book in my 20,000 volume collection and can recommend the best titles to them. I am currently reading John Sandford’s Field of Prey, Ann Rule’s Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors and Carmeta Albarus’ The Making of Lee Boyd Malvo: The D.C. Sniper.
What’s your favorite city or library you’ve been to that you’d encourage others to visit?
On a recent trip to Europe, I got to tour the unbelievable library at the Benedictine Abbey in Melk, Austria. Whenever I travel abroad, I try to visit a library in each city and am always awed by the antiquity of the collections and the beauty of the buildings.
How can people connect with you?
The best way to contact me is by email (library (at) slmpd (dot) org) or by telephone ( 444-5581).