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Lisa Thorp is a Records Manager in the City of St. Louis Recorder of Deeds office and our SLA chapter’s new Secretary.
What do you consider your biggest challenge in your job or career?
I am working as Records Manager in the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds office, which is a new position in this office, so I think my biggest challenge is figuring out what it is I am supposed to do. My second biggest challenge is figuring out the politics and dynamics of the office—and unlike other offices in which I’ve worked, since we are in City Hall and my boss is an elected official, I have to deal with actual as well as figurative politics.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love exploring and sharing information about our cool old documents. The first document recorded in our office is dated August 2, 1766—it is in French and is actually a series of documents related to someone’s failure to pay their creditors and authorizing the sale of his property, including a house, a salt pit, and slaves, to satisfy his debts. We have beautiful marriage records in spidery old handwriting, plat maps, trademarks, etc. It is also fascinating to become better acquainted with St. Louis history through the records that our office holds—I have been particularly struck by the information that can be learned about segregation and laws based on race and how it changed (and didn’t change) over time.
What has been your favorite SLA event?
I enjoy the happy hours, but I really enjoy the programs that are held at a SLA member organization (especially if coupled with a social component). One that comes to mind is the visit a couple of years ago to the Missouri Botanical Garden—while I had been with my Special Libraries class, I don’t think I could ever get enough of the beautiful images and books in their rare books room. And followed up by lunch at Sweetie Pies with a bunch of librarians? Can’t beat it.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I have been reading The New Jim Crow for a while now, about the war on drugs and the mass incarceration of African Americans in our alleged “post-racial” era. I prefer reading fiction, but this came highly recommended and is so relevant right now with everything going on “post-Ferguson.” I have learned a lot and would strongly suggest that others pick it up as well.
Tell us about a hobby you have.
I love biking—both for fun/leisure/exercise and as a means of transportation. At my former job, I managed to bike to work once or twice a week (but usually once) from March to October/November and am excited that the weather is finally good enough to be able to bike to City Hall. This week I was able to bike in (and back) 4 days, which I really enjoyed.
Lastly, how can people connect with you?
I can be found on Facebook (I resisted for a long time, but am now a pretty frequent poster), LinkedIn, and Twitter (@lisakthorp). Best email for me is probably lisathorp (at) sbcglobal (dot) net.