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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wicky Sleight MPL director once again

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wicky Sleight served as the first library director when the Marshall Public Library opened in 1989. Now, roughly 23 years later, Sleight is once again in that same role.

She started Sept. 1, as interim director after the previous director, Amy Crump, resigned.

"When I saw that Amy had resigned I thought, well, I'll apply to be interim," Sleight said. "I told them I would help find a permanent director."

On Jan. 9, MPL Board of Trustees announced Sleight as the permanent director effective Jan. 1.

"I just really have enjoyed it and it's challenging," she said.

Her duties include supervising staff, managing the budget, collection development, grant writing, fundraising and eventually helping with programing.

"I just missed doing something I know how to do and making a difference for people everyday," Sleight said about her old/new job. "And this is what I missed, and this is what I love about this job ... So many people come in. I help people, that's my number one job."

Since her first turn as director, Sleight was a director of the Kirkwood Public Library for 15 years. For the last three years, Sleight has been an adjunct lecturer with the University of Missouri School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, Library and Information Technologies. Also during that time she volunteered as president for the Missouri Center for the Book, treasurer for Missouri Humanities Council and as a docent at St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center.

As the first director, Sleight said she was happy the library had always been automated.

"We didn't have a card catalogue, which was interesting because usually a library that has a card catalogue people will just chain themselves to it," she said. "They don't want the card catalogue to go. We were automated from the beginning."

Sleight also said she remembers when the library first got the internet.

"I will never forget sitting right out there, this was right at the beginning of the Internet, and I got my first mail."

Sleight hopes to expand the library services and offer computer classes in the future.

"What I'd love to do is have classes with volunteers teaching," she said. "Just different computer classes, such as Microsoft Word, and blogging, ... how to do a good resume and apply for a job online. I'm hopefully going to write a grant to get some laptops that we can use for computer classes."

Sleight has a daughter who lives in the area and four grandchildren.

"Three of them go to Hardeman," she said. "So it's fun to go to their basketball games and just be around."

Contact Kelsey Alumbaugh at kalumbaugh@marshallnews.com

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