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Meet Jim Miesse, Director of Product Management. Jim is leading the product management for Intota™.
What is your professional background? I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Classical Studies and my Masters in Library Science at the University of Missouri at Columbia. I wanted my Bachelor’s degree as my education and my Master’s degree for a job.
At the University of Missouri at Columbia, my job was running the circulation system (there was no ILS). This was the second automated circulation system in the country (maybe the world). It was conceived and developed by Dr. Ralph Parker, the “father of library automation,” who would later work with Frederick Kilgour to make the initial proposal to Ohio libraries for what would become OCLC. The circulation system went live in 1964. It was still there 20 years later, no replacement parts, things were duct taped together to keep them running.
As a professional librarian, I worked for 6 years at the Missouri State University Library. It’s the second largest college in the state. The library, at the time, was not automated. It was typewriters. I managed the circulation and automation departments. It was there that I first met our own Jane Burke, SVP for Strategic Initiatives. At the time, Jane was CEO of NOTIS Systems and I had purchased their ILS. She was down visiting and I knew that I wanted to work for her. Since that time, I have been working for ILS automation vendors.
What do you like most about working for Serials Solutions? I like building new tools that solve problems for my profession. Having the opportunity to work with our partner libraries to help shape Intota is incredibly exciting. We are the pioneers of solving incredible problems.
What do you find most exciting about the future of the library? Change in libraries has been a constant theme during the course of my career, but there has been no greater change than what is happening now. I have always found that my profession embraces change as opportunity. I am not sure that any of us librarians know exactly what the library will look like a few years from now, but I am confident that we will be a stronger profession offering a stronger service to users. I am very fortunate to work with my professional colleagues to help make that happen.
Who is your favorite author? I don’t have much time for leisure reading. I travel a lot (over 125,000 miles in the last year) and use that time for my leisure reading. I enjoy the quick read…the kind of book that moves fast and you can’t put down. I am a military history buff and like novels that play off that theme—Tom Clancy. I also like Todd Bell; he is a Clancy-type writer. And my favorite is Clive Cussler – I really enjoy reading his work!
Do you have a favorite library? If so, which one? One of my hobbies is antiques, so I tend to favor old libraries. The one that stands out is still the library at University of Missouri. I hated half and I loved half. I remember that it had a very traditional reading room with 40’ ceilings, stained glass windows, tiffany lamps on large reading tables—beautiful! Then they added a very ugly build-out, but the old, main library—I love. It had true stacks that were 4 stories tall! The shelving started on the basement floor and went to the fourth floor. It had dumbwaiters and the old elevators with wrought iron doors—amazing!
What can you tell us about yourself that we might never guess? No one would guess that I was a star high school basketball player. In St. Louis, the team itself wasn’t very good, but I was! Perhaps I just looked good by comparison. I couldn’t jump and I was slow, but I could shoot well.
Our principal announced that if we won this particular game against another high school, the whole school would get the day off. We won and I was the leading scorer. We got a day off and it wasn’t a Saturday! I was a hero for a little while…