Meet David Cox from Kansas City Public Library


David Cox

David grew up outside of Springfield, Missouri in the small town of Strafford. He has worked at the Kansas City Public Library since 1990. He joined the ILL department in 1998 and has been the Interlibrary Loan Team Leader for the last three years. He oversees both the Mailroom and the ILL Department, and has 6 employees.

David attended Missouri State University, where he majored in electronic media and minored in English, leading to a TV internship and a job as a newspaper journalist. As the manager of a video store, David gained skills used as the sorting supervisor at Kansas City Public Library. David enjoys the challenge of learning.

Libraries are a priority for his family! David and his wife, Sherry, both worked in their high school library. Sherry worked at Kansas City Public Library for ten  years, specializing in cataloging and outreach. David and Sherry have two sons, each of whom has volunteered at libraries. Dustin is 21 and Jared is 15. Both boys volunteered at Kansas City Public and Dustin worked at Mid-Continent Library. Dustin works as a mechanic and likes to restore classic cars, while Jared is home-schooled and is interested in graphic arts and music. Sherry now works as a Para-Professional with the Independence School District.

What are you reading…

Biographies, history, and Christian nonfiction are David’s favorite genres. He’s currently recommending Love Does by Bob Goff and I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short. An enthusiastic Buck O’Neil fan, David suggests The Soul of Baseball: a Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posnanski. 

What should we know about your library?

Kansas City Public Library has ten libraries. The main library, in the former First National Bank building at 10th and Baltimore, is ornate and historic. How many libraries have a chessboard on the roof and a movie theater in a bank vault?  Take a look at the parking garage. It’s been recognized as one of the most unusual buildings in the world!


The parking garage at the Central Library, Kansas City, MO.

Library Director Crosby Kemper III’s television series “Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III” was awarded an Emmy. The Burden of Proof, starring Stephanie Powers and Brian Dennehy, and Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were filmed in this building.

David says, “Our goal for Interlibrary Loan this year is to continue to explore more international borrowing and lending. So far this year, we’ve borrowed and loaned items to Turkey, England, Australia, New Zealand and Germany among other countries.”

What is your best ILL story?

Recently, a customer wanted a Catholic Pamphlet that is owned by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Magistral Palace in Rome, Italy. They couldn’t fill the request, and suggested contacting the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of the Jerusalem of the Grand Magister dell’o.e.s.s.g. © Citta del Vaticano, also known as The Vatican. Their communication officer wanted to help, but their item was published in the wrong year.

What is your worst ILL story?

A video cassette wrapped in plastic and labeled with the word Bugs arrived back from a patron. Just to be safe, the item was opened outside. As the case opened, baby cockroaches swarmed over David’s hands! After soaking the item with bug spray, David asked the lender for an invoice. A call confirmed a bug problem at the patron’s house.

What is your favorite ILL tip?

Be willing to dig. Learn to look everywhere. Be ready to help your patron refine the search since patrons don’t always know exactly what they’re looking for. Our job is to supply just the right item. Make patrons think all they had to do was press a button! David always tells his staff,  “The Customer just wants what they want, and it’s our job to try to get it for them.”


About Kari Sime

I'm the Interlibrary Loan Librarian at Johnson County Library in Kansas. Career experiences include teaching elementary school for the U. S. Department of Defense in Bitburg, Germany and in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.
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