Meet Mike Zakoura from Johnson County Library


Mike Zakoura, Johnson County Library

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Osawatomie, KS, about one hour south of the Johnson County, KS, central library, where I work in ILL. After graduation from the University of Kansas in journalism, radio-TV sequence, I worked for radio stations in Jefferson City and Springfield, Mo., for the newspaper in Springfield, began a lifetime involvement and interest in politics, moved to Kansas City in 1969 and worked at The Kansas City Star until retirement at the end of 2000, mostly as an editor with a few years of reporting. Married with three children, five grandchildren and a dog.   

  1. Are you a reader? Tell us about what you like to read.

Working at a library spiked my interest in reading. Picking up a novel is novel to me. I read non-fiction, principally politics and American history.

My major was journalism, but am working on a minor, everything about James Madison. Presently, I am reading Madison’s Music, which is on his writing the Bill of Rights, especially the First Amendment.

  1. Tell us about your library.

I love working at our library. There is some sameness in what I am asked to do. At the same time, there is always a sense of something new on the horizon.

  1. How long have you been in Interlibrary Loan?

Since late spring of 2002.

  1. What is your best ILL story?

Not a story so much as what gives me the most enjoyment, and that is sending books and AV’s to libraries in small towns. Perhaps that is a reflection of where I grew up, but that part of my work (I don’t call what I do a job)  provides the greatest satisfaction..

  1. What is your favorite quote about libraries?

To borrow from Helen Hayes, the American actress: From parents we get footsteps. From a library we get wings.

  1. What is your favorite ILL tip?

Treat each person as my equal — no one above, no one below.


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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