SIG Spotlight: Lars Leon, University of Kansas


Lars Leon, SIG Committee Member at Large

I energize on logistics, engagement, data, service, travel, and more. So in the late 1980s when the KU Libraries combined Acquisitions and Interlibrary Loan (v 1.0) I saw “the future”. There was/is so much room for logistics, collaboration, and more. The ability to work with so many really cool people to help make all our patrons happy led me to continue working as a full-time staff member while finishing my KU B.A. in Business Administration.  After a few years I then obtained my MLS from the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University. I was then very happy when I was selected to become the Interlibrary Loan Librarian in 1998 at KU. The increasing levels of responsibility in the KU Libraries, with research and service expectations, have afforded me opportunities to contribute at the local, state, regional, national, and international level.

My “practical” work experience through the years have run the gamut of handling all aspects of resource sharing through management. These practical work experiences have intertwined with my research interests which have spanned from individual to group best practices; using data to make informed decisions, understanding how our patrons value our services, and more.

In January 2014 the KU Libraries merged Acquisitions and Resource Sharing again (v 2.0) after having been with Access Service for a number of years. This new combination has only just begun but provides fresh opportunities for creatively think about how we do what we do. I continue to help half-time with aspects of our newly combined unit. The other half of my work-life I spend with our organizational development. We are working on everything from facilitation, project management, software training, effective group work, enabling supervisor success, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and much more.

I am inspired by the collaborative leadership provided by the ILL Special Interest Group. We have a caring community although at times we can get stuck in our local ruts so having a catalyst like this group really helps. From our group best practices work I collaborated with others on ~ An individual library practicing best practices does okay. A lender and a borrower both practicing is better. What’s best though is when a group of libraries commit to and share those practices. Interlibrary Loan is amazing because of the people involved and their commitment to each other. I look forward to working with others in the ILL Special Interest Group to take our collective services to even higher levels through shared learning.

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