RUSA - STARGazing - Lars Leon



RUSA - STARGazing: Lars Leon

Lars Leon1. What’s your institutional affiliation?

University of Kansas Libraries

2. What’s your OCLC / Docline symbol?


3. What would be the title of your autobiography?

Data to Help Make Informed Decisions is Important but Even More so, is Having People Working to Their Strengths in a Passionate Way; How I tried to Advance Both

4. How did you get involved in resource sharing (or access services, etc.)?

I started as a student assistant in Acquisitions. We merged our Acquisitions, Serials, and Interlibrary Loan units in the 1990s. I energize on technology, logistics and collaboration. I “saw the light” that interlibrary loan was a growing area to be in to fuel my passion

5. What are you passionate about? How does that passion inform your work?

Data ~ Quantitative and qualitative data that assists us in our decisions is vital. This is especially important as we must understand the values placed on our services by our patrons. Combining this valuable information with other data like knowing our costs, we are able to offer the high quality services our patrons truly want in the most cost effective manner with some room for creativity and innovation.

People ~ We continue to grow our use of the Strengths concept in how we develop and utilize staff in the KU Libraries. It is very empowering to me personally to see people who are providing excellent service while energizing themselves and others around them through the use of their strengths.

6. What do you feel are the benefits of your STARS membership, and why would you encourage others to get involved?

Collaboration has always been critical for interlibrary loan. Belonging to, and engaging with other colleagues in STARS have afforded me many opportunities for collaboration. This has led to improvements in our own services as well as opportunities to contribute to efforts for the good of the broader community. There is such a variety of ways to engage with others in STARS. What’s your passion? You can most likely find a way to passionately contribute for the good of the community!

7. What do you wish you’d known when you started out in resource sharing (access services, etc.)?

Everyone has their own local needs, issues, challenges, and more which aren’t always the same as ours.

8. How has your STARS membership helped you do your job?

My STARS membership has helped me maintain connections with many librarians across the US and beyond in the area of resource sharing. This has provided collaborative opportunities that have helped with local practice as well as provide regular avenues for broader improvement in the resource sharing community. Those broader improvements in turn usually have positive impacts on our local service.

9. What are you reading?

Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

10. Share your favorite fun fact about yourself

I love to travel. One of my most memorable trips was attending the Nordic ILL Conference in Stockholm and then being able to drive around Sweden with my father. My father’s side of the family tree all emigrated from Sweden. I really energize on thinking of the future. However, I also enjoy what history can help us understand. Walking the meadows in Sweden with my father where my ancestors farmed over 200 years ago was very powerful.