Featured Staff Member: Lee Konrad
What do you do at the library?
I serve as the Director of Memorial Library. I focus primarily in the area of research services which connect people, places, and resources. I also have administrative responsibilities for the arts, humanities, and social sciences libraries of the General Library System.
What is your specialty?
My specialty is in administration and management. Through my career, I have worked in a variety of public service settings, focusing heavily on using technology to move these types of services forward. At present, my responsibilities pertain broadly to research services which includes reference and instruction, access services, and building services and learning environments.
What brought you to your job at Memorial Library?
My story begins with what brought me to Madison which was my undergraduate career. I went to school here, fell in love with Madison, and decided this was where I wanted to live. After my undergraduate studies, I worked for a few years with the Office of International Studies and Programs here on campus. Following that, I went to library school and was fortunate enough to be hired into a half-time professional position at College Library where I worked for several years. Following that, I served as the first head of the Digital Content Group which has now grown significantly in the UW Digital Collections Center. While I really enjoyed seeing the digital collections grow, I realized I was missing public services, so, when the Head of Public Services position at Memorial came open, I applied and was fortunate to land the job. Administrative shifts in the libraries led me to my current position and responsibilities.
What library resource or service would you like to recommend?
I would say the staff. For all the inroads we have made with respect to resource discovery and unmediated searching, staff experts continue to provide the most sophisticated level of service with respect to accessing our print and electronic collections. I can’t help but recommend a trip to Special Collections—both for the resources and the view! In terms of personal favorites, the E-Resource Gateway is mind-bogglingly (is that a word?) deep and rich in terms of interesting material. I spend a fair amount of time using Lexis Nexis Academic, International Index to Music Periodicals, and, of course, Library Literature. As for a place in Memorial, I really like the Periodicals Reading Room; it’s sunny and inviting and has an old-school feel.
What is something about you that few people know?
I am a songwriter in folk and rock genres—no famous songs out there so don’t bother with Google! I’m an active musician and play a variety of instruments though I am primarily a guitarist. I also love to play baseball and have recently become hooked on Madden Football for the Wii.