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DMIL Member Interview with Deb Knox

DMIL Member Interview with Deb Knox

How did you get involved in military librarianship?

I am actually a vendor who is responsible for sales to the federal government for my employer.  From the very first time I attended MLW I fell in love with the military librarians and have been a big supporter ever since then.

How did you get involved in DMIL?

It was one of the chapters I picked when I joined SLA.  I belong to DMIL and DGI as well as my State chapter.  I think the best thing we can do as vendors is support our patrons while I will freely admit that is not my primary reason for hanging around.  Most of you have become friends and many of you are not customers and will never be customers.  DMIL as a community really reached out to me.  I highly recommend vendors getting involved in the communities they support for networking and to become familiar with the unique challenges military librarians face.

What has been your best experience working for the military?

I just love the open nature of the military librarians.  They are witty, honest and straightforward.  I like that so many of them are well traveled and have wonderful stories to tell.  Frankly, I don’t think about any of them as customers, just friends.

What has been your best experience being involved in DMIL?

I absolutely love the MLW conference.   It is my favorite conferences and I feel well treated when I am there unlike any other conference where all they care about is your money.

What positions in DMIL have you held?

I have been on the planning committee several times and have been the corporate director when it was a viable position. I currently am the Unit Planner for SLA 2017.

If someone were to visit your library or your town, what would you be sure to show them or recommend that they see?

Our beautiful bridges that were built by and with the Army Corps of Engineers.  We have protected waterways and marshes so it has been a long term project connecting all our barrier island beaches to the mainland.

Please recommend one LIS-specific book or article that you read recently that you found particularly good. What makes it worthwhile?

Two of my recent reads were “Why Epiphanies Never Occur to Couch Potatoes” by Mark Amtower and Change to Strange by Daniel M. Cable.  I mostly read for enjoyment but this year vowed to read one self help book for every fiction novel.

If you were to recommend one book, just for fun, what would it be?

I really enjoyed Extreme Measures.  I love all the books by Vince Flynn and am working my way through the series.  I secretly think I am getting an inside view of spying and behind the scenes government operations.  Probably all fantasy but I let myself be a secret agent during that time.


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“Advice about E-Books” by Tiffany Konczey, Librarian, Combined Arms Research Library (CARL), Ft. Leavenworth

“Advice about E-Books” by Tiffany Konczey, Librarian, Combined Arms Research Library (CARL), Ft. Leavenworth


Image: Electronic Frontier Foundation ( graphic created by EFF Senior Designer Hugh D’Andrade to illustrate digital books /

Ebooks are an amazing thing; just like magic.  You want a new book and boom! It is there, you don’t even have to get dressed.  And many might think eBooks from libraries would be even better because, you know… FREE!  But, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.  Publishers and digital rights management (DRM) have made eBooks in libraries a confusing and complicated matter.  In order to access library eBooks, patrons need this app or this browser, or one book needs this log on, and another book needs a different log on, and so on and so forth.  So when trying to explain it to anyone, staff and patrons alike, your head can start to swim.  But, once you learn all the tricks and tips, and ins and outs, it is true that library eBooks can be the cat’s meow.

At the Combined Arms Research Library (CARL), we have both academic and recreational patrons. Our patrons are eligible for eBooks provided by us, the state of Kansas, and the FMWRC program from a variety of platforms including:  Overdrive, 3M, Ebrary, EBSCO, ABC-CLIO, and many more.  It can get really confusing.  I’ve found that the only way to make it less confusing is to be a patron yourself and practice.  I have my own preferences, but I try to access all the different models and platforms available to our patrons at least a couple times a year.  I ask for comments and tips from the rest of the staff and patrons that are using the platforms.  CARL has a really simple handout for our main platforms Ebrary and EBSCO.   We’ve found that it’s better to send patrons to the help systems on each individual platform as they are the experts on themselves.

As far as devices go, some of our staff prefer Android and some prefer IOS, some that have a Nook and some that have a Kindle.  So, we have almost a little of everything, which really helps when patrons need help. It would be really great if we were able to get a bunch of the devices in the library for staff to practice with.  Unfortunately, the reality is that they change so fast and by the time you get one there is already a new one out there.  The truth of the matter is that you don’t need to be an expert.  You just have to have a general idea and be comfortable clicking around or searching the help area of the models yourself.

Hopefully, the future of ebooks will be less confusing, but in the meantime, have fun playing!  Because while practice won’t make you perfect, it will be fun.

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Job Search Workshop, April 16, 2016‏

Job Search Workshop, April 16, 2016‏

On-site seating is going fast!  To participate in-person or virtually register today at

Job Search Workshop, April 16th



Posted in Careers, Features, StudentsComments Off on Job Search Workshop, April 16, 2016‏

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