Member of the Week: Kyle W. Willis

Kyle Willis

Kyle WillisKyle W. Willis is a product manager at OCLC in Dublin, OH. Kyle has been a member of ACRL since 2012 and is your ACRL member of the week for August 21, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Librarian, outdoorsman, rapscallion.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Most of the reading I do is nonfiction and a little too dry for most, like field guides, books on tree and bird identification, books on preparation for canoe expeditions; that stuff gets my motor running. I like maps a lot, too. Other than that, I’ve been bouncing between Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Harari, The Attention Merchants by Wu, Reality is Broken by McGonigal, and The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Brinkley. I doubt I’ll ever finish any of them; that’s just my style. My wife keeps trying to get me to read fiction, but I’m knee-deep learning about the wild rivers of Canada!

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Academic librarians connected.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I think the strongest aspect of any of these professional organizations isn’t the training materials, the PDF presentation or resume templates or best practices documents. It’s the people. Learning from others who’ve been in my shoes before and working together to advance and improve services for our users is my favorite part. These associations provide the conduit for establishing and maintaining those relationships. (It’s starting to become clear to me that I just like talking to people).

5. Describe your contribution to your organization and to academic libraries: It’s a little bit of everything, it seems. I think librarians in supportive organizations get to say “Yes” to a wider variety of projects than most other professions I’ve been around. I’ve always loved living in that space, too, a little bit of all the fun (and pain) that everyone else is having. It’s great to not be just a cog in the machine, but instead be…6 cogs in the machine and help facilitate exciting research and projects happening in every corner of the campus.

6. In your own words: What I’m happiest to say is that I’ve been blessed to work in some great organizations with amazing people (like those at OCLC, the University of Notre Dame, Williamson County Public Library, and Brevard College), and I look forward to working with more amazing people for years to come. I get paid work on interesting and difficult challenges, have a lot of fun, and laugh probably harder and more often than I should. That’s pretty solid setup, if you ask me. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.