Alumni Spotlight: Kelly Anders

Posted in: Alumni | LIS | News | Spotlight
Photo of Kelly Anders
Photo courtesy of Kelly Anders

Can you tell us about your current job?

I am the Executive Director of the Jackson County Law Library, Inc., in Kansas City, Missouri.  JCLL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and it serves the 16th Circuit Court and subscribing attorney members.  I am the only full-time employee, and I supervise one part-time law librarian.  With our small staff, I wear many hats, ranging from budgets, payroll, and contract negotiations to event planning, website maintenance, marketing, social media, space planning and design, and assisting patrons with questions.

What brought you to librarianship?

Like many mid-career professionals, I became a librarian after working in other fields.  Before entering library school at Mizzou, I was an Associate Dean and law professor, and I had also worked as a reference librarian at a law school in California.  While in library school, I completed a Judicial Clerkship at the Missouri Court of Appeals.  I have always loved libraries and wanted to devote my career to combining my background with librarianship.

What did you learn in the course of your LIS education that you have taken to your current job?

One of the most essential lessons I took from my studies at Mizzou is the importance of ensuring that libraries remain proactive and responsive to patrons’ changing and evolving needs. 

What would you recommend to people who are just starting on their path of librarianship?

It’s vitally important for librarians to have a core understanding of how libraries function so that they have the flexibility of working in a variety of types of libraries.  It’s also important to develop a general understanding of marketing and Copyright law.

Can you tell us about the articles that you’ve written?  Why do you publish articles?

I have published three books, several law review articles, and many other articles.  I began my career as a newspaper reporter, and I once had dreams of becoming a tenured law professor (which requires extensive publications), but I write because I love it.  Details about my books are available on my publisher’s site, and several articles are posted on my SSRN page.