National Library Week 2017 Profile – Ken Kozy

Ken Kozy and his wife Mary at a Friends Foundation Breakfast Fundraiser.

Huntley’s Ken Kozy wasn’t introduced to libraries until he was a teenager. After relying on encyclopedias for learning and research outside of school, at age 15, he visited his High School library for the first time. While he found it exciting and useful, it wasn’t until he stepped into the main libraries in downtown Chicago, and at the University of Illinois that he realized he was overwhelmed with the immenseness and formality of what a library could be. He prefers smaller library branches with a friendlier tone, and found them more comfortable to use.

When Ken started his first job with IBM in 1964, he found that companies gave them all the printed technical manuals, books, and documents they needed. As he remembers the past, he points out that now, all of this information is at your fingertips and available via your phone and laptop. He also recalls, “For personal use, I bought books at book stores because finally I could afford them”. The result was that his usage of libraries was reduced. However, when Ken retired, he embarked on a writing career. It was then that he happily returned to using smaller suburban public libraries to research topics and to do personal reading. He continues, “I found the Huntley library to be a wonderful resource as well as offering very helpful and competent staff for reference help”. With the library’s resources at his fingertips, it enabled him to write useful and entertaining multi-media works. He penned articles for local newspapers as well as built a personal web site to publish them for anyone in the world to access.

In his new-founded career, Ken has written papers for presentation at Project Management Institute World Congresses in the USA and Australia which were electronically published internationally. More recently he wrote an eBook which was downloaded and launched into outer space by NASA on their OSIRIS-REX spacecraft that has now travelled over 333 million miles in space! “Doug Cataldo of our library was instrumental in helping me learn how to upload an eBook to NASA by using Twitter as required. Susan Riddle-Mojica of our library hosted a Library Writers’ Group which helped me by reviewing parts of that eBook monthly so I was able to improve it as well as to learn more writing skills. All this encouraged me to develop the “7-dimensional Communication Concepts” which have been incorporated into my writings”, said Kozy. The library’s materials helped Ken to be able to make all these eBooks and eArticles freely available to everyone at no cost on his web site, www.KenKozy.com.

Ken continues to use the library’s resources and the Information Desk personnel to help with his research.  He attends many of the library’s classes about technology and computers. When Ken was seriously ill, he utilized the Library-2-Go program where volunteers deliver books to patron’s that have a disabling condition or lack of transportation. Using Library-2-Go enabled Ken to continue reading and researching without having to visit the library.

Ken and his wife are also life-time members of the Friends Foundation, and enjoy volunteering at their book sales when they can. They frequent Friends Foundation events to support the mission and finances of the library. They have met some very wonderful and dedicated “Friends” as well as staff at the library. Ken tries to “pay it forward”, to return and build value in the library and community because of all the great help everyone has given to him and his wife over the years. His favorite book is the Bible. Ken reads it every day. Through it, he receives inspirations and great insight. He believes that as you get older and have a lot of life experiences, you start to understand more clearly the wisdom that is inside the Bible. He tells us, “The people at Huntley Area Public Library have aided in transforming my life to become an international author –  not very well known, however, God bless you all”!