March 17, 2018

David Lee King | Movers & Shakers 2008

User-Centered Technologist

Librarians agree: David Lee King is your go-to guy for simplifying complex technology. “He has that rare ability to take tough tech and make it easy to understand and get excited about,” says Kathy Dempsey, former editor-in-chief, Computers in Libraries. TSCPL executive director Gina Millsap concurs: “David communicates ideas in ways that are accessible, inclusive, and humorous. His laid-back style encourages others to participate and believe they can do this stuff, too.”

This consensus keeps King busy: he’s a regular on the library technology conference circuit, has written for publications from Computers in Libraries to LJ netConnect, and is completing a book on digital experience design. King’s real focus, though, is not on the technology itself. “One of my main themes,” he says, is “making sure our focus stays on the user rather than on the great features of new web sites or technology.”

This user-centered focus serves him well as TSCPL’s digital branch and services manager. King explains that his “branch just happens to reside in a digital rather than physical space. Everything a branch manager deals with—collections, staffing, building layout, infrastructure—I manage in our digital branch.”

A former recording engineer, King still “plays music and enjoys making goofy videos.” One YouTube video, CIL2007: InfoTubey Awards, created buzz for the InfoTubey Awards at Computers in Libraries 2007, while other videos and songs spoof Michael Gorman’s “antidigitalist” attitudes and demonstrate King’s iPhone experiences (view his videos at That “goofiness” pays off, because his creations help make technology fun and encourage librarians to explore its (user-centric) possibilities.


CURRENT POSITION Digital Branch & Services Manager, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL), KS

DEGREE MSLIS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1994

IN PRINT columnist (with Michael Porter): “Internet Spotlight,” Public Libraries