This morning I went to interview Gregg Tripoli, the Executive Director of the Onondaga Historical Association. I met Gregg last semester when my 632 class (Management and Organisation of Special Collections) visited the OHA to discuss their research facilities and museum. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit (blog post here) and Gregg had such an original vision for the Association that I was keen to interview him for an assignment for my 614 class (Management for Information Professionals).
The interview was intended to acquaint me with the general day-to-day business of a manager. It was very interesting to discuss the mission of the OHA and how the focus has shifted since Gregg joined the team 4 years ago. I won't go into details here but, as I was leaving, we got onto the best bit of the interview - how he, as a retired management consultant and successful businessman, was received by the historical experts at the OHA. Initially he had difficulty getting the existing staff to understand that the association needed to earn money in order that they could afford to undertake the tasks that they want such as conservation and research. This aim to earn money can mean that the puritan streak in historians clashes with the more savvy business minds. Take as an example some of the company-centred exhibitions that the OHA creates - all companies will have events in their past that they do not want to advertise but historians will show all aspects of the history of a company in an exhibition while a businessman will show what the company wants to show i.e. how the company has contributed to the success and longevity of the community in the surroundings. At the end of the day, the company is the one paying and you need to pander to their wishes in order that they fund your projects. This is a very different outlook to, say, archives and it was interesting to see how business and special collections can rub along together.
Work today involved more commencement date work as well as the processing of a small collection of the SU Drama Department's Off Campus Productions. There were lots of programmes from the 1940s and black and white photographs of the productions with rather over the top outfits and pouts. I also encapsulated a massive photograph - good practice for my Preservation class on Monday!
We had 613 (Planning, Marketing and Assessment of Library Services) tonight. We have been working on brainstorming and 'wearing' different hats in line with Dymer's "Six hats to manage your next meeting" to see how we can get more out of group work. This is the class for which we are working with a real life library, Fayetteville Free Library, to plan a green space for outside the library, such as a reading park.
This class focused on how we should go about writing our literature review, how we find out information about demographics near our libraries, how we get the most out of meetings with peers etc. It was quite interesting to discuss marketing and whether a library should target marketing towards certain demographic groups (as usual, as the token foreigner, I had to stand up and be stared at).
I spent the rest of the evening working on the write-up of my interview, making sure that the Little Free Libraries book list for tomorrow is up to date before sending it to the organiser and answering some more talking points for my online classes.
(Apologies but my blogging steam appears to be running out as I get to the end of the week!)