◦ Assistant Dean for Technical Services and Collection
◦ Addlestone Library, College of Charleston
Test courtesy of Daniel
Isenberg and the
Harvard Business Review
I don’t like being told what to do by people
who are less capable than I am.
I like challenging myself.
I like to win.
I like being my own boss.
I always look for new and better ways to do
I like to question conventional wisdom.
• I like to get people together in order to get
• People get excited by my ideas.
• I am rarely satisfied or complacent.
• I can’t sit still.
• I can usually work my way out of a difficult
• I would rather fail at my own thing than
succeed at someone else’s.
• Whenever there is a problem I am ready to
jump right in.
• I think that old dogs can learn – even invent –
• Members of my family run their own
• I have friends who run their own businesses.
• I worked after school and during vacations
when I was growing up.
• I get an adrenaline rush from selling things.
• I am exhilarated by achieving results.
• I could have written a better test than
Isenberg and here is what I would change.
There are 20 questions. If you say Yes to 17 or
more, it’s time for some soul searching!
• Stage One : Conviction
Acquisitions librarian, knew nothing
Colleagues Ralph Melnick, Cerise
Oberman, Sue Sommer-Kresse
Antiquarian Book Fair, no Internet
A.B. Bookman’s Weekly used instead
1979 – young, eager, enthusiastic
• Second Stage: Idea
Rare books conference Jake Chernofsky, Bob
Barrows, Paul Koda, Karen Hitchcock-Mort, Mike
Moved to in print books, had to learn how to do
what I was supposed to be doing
Books, not serials, there was already a serials
Idea was a conglomeration of Practicality (P),
Experience (E), and Whomever I could talk into
coming (W) PEW
Third Stage: Concept
People helped – Bill Schenck, Tom Leonhardt,
John Ryland, Mike Markwith, etc., etc.
Names Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition
(main theme) New Subtheme every year for book
and serials crowd
You can see changes in the profession by looking at
the conference themes.
1980 – no theme
• 1981 – no theme yet
• 1982 – baby born, no conference
• 80s – old problems, new solutions; external
influences on collection development;
questioning assumptions; learning more than
you ever wanted to know about finance
• 90s – is the medium the message; money
talks; savage marketplace; learning from our
• 21st century – we need more for less; trends
are a-changin’; things are seldom what they
seem; all the world’s a serial; the tangled web
• 2010 – Anything Goes!
• 2011 – Something’s Gotta Give!
One: No exhibits. Talk about ISSUES not
Two: No concurrent sessions.
Three: Vendors, publishers and librarians
together as equals and colleagues. No
Four: Be open to all even the little guys and
• Five: No support from an official
• Six: Listen to all attendees and encourage
them to implement their ideas.
• Sidebar – The Charleston Conference is a
Conference of other people’s ideas!
Some of them: (in random order)
Michael Poupore (Hotel and local arrangements)
• Leah Hinds (webmaster and general helper)
• Regina Semko (registrar and local arrangements)
• Judy Webster, Rosann Bazirjian, Beth Bernhardt
(directors of the program committee)
• The Conference Program committee
• Dorinda Harmon, Gayle Karolczyk, Stephen
Parker, et al (hotel and other local arrangements)
• Chet Willis and John Williams (computers, media,
• Shirley Davidson (conference historian and
• Mike Markwith (attendee at very first
conference and many others) (helped select
and give out gifts at early conferences)
• Sandy Paul (talked and danced and generally
had fun even if it was about standards
• Lyman Newlin (the conscience of the
• David Nicholas (Charleston Research
• Outcry from conference attendees (Saturday
• Leah Hinds (Fast Tech Talks)
• Outcry from Conference attendees (Beastly
• Pam Cenzer and Susan Campbell (Mentors)
• Dorinda Harmon (Lively Lunches)
• Audrey Powers (DineArounds)
Seven: Develop a Conference Personality
Be Quirky, have a sense of humor, be flexible,
mix things up, be unpredictable, be cutting edge, let
people dress the way they feel most comfortable,
never use the word NO!, adapt, change, keep
moving, add last minute hot topics/ideas even if you
drive the Conference program director crazy (this is
especially important), beware of fads
Against the Grain, linking publishers, vendors,
and librarians – keep people in touch
throughout the year. Build momentum.
Begun 1989 (lucky year) Hurricane Hugo!
Wanted it to be ten pages, mimeographed
First layouts done by Steve Johnson (Clemson)
• Fourth Stage: Venture
Charleston Conference and Against the Grain
are LLCs, limited liability companies. Staff are
all part timers on hourly salaries. Have regular
full time jobs. Many volunteers like Beth
• Fifth Stage: Business
• Hope to keep up for a long time.
• I started out with nothing and have most of it
Some Mistakes to avoid
• Leaving speakers off the program when you told
them they were on the program!
• Closing the men’s bathrooms for women!
• Fighting with onsite partners.
• Fighting with hotels.
Turning down $60 a night rooms at
Cutting off speakers who talked too long.
Begging same speakers for their papers for
Not keeping enough of an archive!
• Gave Knut Dorn a cactus and other
outrageous favors to speakers
• Threw Charleston Chews to the publishers in
• Mary Fugle annouced that Jolanda van Hagen
wanted to speak at the Conference
• Colletts told Against the Grain that they
would come to the conference and straighten
out arguments with customers but they
• Last minute got call from keynote speaker
that he/she couldn’t come on my work voice
mail when I had the week off!
• Speakers insisting on taking the red eye and
arriving at the last minute.
• Keynote speaker who only praised his/her
• Becky Lenzini fell off the stage at the Dock
Street Theater but didn’t skip a beat!
-First year of the Conference when I
was trying to get at least 20 attendees
was devastated to have someone cancel
because he had mistakenly thought the
meeting was in West Virginia!
-Hurricane Hugo -- 1989 – Charleston
was devastated. Walked down to the
Mills House Hotel (which was hosting
the Conference) because I couldn’t drive
there. Charleston was horrible. Ground
zero. Didn’t know if Conference would
happen or not.
• Stage Six: Sustainable Business
Recommend Built to Last: Successful Habits of
Visionary Companies by James C. Collins, Jerry
I. Porras. New York: HarperBusiness Essentials,
c2002. Very helpful.
Building the vision, framework, core ideology.
2005 – Theme “Things are Seldom What They
◦ 2 hotels
◦ 88 Presentations
2010 – “Anything Goes”
◦ 3 hotels and Addlestone Library
◦ 157 Presentations
Changes in Acquisitions Repurposing of jobs in Acquisitions
Open Access effect on publishing Open Access is growing, journals, e-
Google Library Print Programs Google Book Settlement
ILL Purchase on-demand Patron Driven Acquisitions
Print vs Electronic Electronic is more accepted
Pay Per View Pay Per View
Usage Stats Counter and Sushi
• Katina Strauch
• Assistant Dean for Technical Services and
• Addlestone Library, College of Charleston
• Editor, Against the Grain
• Founder, Charleston Conference