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From and Unentrepreneur-Katina Strauch


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Katina Strauch, College of Charleston

Katina Strauch began the Charleston Conference back in 1980 and The Conference has grown to be an international meeting attended by hundreds of librarians, publishers, vendors, and aggregators. She talked about why and how this happened (she thinks) and how, in 1989 (just prior to Hurricane Hugo) she decided to begin publication of Against the Grain, linking publishers, vendors,and librarians. Katina is Assistant Dean for Technical Services and Collection Development at the College of Charleston Libraries. The Charleston Conference and Against the Grain are private independently-operated entities.

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From and Unentrepreneur-Katina Strauch

  1. 1. Katina Strauch<br />Assistant Dean for Technical Services and Collection Development<br />Addlestone Library, College of Charleston<br />From an Unentrepreneur<br />
  2. 2. Should you be an entrepreneur?<br />Test courtesy of Daniel Isenberg and the Harvard Business Review<br />
  3. 3. I don’t like being told what to do by people who are less capable than I am.<br />I like challenging myself.<br />I like to win.<br />I like being my own boss.<br />I always look for new and better ways to do things.<br />I like to question conventional wisdom.<br />Answer Yes or No<br />
  4. 4. <ul><li>I like to get people together in order to get things done.
  5. 5. People get excited by my ideas.
  6. 6. I am rarely satisfied or complacent.
  7. 7. I can’t sit still.
  8. 8. I can usually work my way out of a difficult situation.
  9. 9. I would rather fail at my own thing than succeed at someone else’s.</li></ul>Answer Yes or No<br />
  10. 10. <ul><li>Whenever there is a problem I am ready to jump right in.
  11. 11. I think that old dogs can learn – even invent – new tricks.
  12. 12. Members of my family run their own businesses.
  13. 13. I have friends who run their own businesses.
  14. 14. I worked after school and during vacations when I was growing up.</li></ul>Answer Yes or No<br />
  15. 15. <ul><li>I get an adrenaline rush from selling things.
  16. 16. I am exhilarated by achieving results.
  17. 17. I could have written a better test than Isenberg and here is what I would change.</li></ul>There are 20 questions. If you say Yes to 17 or more, it’s time for some soul searching!<br /><br />Answer Yes or No<br />
  18. 18. <ul><li>Stage One : Conviction</li></ul> Acquisitions librarian, knew nothing<br />Colleagues Ralph Melnick, Cerise Oberman, Sue Sommer-Kresse<br /> Antiquarian Book Fair, no Internet<br />A.B. Bookman’s Weekly used instead<br />1979 – young, eager, enthusiastic<br /> Stages of Entrepreneurship<br />
  19. 19. <ul><li>Second Stage: Idea</li></ul>Rare books conference Jake Chernofsky, Bob Barrows, Paul Koda, Karen Hitchcock-Mort, Mike Markwith<br />Moved to in print books, had to learn how to do what I was supposed to be doing<br />Books, not serials, there was already a serials librarian<br />Idea was a conglomeration of Practicality (P), Experience (E), and Whomever I could talk into coming (W) PEW<br />Stages of Entrepreneurship<br />
  20. 20. Third Stage: Concept<br />People helped – Bill Schenck, Tom Leonhardt, John Ryland, Mike Markwith, etc., etc.<br />Names Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition (main theme) New Subtheme every year for book and serials crowd<br />You can see changes in the profession by looking at the conference themes. <br />1980 – no theme<br />Stages of Entrepreneurship<br />
  21. 21. Conference Themes <br /><ul><li>1981 – no theme yet
  22. 22. 1982 – baby born, no conference
  23. 23. 80s – old problems, new solutions; external influences on collection development; questioning assumptions; learning more than you ever wanted to know about finance
  24. 24. 90s – is the medium the message; money talks; savage marketplace; learning from our mistakes
  25. 25. 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 we weave</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>2010 – Anything Goes!
  26. 26. 2011 – Something’s Gotta Give!</li></ul>Concepts (8)<br />One: No exhibits. Talk about ISSUES not PRODUCTS.<br />Two: No concurrent sessions.<br />Three: Vendors, publishers and librarians together as equals and colleagues. No hierarchies.<br />Four: Be open to all even the little guys and girls.<br /> <br />
  27. 27. <ul><li>Five: No support from an official organization.
  28. 28. Six: Listen to all attendees and encourage them to implement their ideas.
  29. 29. Sidebar – The Charleston Conference is a Conference of other people’s ideas!</li></ul>Some of them: (in random order)<br />Michael Poupore(Hotel and local arrangements)<br />Concepts continued <br />
  30. 30. <ul><li>Leah Hinds (webmaster and general helper)
  31. 31. Regina Semko (registrar and local arrangements)
  32. 32. Judy Webster, RosannBazirjian, BethBernhardt (directors of the program committee)
  33. 33. The Conference Program committee
  34. 34. Dorinda Harmon, Gayle Karolczyk, StephenParker, et al (hotel and other local arrangements)
  35. 35. Chet Willis and John Williams (computers, media, extra effects)</li></ul>Concepts/People<br />
  36. 36. <ul><li>Shirley Davidson (conference historian and memory bank)
  37. 37. Mike Markwith(attendee at very first conference and many others) (helped select and give out gifts at early conferences)
  38. 38. Sandy Paul (talked and danced and generally had fun even if it was about standards
  39. 39. Lyman Newlin(the conscience of the Conference)</li></ul>Concepts/People<br />
  40. 40. <ul><li>David Nicholas (Charleston Research Observatory)
  41. 41. Outcry from conference attendees (Saturday sessions)
  42. 42. Leah Hinds (Fast Tech Talks)
  43. 43. Outcry from Conference attendees (Beastly breakfasts)
  44. 44. Pam Cenzerand Susan Campbell (Mentors)
  45. 45. Dorinda Harmon (Lively Lunches)
  46. 46. Audrey Powers (DineArounds)</li></ul>Concepts/People<br />
  47. 47. Concepts contd<br />Seven: Develop a Conference Personality<br />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<br />
  48. 48. Against the Grain, linking publishers, vendors, and librarians – keep people in touch throughout the year. Build momentum.<br />Begun 1989 (lucky year) Hurricane Hugo! <br />Wanted it to be ten pages, mimeographed<br />No advertisements<br />First layouts done by Steve Johnson (Clemson)<br />Concept Eight<br />
  49. 49. <ul><li>Fourth Stage: Venture</li></ul>Charleston Conference and Against the Grain are LLCs, limited liability companies. Staff areall part timers on hourly salaries. Have regular full time jobs. Many volunteers like Beth Bernhardt!<br />Stages of Entrepreneurship<br />
  50. 50. <ul><li>Fifth Stage: Business
  51. 51. Hope to keep up for a long time.
  52. 52. I started out with nothing and have most of it left.</li></ul>Some Mistakes to avoid<br /><ul><li>Leaving speakers off the program when you told them they were on the program!
  53. 53. Closing the men’s bathrooms for women!
  54. 54. Fighting with onsite partners.
  55. 55. Fighting with hotels.</li></ul>Stages of Entrepreneurship<br />
  56. 56. Turning down $60 a night rooms at Charleston Place!<br />Cutting off speakers who talked too long.<br />Begging same speakers for their papers for the Proceedings.<br />Not keeping enough of an archive!<br />Beth?<br />Mistakes to Avoid<br />
  57. 57. <ul><li>Gave Knut Dorn a cactus and other outrageous favors to speakers
  58. 58. Threw Charleston Chews to the publishers in the audience.
  59. 59. Mary Fugleannouced that Jolanda van Hagen wanted to speak at the Conference
  60. 60. Colletts told Against the Grain that they would come to the conference and straighten out arguments with customers but they didn’t! </li></ul>Random Memories<br />
  61. 61. <ul><li>Last minute got call from keynote speaker that he/she couldn’t come on my work voice mail when I had the week off!
  62. 62. Speakers insisting on taking the red eye and arriving at the last minute.
  63. 63. Keynote speaker who only praised his/her company
  64. 64. Becky Lenzini fell off the stage at the Dock Street Theater but didn’t skip a beat!</li></ul>Random Memories contd<br />
  65. 65. Random Memories<br />-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!<br /> -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.<br />
  66. 66. <ul><li>Stage Six: Sustainable Business</li></ul>Recommend Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins, Jerry I. Porras. New York: HarperBusiness Essentials, c2002. Very helpful.<br />Building the vision, framework, core ideology.<br />Stages of Entrepreneurship<br />
  67. 67. 2005 – Theme “Things are Seldom What They Seem”<br /> 2 hotels <br />88 Presentations<br />2010 – “Anything Goes”<br />3 hotels and Addlestone Library<br />157 Presentations<br />Changes in the past 5 years<br />
  68. 68. Topics from 2005 vs 2010<br />
  69. 69. <ul><li>Katina Strauch
  70. 70. Assistant Dean for Technical Services and Collection Development
  71. 71. Addlestone Library, College of Charleston</li></ul><br /><ul><li>Editor, Against the Grain
  72. 72.
  73. 73. Founder, Charleston Conference
  74. 74.</li></ul>Thank you!<br />