Interview with David Ferriero, August 9, 2016

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

 

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00:00:00 - Path to librarianship

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with David Ferriero, the tenth Archivist of the United States, recorded Tuesday August 9th, 2016 at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Segment Synopsis: David Ferriero is introduced. He talks about his childhood memories of his local library, and how he was later convinced to work in a library during a co-op program which led to his library school education.

Keywords: Books; Childhood; Co-op jobs; Librarianship; Navy

Subjects: Education; Libraries.; Library science.; Public libraries.; Small libraries.

00:02:45 - Career at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

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Partial Transcript: So you started at the very basic level, um, in, in, in libraries by shelving books.

Segment Synopsis: Ferriero discusses his career at MIT, beginning with his earliest days as a librarian. He talks about his attitudes regarding the public service aspect of librarianship, as well as how his mentors provided him with education and career opportunities.

Keywords: Co-op jobs; Faculty; Mentors; New York Public Library; Opportunities; Patrons; Public service; Reading room; User needs; Users

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; College environment; College students--Books and reading.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

00:07:04 - Mentorship

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Partial Transcript: I'd like to go back to, um, your, your comment about having three very strong mentors--

Segment Synopsis: Ferriero talks more about his mentors in the field of librarianship and how their encouragement provided him with greater opportunities throughout his career.

Keywords: Leadership positions; Mentors; Personal relationships; Thankful

Subjects: Academic librarians; Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

00:09:41 - Early involvement in professional organizations

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Partial Transcript: Um, carrying on with, with the theme of, um, professional relationships being so important in librarianship--and, and really every field...

Segment Synopsis: Ferriero talks about building professional relationships as well as opportunities for collaboration through organizations like the Boston Library Consortium, among others.

Keywords: Boston Library Consortium; Collaboration; Colleagues; Consortia; Cooperation; Interlibrary Loan Committee; NELINET, Inc. (now part of LYRASIS); Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC); Professional organizations; Professional relationships

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Library resources.

00:13:31 - Career at Duke University

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Partial Transcript: Well you were at, uh, MIT for, for thirty-one--

Segment Synopsis: Ferriero discusses his career at Duke University, speaking mainly about the challenges he faced when he arrived. He talks about the changes he made at Duke during his time there, including the transition from the Dewey Decimal System, improved relationships with faculty, and renovation of the library facilities through a successful capital campaign.

Keywords: Capital campaigns; Challenges; Dewey Decimal System; Fundraising; Institutional knowledge; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Public service; Renovations; Special collections; University history; User needs; Users

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; College facilities.; Duke University; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges--Finance

GPS: Duke University
[Durham, North Carolina]

Map Coordinates: 36.001111, -78.938889
00:22:54 - Early involvement with ASERL (Association of Southeastern Research Libraries)

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Partial Transcript: There was obviously a lot going on on campus while you were there.

Segment Synopsis: Ferriero discusses the attitudes of ASERL members when he first joined the organization and how they changed over time. He talks about the group's mission, which came to include an attempt to improve the quality of education provided by library schools.

Keywords: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Collaboration; Colleagues; College students; Competencies; Consortium; Curriculum reform; Deans; Directors; Friendships; Golf; Library school education; Meetings; Mission; Projects; Quality; Resource sharing; Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN)

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Consortia.; Library cooperation.; Library resources.

00:31:51 - Differences between various consortia

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Partial Transcript: Um, I, I want to get back to just a second to your work with the Triangle Research Libraries Network.

Segment Synopsis: Ferriero talks about the differences between consortia which he has been a member of, and discusses why institutions may choose one over another.

Keywords: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Collaboration; Community; Consortium; Cooperative licensing; Cooperative storage; Decisions; Directors; Duke Endowment; Geography; Location; Priorities; Shared collection development; Successes; Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN); Trust

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Consortia.; Library cooperation.; Library resources.

00:39:08 - Technological change

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Partial Transcript: Consortia, uh, now, and, uh, for, for the past twenty, thirty years at least, have been providing more support in the area of technology for, for libraries.

Segment Synopsis: Ferriero talks about the technological advancements that have been made since his days as a library student. He talks about the hesitance some people have to adopting new technology, and tells several anecdotes about reactions to new technology in libraries. He talks about how technology is helping libraries assist users.

Keywords: "Death of print"; Access; Archives; Attitudes; Automation; Computers; Consortia; Digitization; Fax machines; Fear of technology; Gate-keeping; Interlibrary loan; Internet; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Potential; Preservation; Public service; Role of technology; Standards; Suspicion; Technology; Telex; User needs; Users

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Library resources.; Technological innovations

00:47:55 - Future of consortia

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Partial Transcript: What do you see, um, the future of consortia such as TRLN and ASERL being to help libraries and research institutions large and small...

Segment Synopsis: Ferriero discusses what he believes will be the future mission of library consortia.

Keywords: Access; Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Digital Public Library of America (DPLA); Digitization; Directors; Expectations; Holistic education; Library school education; Sharing; User needs; Users

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Consortia.; Library cooperation.; Library resources.

00:50:09 - Current trends in libraries

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Partial Transcript: You've been a librarian and library administrator now for, for fifty years.

Segment Synopsis: Ferriero talks about the biggest trend he currently sees in libraries: digitization. He briefly mentions international consortia. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Access; Availability; Changes; Digital Public Library of America (DPLA); Digitization; Historians; International consortia; Possibilities; Public engagement; Technology

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Library cooperation.; Library resources.