Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Paula Kaufman, October 15, 2016

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Path to librarianship and early career

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Paula Kaufman, Dean of Libraries at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from 1988 to 1999...

Segment Synopsis: Paula Kaufman is introduced. She talks about working in a library while in college, and says she was convinced by the librarian there to begin a career in librarianship. She talks about her initial plans for her career, and how her background in business tied in with librarianship. She talks about her early job offers, accepting a job at Columbia University, and the work environment there. She talks about leaving that job for a position in the private sector.

Keywords: Bosses; Business; Careers; Columbia University; Economics; Information for Business; Job offers; Jobs; Library school; Margaret Johnson; McKenzie; Mitsubishi; Recruiting; Supervisors; Wages; Watches; Work environment

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Business librarians; College students--Employment.

00:06:28 - Women in librarianship

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Partial Transcript: But anyway, um, and so I decided that I really had been happy in academic libraries, despite the bad boss.

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman talks about her goal of becoming a department head, and discusses the small number of women in managerial positions despite their large numbers in the profession overall. She talks about some of her mentors, and what she has learned about leadership.

Keywords: ARL directors; Association of Research Libraries (ARL); Business libraries; Columbia University; Culture; Department heads; Directors; East Asian Library; Females; Internships; Management; Mentors; Organization; Pat Batton; Yale University

Subjects: Academic libraries.; Business librarians; Leadership; Women in library science.; Women librarians.; Women library employees; Women--Employment.

00:14:05 - Coming to the University of Tennessee

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Partial Transcript: Now let's, let's talk about that.

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman discusses why she left Columbia University to become the University Librarian at the University of Tennessee. She talks about her interview with the provost George Wheeler, and the synergy she felt in going to UT at the time she did.

Keywords: Changes; Columbia University; FBI Library Awareness Program; George Wheeler; Motivation; Provosts; Synergy; University librarians

Subjects: University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Library.

00:17:12 - Challenges at the University of Tennessee Library

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Partial Transcript: When you, um, came to UT, um, as its, as its, uh, Dean, Dean of Libraries, um, what challenges in particular did you immediately face that perhaps you might have been prepared for...

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman discusses the challenges she faced as Dean of Libraries at the University of Tennessee, including some incidents of anti-Semitism.

Keywords: Anti-Semitism; Challenges; Changes; Christmas party; Complaints; Deans; Holidays; Inclusivity; Issues; Library staff; Meetings; Support; Work environment

Subjects: Academic libraries.; College environment; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Library.

00:23:38 - Early days of ASERL (Association of Southeastern Research Libraries)

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Partial Transcript: Um, you mentioned when you came to, to Tennessee it wasn't a southern library but a southeastern library, I, I think is, is what you said.

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman talks about her relationships with other Southeastern colleagues prior to joining ASERL. She talks about the early meetings at Hilton Head, and says that not much time was spent in meetings then. She talks about the changes that occurred in the organization to make them more work-focused.

Keywords: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Barbara Brown; Changes; Colleagues; Contacts; Directors; Downtime; Electronic materials; Experiences; Focus; Golf; Hilton Head Island (S.C.); Meetings; Participation; Relationships; Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET, now part of LYRASIS); Southeastern libraries

Subjects: Academic librarians; College administrators; Consortia.; Library cooperation.; Women in library science.; Women librarians.

00:29:34 - Advantages and disadvantages of consortia

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Partial Transcript: Let's, let's talk a little bit about, um, this sort of a--talking about just the usefulness of, of projects in--

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of joining consortia. She talks about financial benefits as well as the benefit of partnerships. She mentions several different types of consortia. She talks about the future of consortia and how they may need to change in order to continue to be viable.

Keywords: Analysis; Balance; Benefits; Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC, now called Big Ten Academic Alliance); Consortium; Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI); Criteria; Databases; Digitization; Diminishing returns; Finances; Financial issues; Frank Grisham; Future; HathiTrust Digital Library; Memberships; Organizations; Partners; Policies; Researchers; Shared collection management; Shared print repository; Sharing; University of Illinois; University of Mississippi; Working together

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

00:39:43 - Types of consortia

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Partial Transcript: What, what kinds of, of consortia do you think are the best able to respond to these kinds of, of challenges?

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman discusses the various types of consortia, including library-only consortia as well as university-wide consortia. She talks about some specific consortia she has been involved with, including Illinois' I-Share.

Keywords: Aggregated databases; Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Budgets; Catalogs; Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI); Delivery systems; Hugh Atkins; I-Share; Illinois; Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization (ILCSO); Infrastructure; Overlap; Regional consortia; Research university community; State funding;   State libraries

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

00:48:58 - Future of consortia

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Partial Transcript: Moving into the area of, of infrastructure--

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman talks more about the future of consortia, the challenges they are facing, and the changes that could help them remain viable.

Keywords: Articles; Budgets; Collaboration; Difficulties; Digitization; Knowledge creation; Online repositories; Open access; Professionalism; Publishers; Rare books; Sharing; Special collections; Strengths; University press; Unsustainable

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

00:57:07 - Changes in libraries over time

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Partial Transcript: I'd like to bring up one other statement that, that you, that you wrote again in that, in that article--

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman discusses how libraries have changed, including the transition from print to digital materials, and the holistic approach to work life and personal life.

Keywords: Articles; Burnout; Challenges; Changes; Collaboration; Digital materials; Helping professions; Holistic approach; Library staff; Managers; Personal life; Print materials; Professional development; Transitions; Work environment; Work life

Subjects: Academic librarians; Library employees

01:04:06 - Career advice

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Partial Transcript: You know you mentioned when you first started--

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman gives advice to the younger generation entering into the library science profession.

Keywords: Career advice; Mentorship; Passion

Subjects: Academic librarians; Library employees; Library science.

01:07:00 - Career accomplishments

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Partial Transcript: I, I am going to, to put you a little bit on, on the spot--

Segment Synopsis: Kaufman discusses what she believes are the biggest accomplishments of her career, including her work with consortia, preservation, and fundraising. She discusses her love of fundraising and meeting new people. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Capital campaigns; Changes; Collaboration; Conservation; Dean of Libraries; Differences; Enjoyment; Fundraising; Meeting people; People-person; Preservation; Responsibilities

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Consortia.; Fund raising; Leadership; Library finance.; Universities and colleges--Administration.