Interview with Paul Gherman, November 18, 2016

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

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Paul Gherman.

Segment Synopsis: Paul Gherman is introduced. He talks about how he became interested in librarianship as a career due to a lack of jobs in his original field of study. He talks about his career path, including his time in the Peace Corps, at Wayne State University, University of Michigan, Virginia Tech, Iowa State, and Penn State. He talks about why he was interested in the administrative side of librarianship.

Keywords: Administrators; Association of Research Libraries (ARL); Bargaining teams; Career path; Change agents; Changes; Circulation librarians; Detroit (Mich.); Iowa State; Jobs; Library assistants; Library directors; Management; Peace Corps; Pennsylvania State University (Penn State); Personnel officers; Technology; Unions; University of Michigan; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech); Wayne State University

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Library administrators.; Library science.

00:06:24 - Mentors and collaborators

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Partial Transcript: Um, talking about the, you know, the, the colleagues that you had as, as a library director, as, as you moved up...

Segment Synopsis: Gherman talks about his mentors at the various institutions at which he worked. He talks about his experiences collaborating with others in librarianship as well as those outside of the field.

Keywords: Advice; Bosses; Collaboration; Colleagues; Cooperation; Delivery; Ed Fox; Faculty; Library directors; Management; Markup language; Mentors; Paul Willis; Pennsylvania State University (Penn State); Stuart Forth; Talents; Technology; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech); Warren Kuhn

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

00:11:55 - Joining ASERL (Association of Southeastern Research Libraries)

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Partial Transcript: Well, turning to the southeast for, for just, just a second, as you know, it's the sixtieth anniversary this year of, of ASERL.

Segment Synopsis: Gherman talks about the atmosphere at ASERL when he first joined, and talks about when the meetings began to become more structured instead of just social events.

Keywords: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Frank Grisham; Golfing; Influence; Meetings; Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC); Regional networks; Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET, now part of LYRASIS); Structure; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech);   Library directors

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Consortia.; Joint-use libraries.; Library administrators.; Library cooperation.

00:16:11 - Internet experiment at Blacksburg Electronic Village

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Partial Transcript: Well you left v--uh, Virginia Tech in '92 and then--

Segment Synopsis: Gherman talks about his last year at Virginia Tech when he worked on a project to bring Internet into homes in an experiment called Blacksburg Electronic Village.

Keywords: Bell Atlantic; Blacksburg Electronic Village; Coalition for Networked Information (CNI); Computer networks; Experiments; Internet; Kenyon College; Possibilities; Students; Technology; Telluride (Colo.); Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Subjects: Blacksburg (Va.); Technological innovations

GPS: Blacksburg (Va.)
Map Coordinates: 37.23, -80.417778
00:20:35 - Career at Kenyon College

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Partial Transcript: So you're, you're having this really exciting experience, you know, working on getting this off the ground.

Segment Synopsis: Gherman talks about why he left Virginia Tech to work at Kenyon College. He talks about how the small college experience differed from the larger institutions he had worked at previously. He talks about his work with two other local colleges to begin sharing collections between them.

Keywords: Collection sharing; College of Wooster; College presidents; Denison University; Digitization; Faculty; Interlibrary loan (ILL); Internet; Kenyon College; Ohio State University; Resource sharing; Shared card catalog; Slides; Small colleges; Technology

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; College environment; Consortia.; Joint-use libraries.; Library cooperation.; Library resources.; Technological innovations

GPS: Kenyon College
Map Coordinates: 40.376389, -82.395833
00:24:25 - Career at Vanderbilt University

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Partial Transcript: I was there for three years.

Segment Synopsis: Gherman talks about how he came to work at Vandy, and talks about how their budget structure differed from any other institution he had encountered. He talks about his work with other local libraries to create a resource sharing program for Nashville called Athena. He talks about the failed idea to create a common storage facility for ASERL libraries.

Keywords: Adjustment; Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Budget structure; Center for Research Libraries (CRL); Changes; Collection sharing; Discussions; Donna Nicely; Interlibrary loan (ILL); Issues; John Crowe Ransom; Kenyon College; Library deans; Library directors; Monographs; Nashville (Tenn.); Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC); Pat Batton; Paul Willis; Priorities; Project Athena; Projects; Resource sharing; Size; Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET, now part of LYRASIS); Subscription services; Vanderbilt University;   Common storage facility

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; College environment; Consortia.; Joint-use libraries.; Library cooperation.; Library finance.; Library resources.

GPS: Vanderbilt University
Map Coordinates: 36.148649, -86.804972
00:37:32 - Evolution of ASERL

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Partial Transcript: Well I am going to ask you to just remember just, just a little bit about, about, uh, your experiences, um, from the beginning.

Segment Synopsis: Gherman talks about the atmosphere at ASERL meetings when he first joined, and discusses how that changed as the membership changed. He talks about the relationships he formed with other library directors through ASERL.

Keywords: Age; Association of Research Libraries (ARL); Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Changes; Clifford Lynch; Coalition for Networked Information (CNI); Collaboration; Dues; Executive directors; Funding; Hilton Head (S.C.); John Burger; Kate Nevins; Ken Toombs; Library directors; Meetings; Members; Paul Willis; Peers; Phil Leinbach; Ray France; Relationships; Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET, now part of LYRASIS); Structure; Warren Kuhn; Women;   Experiences

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Consortia.; Joint-use libraries.; Library cooperation.

00:45:22 - Value of consortial groups / future of libraries and technology

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Partial Transcript: Um, thinking sort of very, very broadly, and this is-- really is something of a broad question...

Segment Synopsis: Gherman talks about the value of participating in consortial groups like ASERL. He talks about the changes in technology during his career, and discusses his outlook for the future of libraries and technology.

Keywords: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Changes; Contributions; Future; Internet; Membership; Newspapers; Oberlin College; Opportunities; Resource sharing; Retirement; Technology; Value; Worthwhile;   Library services

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Consortia.; Joint-use libraries.; Library cooperation.; Library resources.; Technological innovations

00:51:05 - Career overview / conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Let's, let's just, you know, talk as, as we, you know, begin closing up the interview, um, talk about your career as, as a whole.

Segment Synopsis: Gherman says he is most proud of his work on the Athena resource sharing program for Nashville. He talks about why he preferred ASERL meetings to ARL meetings. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Association of Research Libraries (ARL); Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL); Atmosphere; Changes; Coalition for Networked Information (CNI); Impact; Library directors; Meetings; Mergers; Nashville (Tenn.); New England Library Network (NELINET, now part of LYRASIS); PALINET (now part of LYRASIS); Political; Pride; Project Athena; Proud; Regional networks; Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET, now part of LYRASIS); Value;   Future

Subjects: Academic librarians; Academic libraries.; Consortia.; Joint-use libraries.; Library cooperation.; Library resources.

GPS: Nashville (Tenn.)
Map Coordinates: 36.166667, -86.783333