Five Questions with Susan Klopper, Emory University

1. Susan, tell us about your work in your library.

My official title is Director, Goizueta Business Library at Emory University. In that capacity I lead a team of 6, 4 business librarians, 1 full-time and 1 part-time staff. My various responsibilities focus heavily on decision-making and problem solving around budgets, strategy, operations, staff success, and customer engagement. I also participate in Emory Libraries’ leadership committees and initiatives. But I also am one of the team of five business librarians, boots on the ground, providing consultation, instruction and other services to the Goizueta Business School current community and alumni, as well as supporting business research needs for faculty and students across Emory.

 

2) What attracted you to this role?

Unlike many of my peer librarians, I did not initially aspire to be an academic librarian. When I was in library school in the early 80’s, corporate libraries were present in most companies, and that is the career path that I followed, working as the Director of the Business Information Center for Arthur Andersen/Andersen Consulting in Atlanta for 18 years. When Andersen blew up after Enron, I was very fortunate to find a position in the Goizueta Business Library at Emory. At Andersen I had worked with many staff, managers and partners who had MBAs and other related graduate degrees, and I was drawn to the opportunity to connect with the students before they entered the workforce.  I also valued the opportunity to be able to continue to work as a business librarian, which I absolutely loved, applying all of the deep knowledge and expertise I had developed over many years at Andersen. Once I started at Emory and began to truly understand what it meant to work in an academic environment and to support not only students, but faculty and staff, my excitement about being a part of this community grew and evolved in so many unexpected ways.

 

3) How have you been involved with ASERL?

I first became aware of ASERL because of its strong partnership with the Emory Libraries and campus. My engagement more fully developed beginning with COVID, taking advantage of its robust repository of webinars. I have remained a huge fan and advocate of its many professional development opportunities; I am extremely impressed with the consistency in quality and relevancy of its ongoing conversations around the many topics so important to our personal and professional development and success in our work environments.

 

 

4) What parts of your job/volunteering with ASERL do you find most rewarding?

When I saw the email inviting volunteers for ASERL committees, I felt that it was a chance for me to have a voice in continuing its quality work as well as to more directly connect with peers that I might not otherwise know. I’ve been volunteering on the ASERL Professional Development Committee for almost a year and the experience has been wonderful. I feel that my time has been well spent and that I’ve not only had a chance to use my voice in impacting programming but have learned a lot from the other committee members.

 

 

5) What’s one great thing that most people don’t know about you?

My first job out of library school was as the Corporate Librarian for CNN. The year was 1984 and CNN was still a very new company and cable news was still very much in its wild west days. It was my first — and only — opportunity to be part of an organization in its nascent stage, and it was an amazing, glorious experience. The work was fun, crazy, and every day I experienced the thrill of contributing to an organization that was figuring it out, literally, as the news was happening. That experience had a tremendous impact on me and who I am as a librarian, especially my comfort with taking lots of risks, to experiment, to fail, to challenge the status quo, and to bring passion to my work.

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