RUSA - STARGazing: Meet Poul Erlandsen
1. What is your institutional affiliation?
The Royal Library/Copenhagen University Library
2. What’s your OCLC / Docline symbol?
3. What would the title of your autobiography be?
With a Little Help from My Friends (the friends being all the fantastic ILL folks around the World that are going the extra mile helping our users get their hands on all the stuff they need for their studies and research).
4. How did you get involved in resource sharing (or access services, etc.)?
I started my career as a cataloger but after getting into reference work I soon realized that the combination of reference and resource sharing to me was a more energizing and uplifting track to follow. Now we’re integrating resource sharing and acquisitions creating new workflows for the staff which enables me to combine everything I’ve learned. Saving staff time and improving the user experience at the same time.
5. What are you passionate about? How does that passion inform your work?
I’m really passionate about how technology has changed what we as resource sharing staff are able to achieve when it comes to locating and actually also getting access to items in library collections around the Globe. When I was new in resource sharing it was not at all unusual to give up on certain requests from users because you knew that getting this in time was a lost case. There is still the detective aspect of ILL though which for me is the fun stuff.
6. What do you feel are the benefits of your STARS membership, and why would you encourage others to get involved?
You cannot underestimate the value of networking when resource sharing is your business and a STARS membership is your opportunity to meet colleagues and put a face to the name. Establishing professional relationships with trusted partners is a fantastic tool if you need a library material being shipped to your library on another continent across the Atlantic Ocean.
There are a number of committees that have excellent programs at ALA and do a great work on different levels. Don’t hesitate to join a committee – it’s very rewarding and time well spent.
7. What do you wish you’d known when you started out in resource sharing (access services, etc.)?
Had I known how international the resource sharing environment would develop into I would have given more attention to my French classes and done my home work. I feel embarrassed not being able to communicate with international colleagues in other languages than English – Google Translate still hasn’t got the ILL terminology right.
8. How has your STARS membership helped you do your job?
Taking part in STARS activities has introduced me to workflows and solutions that I would not have thought of by myself. I have been able to bring all these things back to my own institution and implement the best locally.
9. What are you reading?
Right now I’m reading a collection of memoires about growing up in the fifties. I’m from 1956 myself and this book is helping one to remember long forgotten childhood memories. Besides that I love to relax with one of the many Scandinavian crime novels.
10. Personal Fun Fact
I’m fond of travelling and when abroad I always check out if there’s a chance to spend a night at the opera. Just know I’m looking forward to a performance at the Royal Opera House in Madrid; A German opera (Wagner) based upon a comedy by an English writer (Shakespeare) directed by a Dane (Kasper Holten) in Spain. Almost as international a setting as resource sharing.