Interview with Paula Kaufman, October 15, 2016

Project: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Paula Kaufman 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. She 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.

Kaufman discusses why she left Columbia University to become the University Librarian at the University of Tennessee. She discusses the challenges she faced as Dean of Libraries at the University of Tennessee, including some incidents of anti-Semitism. She 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. She discusses how libraries have changed, including the transition from print to digital materials, and the holistic approach to work life and personal life. She 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.

Kaufman discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of joining consortia. She talks about financial benefits as well as the benefit of partnerships. She 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. She talks about the future of consortia, the challenges they are facing, and the changes that could help them remain viable.

Interview Accession

2016oh408_aserl005

Interviewee Name

Paula Kaufman

Interviewer Name

Jennifer Schatz Bartlett

Interview Date

2016-10-15

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Kaufman, Paula Interview by Jennifer Schatz Bartlett. 15 Oct. 2016. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Kaufman, P. (2016, October 15). Interview by J. S. Bartlett. Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Kaufman, Paula, interview by Jennifer Schatz Bartlett. October 15, 2016, Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt78gt5ff68r


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