Peter Drucker, Harry Potter, and More

Business guru Peter Drucker loved librarians as many conference-goers may remember from his SLA keynote in 2002. In Monday morning’s session on “History, News, and Peter Drucker,” Bruce Rosenstein, the news research librarian at USA Today, presented a 20-minute video interview with the late Drucker from April 2005, just 7 months before his death at age 95. The DVD presentation about the “Ultimate Knowledge Worker” (once the in-house tech expert finally solved the mystery about adjusting the audio level) reflected thoughts from the ever-articulate expert whose insights about a purpose-driven life were captured with all of Mr. Drucker’s character and style.

Rosenstein also called the audience’s attention to the Business section of USA Today on Monday, touting a playful new book titled If Harry Potter Ran General Electric by Tom Morris, who also wrote If Aristotle Ran General Motors and Philosophy for Dummies. Morris’ latest book tackles the wizard world with Harry at the helm to provide lessons in leadership. For example, Harry faces fear with stoicism: “Courage is doing what’s right, not what’s easy.”

The other part of the session on capturing and transferring oral knowledge was led by Debra Bade, director of news research at the Chicago Tribune. Bade shared her efforts (through surveys, interviews, and video sessions) to talk to long-term employees who were about to retire and her desire to save personal anecdotes about their years with the newspaper. Her 13-minute video introduced this look down memory lane with news snippets from years gone by, from mini and midi skirts to Hawaii 5-0 to Five Easy Pieces to man’s first walk on the moon before letting each of the 10 Tribune workers recount their memories. Hearing the tales firsthand by those who were there preserves this special collection of vintage vignettes. Her countless hours of work culminated in a “win-win kind of project” for Bade, who sees this chapter in Tribune history being preserved while employees know their work and their thoughts made a difference.

Barbara Brynko
Editor in Chief
Information Today

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