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Sarah Hammill's picture

Roger Strong

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 5:15 am to Friday, August 1, 2014 - 5:15 pm

IAmRUSA Interviewee for the Week of July 28th is

Roger Strong

Ask him a question!

Roger Strong's picture

Hi All,

I am so pleased to participate as the IAmRUSA Interviewee this coming week.  A little about myself and my Career:

I come from a family of librarians (my Mom and my Sister are both public librarians in New Jersey), and I have worked in the academic library market since the mid 90's (except for a short stint for 4 years with RR Donnelley the printing company).  I received my BA in Journalism and Political Science from Rutgers University, and entered the academic publishing and information industry right out of college. This includes sales and management roles at Scholarly Resources, and Gale for the last 9+ years.  Most recently I worked with many of the major research libraries across North America as Director of Strategic Accounts, and now will be managing Gale's Southeast academic sales team as a District Manager.  

As you could probably guess, I have done quite a bit of traveling, and some of my favorite US Cities include Austin, San Francisco, and Vancouver, BC.  I have lived in Newark, DE (near the University of Delaware) for the past 18 years and when I am not traveling to see library customers or attend library conferences, I am involved in a busy family life.  My wonderful wife and I have 5 beautiful kids ranging in age from 8 to 16, so as you can guess...we are a busy house!!

Personal interests include golf, movies, reading a good historical fiction book, and spending time with my family.

I look forward to answering your questions this week!


Kirk MacLeod's picture

Thanks very much for participating in IAmRUSA this week!

I'm interested in what your day-to-day job looks like - do you mind describing an average work day for you, I guess two average work days; one at the office, and one while travelling for work.


Roger Strong's picture

Hi Kirk,

Thanks for the great question.  I guess I'll describe a typical week, as days vary each week.  I am usually traveling 2-3 days per week during the academic year (when school is in session) to meet with academic libraries.  These days could consist of a ride-along with one of our Gale sales reps who work a particular territory, or it could be a state library, or academic library related conference.  When traveling I will drive or fly depending on the location to my homebase in Delaware, and usually arrive the night before a library visit.  

While on campus, we will usually have several appointments a day with various bibliographers, associate directors, and often a group meeting or two.  These meetings usually would start at 9am and end by 3 or 4pm each day with some time for lunch (also sometimes a meeting) in between.  Often a two or three day trip may be to several different campuses, or at larger universities two days on one campus.  Evenings during travel days are spent either traveling to the next location, or catching up on e-mail, working out at a hotel, calls home to check on the family, or some downtime!  

I try to spend at least one day during a travel week in the office to do follow-up, handle any internal conference calls, and team calls.  Often Fridays or Mondays might be reserved for the office, and I may have three or four conference calls on one of these days to touch base with our various departments at Gale, or with my sales team.  

It's usually a pretty hectic time from August-mid-December and then again from mid-January-May for travel.  Of course in the off months, there is usually ALA-Midwinter and ALA Summer, which a whole other type of workday!!




Kirk MacLeod's picture

Although there is a lot of advice floating out there about attending the big ALA events, is there anything you would add for attendees to get the most out of the trip?

Roger Strong's picture

Planning is essential before attending the big ALA events...not just which meetings, exhibitors, etc. to attend or visit, but also logistics planning.  How far is your hotel from the meeting locations?  Which good restaurants might be good colleague meeting locations?  I often refer to Library Journal's ALA guide prior to attending, which often has some good suggestions.  Also I think you need to pace yourself.  Often the big ALA events fill everyone's schedule quite a bit outside of normal business hours, so scheduling in some down time is essential.