From corporate librarian to business school resource; Former SLA board member Susan Klopper heads the Goizueta Library at Emory University.

Author:Spencer, Forrest Glenn
Position:SLA MEMBER PROFILE - Special Libraries Association - Occupation overview

It is believed that leaders are developed, not born and bred. There is no genetic code within them. Leadership is derived from education and experience, from working with a team. Leadership can take a team to new levels where it can prosper further.

Take the example of Roberto C. Goizueta, the one-time chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company. This Havana-born man was honored and admired for his innovative management style and effective leadership, demonstrated by his success in transforming the soft-drink firm into a key player in the global marketplace and making it the giant that it is today. In 1994, three years before Goizueta's death, Atlanta's Emory University named its Business School after him and took on his message of educating "principled leaders for global enterprise."

SLA leader Susan Klopper is the executive director of the Goizueta Business Library at Emory. Its chief for nearly three years, she has been with the library for more than five. A self-described corporate librarian, Klopper is one of those information industry professionals who have been fortunate enough to find herself connected with organizations in which leadership skills are valued, and her life experiences have made her one of SLA's most admired leaders.

Prior to joining the Goizueta Library, Klopper was the director of Arthur Andersen's Business Research Center for 18 years. She began her career with CNN in 1984, only a few years after entrepreneur Ted Turner launched the new network. Besides her long-time membership with SLA, she remains an active speaker and writer on business research and management.


At Emory

"We are the business library of our business school and our alumni," Klopper said. "Our number one priority is to ensure is that everything we do is aligned with the business school's strategic goals and direction."

Klopper manages a team of seven professionals. She focuses on strategy and leading her team, but she also is on the front lines, serving as one of the five business librarians. Klopper and her team handle about 1,000 clients, including faculty, staff, and students, plus alumni. The Business Library is located within Emory's 60,000-square-foot Robert W. Woodruff general library. The library and the business school are found in a lush residential area of tree-lined streets and winding roads that define the Druid Hills neighborhood.

"We have our own distinct space within the Woodruff library," Klopper said. "We subscribe to 80-plus electronic databases specific to the business marketplace. What distinguishes our databases is that many are commercial desktop products. We try to expose the students to the resources that they will use in the real world." These e-resources include Thompson ONE Banker, Bloomberg, Mintel, Hoover's Online, eMarketer, and SRDS.

As in any library, Klopper and her team recognize that they must meet their customers' needs through marketing. They understand the need for outreach throughout the school year.

"In one capacity or another, we are involved in the orientation process for all the undergraduate and graduate programs. We are also invited into the classroom by faculty to prepare the students for their research projects, and we teach open enrollment classes throughout the year--some in the library, some at the school. We offer a series of 'business-essential' research classes to the BBA's, which focus on competitive business resources and rigorous research strategies.

"We do consultations--both one-on-one and with project teams--and actively engage with the students via our 'Ask a Librarian' conference and the various class and club conferences. These conferences are extremely important for positioning us in the many virtual spaces in which the students and their faculty dialog."

Klopper said it's essential for her team to work...

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