An Interview with Susan Werner

“I believe that we can be a diverse society of extraordinary creativity and innovation and vitality and freedom, and those things are the best things that we can be.”

Susan Werner, PatriotMy introduction to the music of Susan Werner was in the fall of 1999 when a friend who produced a local acoustic music radio show lent me copies of Time Between Trains and Last of the Good Straight Girls. I was instantly enchanted with the sincerity and wit that Werner brings to her music. Her last album was a thematic collection of songs that sound like they are from the 20s and 30s, but are all orginal and new. Recently, Werner made available for download a song she describes as an alternative national anthem. “This is a song that takes the National Anthem and turns it on his head,” says Werner. “It’s Francis Scott Key meets Arlo Guthrie.” I had the pleasure of speaking with Werner about the song a few weeks ago.

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thoughts about the new job

In the midst of all the stuff I am doing to get ready to go, I’m also thinking about what I want to do when I get to Washington.

In the midst of all the stuff I am doing to get ready to go, I’m also thinking about what I want to do when I get to Washington. There will be, of course, the getting-to-know-you period, but I have some ideas of what I want to do there based on my experiences at my current-until-Friday place of work. The nice thing is that at my new place of work, it will be in my job description to do those things! I’ve had virtually no voice in some decisions made about our serials collection, and that is very frustrating. These decisions are short-sighted and didn’t include input from those who will have to deal with the ramifications, nor has there been any follow-up.

I’ve also been reflecting on management styles. I’ve learned some what to dos and what not to dos from my current-until-Friday place of work. I don’t know how my management style will evolve in the new environment, but I hope that I will have absorbed enough from my past experiences to know how to avoid mistakes. A lot of management involves being able to understand personalities and how to push the right buttons to get the best results.

Maybe this is true of other professions, but it seems that librarianship attracts a significant number of socially dysfunctional individuals. Or at least, the places I have worked have had quite a few of them. It is much harder to build a cohesive team when the players don’t have the necessary skills. I suppose that if this turns out to be true at my new place of work, then it will just be another challenge for me to overcome.

I suppose that’s enough Saturday night rambling.