Ingram Blog

Get to Know (Y)our Collection Development Team: April Berry

For as long as she can remember, April has been interested in psychology. This probably explains why she’s a huge Stephen King fan and a true crime junkie. There’s a sweeter side to her tastes, though: April’s hobby is baking and decorating cakes, and for years she has accepted requests from friends and coworkers for one of her impressive creations. She also adores anything – anything! – pumpkin spice. Not surprisingly, she’s delighted the Northern Hemisphere is now in autumn, her favorite season.

Until she was a preteen, April grew up in Nashville, right next door to her grandparents, whose house was a home-away-from-home for April and her siblings. They routinely ate breakfast with grandma before heading off to school or played hide-and-go-seek with grandpa in the afternoons after school. April’s grandparents’ constant presence provided an additional level of stability and comfort for her, a shy child who kept to herself.

“But I was really into reading and research,” April says. “I was good at being book smart.” One day, her mom gave her a choice of one of the books she had picked up at a local sale: Little Women or The Stand. April selected the latter, which she finished reading in a few days. She was 11 years old at the time. The Stand “changed her profoundly,” and, without a doubt, is her favorite book of all time.

Being a book lover, a career in the publishing industry seemed a natural fit for April. So, in 1994, she began working at Ingram in Telephone Sales, now Customer Care. The following year, she moved to Accounts Payable. After giving birth to her first baby in 1996, April stayed at home with her children for several years, and then, in December 2007, returned to Ingram, this time in Collection Development. For a while, her primary duty was data entry. But because April enjoys learning and sought additional responsibilities (that she’s also exceptionally organized didn’t hurt), her job eventually expanded to include administering programs and managing the content management application.

What is your role in Collection Development at Ingram Library Services?

I am the administrator for the Popular Series (Youth), Easy Reader, and ReviewAlert (Youth) standing order programs, and I oversee the content management application.

What do you enjoy most about being a part of the Collection Development team?

I love seeing all the new titles, and the best part is that we get to see them before anyone else does!

How has your role in the Collection Development changed in the 16 years you’ve been in the department?

Things change a lot in Collection Development, which is good, because it means we adapt to customer needs. We frequently modify our systems in order to make them more efficient and easier for librarians to use. Migrating to SQL, for example, increased accuracy. It also gave us more time to invest in customers. Our High Interest Category Lists are a huge benefit of the migration. Libraries love them, and creating the lists using SQL allows us to devote more time to interacting with customers, one-on-one.

What’s something you’ve learned in your role as a program administrator?

To be flexible. In the book industry, it’s imperative that we listen to our customers and respond to what they want. We prioritize giving our libraries top-notch service always, so we think nothing of it. But, to hear a customer say, “You have been so helpful!” is great. I love knowing that we make a positive impact in our library customers’ lives – and their patrons’ lives.

To what do you attribute your strength as a Program Administrator and why you enjoy your job as much as you do?

I’m a naturally curious person, with wide-open interests, but I also like order. These traits come in handy to those of us who work in, or for, libraries.

What would you like customers to know about Ingram?

That we continually look ahead and strive to make things better for our customers. We really do think about how we can put them first. It’s not just talk.