Like many teenagers, Dana had no idea of what she wanted to do when she grew up. But she read widely and filled her room with books, partly because she’d joined several mail-in book clubs. “Not only that,” she adds, “I could go to a library, happily stay all day long, and then come home with a couple of bags of books I’d checked out.”
Besides library and book club books, she especially enjoyed reading encyclopedias. By the time Dana was in middle school, her family owned two different sets. Dana loved the freedom to randomly select a volume and read whichever entries interested her as she stumbled upon them.
A few years after graduating from high school, Dana married and had her son. She also worked in a bookstore and helped manage her in-laws’ restaurant, positions that taught her the value of happy customers. Several years later, she landed a job in Customer Service at Ingram Content Group, where she remained for 14 years. She then worked in Ingram Library Services Administration before transferring to Collection Development in 2018. Last month, October 2020, Dana celebrated her 20-year anniversary with Ingram. Twenty in ’20!
What is your role in Collection Development at Ingram Content Group?
My main role, along with that of my colleague, Kim Collins, is Customer Service Associate for Collection Development. It is our job to find answers to the questions and concerns our customers have. I also administer the Nonfiction Series (Adult) and Nonfiction Series (Youth) standing order programs.
What skills developed in previous positions do you bring to Collection Development that help you to best help customers?
I bring my investigative and problem-solving skills, which help tremendously. We are methodical in the Collection Development department. Our work demands it. We mull things over, look at them from different angles, turn them upside down and then right side up. In Collection Development, when you think you’re done thinking, you’ve got to think some more! It’s more like chess than checkers.
I cross-reference and double-check everything, because publisher metadata, for example, can be inaccurate. I frequently talk to different people in various departments to gather the right information for a customer. And I depend on an older but invaluable software application that I used in Ingram Library Services Administration. It unfailingly uncovers data that provides clues and ultimately resolves issues. If there’s a problem, there must be a solution!
How have you made your position as a program administrator your own?
Because I want the Nonfiction Series (Adult) and Nonfiction Series (Youth) programs to be as well-rounded as possible, I continuously try to add as many subject areas as I can. But there is constant change in publishing, and you have to take it as it comes. It’s much more involved than one might think.
I so enjoy working in Collection Development. We have a great team in which every member works well with, and for, others. It’s an environment that allows us to be empowered and to do our best job. And that’s what makes great customer service.
What’s your favorite book?
It’s difficult to pick one, but if hard pressed, I’d say Pride and Prejudice. I love all Jane Austen’s novels, but P&P is magnificent. I love Austen’s style of writing, and I get something new out of Pride and Prejudice every time I read it. A close second favorite, though, is Anne of Green Gables. It’s my comfort book because of its characters and their relationships. I’ve read it countless times.
Other than your favorite books, is there one that had a great impact on you?
That would have to be Jane Eyre, because one of its themes is the quest to be loved, to be valued, to belong. But it also implores the reader to be true to oneself, and, no matter how badly life might treat you at times, to never be unkind.
What do you enjoy most about working in Collection Development?
I like that we hear about titles being released within the next 6 months or so, and I really enjoy nonfiction materials. I appreciate that they’re factual, because I tend to be very logical. I’m that person who in the middle of a movie will yell, “But that would never happen!”
What would you like to say to customers about Collection Development?
I’d like to tell customers to not be intimated or stressed by ipage, by standing order programs, by invoicing, by anything. We’re just an email or phone call away, and it’s easy to get the answers you need. If you require assistance with your profile, with subscribing or enrolling, whatever it is, just let us know what you need, and we’ll take care of it. We’re here to help!