In Episode 48 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Holger Aman, now working at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia as the Coordinator, Learning and Teaching Services. When I interviewed him for the podcast back in October 2018 he was working at BPP Holborn (UK) as the Library Manager.
We recorded the interview in person at BPP. Get comfy because there’s a backstory involved. When I did a call-out for people to get involved in Librarians with Lives…LIVE! at the CILIP Conference last year, Holger answered. However, we couldn’t make the timings work because break-out sessions, roving interviews, travel chaos, etc. When I podcasted at ILI, he answered my shout-out again and this time, because I had a stand, he knew where to find me. At the exact moment Holger came over to podcast I had a queue of people. When I spotted Holger in the queue I pointed at him and said STAND THERE! I may even have said STAY! What can I say? I get bossy when I’m podcasting at conferences.
Holger recorded his bit for the live(ish) episode and I did my classic ‘You should be a proper guest on the podcast’ line, which I use less than you’d think to lure potential interviewees. Holger told me he’d love to be involved but he was leaving the UK – FOREVER – in the next few weeks but maybe we could work something out. We arranged a recording date and I duly pitched up at BPP for the interview as he’d very kindly given me some time during his last few days in the UK to meet with me. All was going well until he needed to take a call. Not a problem; I was taken downstairs for a tour of the library (I flipping love a library tour) by his colleague, with my iPhone in hand. To explain: I record the in-person interviews using the Voice Memo app on my phone. I checked my phone to make sure the recording was still there and it had DISAPPEARED.
Even now, more than three months on, I cringe at the memory of frantically searching through *all* the voice memos to make really, really sure the recording wasn’t lurking somewhere. Apple had recently updated the Voice Memo app and a product that had been bulletproof beforehand had become glitchy and weird. [True story: a week later I inadvertently exacted revenge when I dropped my iPhone 7 down five floors in Selfridges. The Voice Memo App works perfectly on the replacement, the iPhone X.] Worst of all, Holger was going to finish his phone call and expect to carry on with the interview. I had two options:
- Run, Run out of the building – not an option as my bag and coat were in Holger’s office
- Confess and hope that I didn’t look like a total moron.
I went for option 2. Holger was spectacularly lovely about the whole sorry mishap. He found some time in his diary the following day (I was supposed to be at CILIP New Professionals Day but missed the morning session to do the re-record.) For take 2 I took my full recording setup – Blue Yeti Microphone and laptop – and we pretended we hadn’t met the day before as I asked him (mostly) the same questions and he gave (mostly) the same answers.
I really enjoyed recording this episode (the second time) and I’m pleased with the result. It was the first interview in which I included the new ‘What do you do when you’re not being a librarian’ question. Full credit to Gus MacDonald for suggesting that I include it.
The next episode will be released on Tuesday 26th February and features Rebecca Hill.