Not Just Kids Stuff
Suppliers are very important, too, because they keep us abreast of new technology. Many of my suppliers are beta test sites for technology before it becomes available. And also keeping involved in groups like Bookbinders and Women in Production where they have seminars or dinner meetings. It's a lot of networking.
Q: You're active in industry organizations, including serving as President of the Bookbinders' Guild of New York last year. Why have you chosen to be involved?
A: As we all know, the work days have gotten longer. We have less time to chat during the day, so it's at evening events that you get to meet other people in our industry. As a result of corporate downsizing and consolidation in our business, the pace at most corporations is too fast to take time out of the day to sit down and teach someone the way that I was taught. Commuters don't maybe have the time to go to a class after work. And I think that it's up to all of us to keep new industry members educated. So I think that organizations like Bookbinders' are there to fill the gap.
For my part, I think that when one has had several good mentors, one needs to give something back to the industry. The bonus is that you get to meet many new people through the organization New relationships and new friendships develop from this interaction.
Q: What would you call the biggest change in book production overall?
A: We are in a totally electronic environment now -- working with Macs and PCs in general has helped cut down the time that's required for certain steps.
Even e-mail is a significant technology. We can shoot off e-mail to overseas suppliers, which is wonderful, because with the 12-hour time change, when we leave at night, we come back in the morning and have a response. We used to have to depend upon faxes, and now it's so much easier.