By Janel White
The third DC/SLA Library Leaders program, Wednesday, April 14, 2010, featured Blane Dessy, the director of the Department of Justice Library System. DC/SLA Vice President Mary Talley introduced Dessy by putting on an explorer's hat and comparing his career to an Indiana Jones-like adventure in search of a treasure (his current position at DOJ).
With his master's degree in hand from the University of Pittsburgh, Dessy’s very first job was in management as the director of a county public library. When his colleagues told him he was "crazy" to apply for a position for which he had no previous experience, he decided that the only thing he had to lose was the cost of the stamp to post his resume. Like any good librarian, Dessy researched everything he could about the county - demographics, towns, income, history - everything. The interview committee was impressed that he seemed to know more about the county than they did and hired him.
Although he had to supervise older and more experienced staff, Dessy never doubted that he could do it. With the help of an excellent mentor, he succeeded. In fact, Dessy stated that a good mentor is key to a successful career and he has stayed in touch with his mentor over the years.
Want to read more about Blane Dessy's thoughts on library leaders? Stay tuned for DC/SLA's Chapter Notes, to read more.