Talking to people

I am interviewed occasionally for a report somebody is preparing. Sometimes internal, not for publication, sometimes published. It is always interesting when reading the final outcome to see how and whether my comments were included.

My experiences vary. Sometimes I am pleased to see an appropriate trace of the conversation; sometimes I can see no evidence that I was ever spoken to; and sometimes comments are assimilated to a view that I did not really have.

Not unsurprisingly, people are variably good at listening. Sometimes a comment will be enlisted in support of a view the interviewer had. Although, I haven't kept track I don't think that people inside the library community are necessarily more faithful interpreters than those from outside.

What is surprising - to me anyway - is the number of interviewers in situations like this who like to answer their own questions, or who, in response to the slightest prompt, are keen to talk about experiences on their previous assignments. In my experience, they tend not to produce great reports.

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