ATG Star of the Week: Helen Henderson, Managing Director, Information Power Ltd

by | Feb 21, 2013 | 0 comments

Name: Helen Henderson
Position:Managing Director,
Organization: Information Power Ltd, 5 Stirling Acres Rd, Kirkcudbright DG6 4EY, Scotland
Phone: +44 (0)1865 596256
Email: [email protected]   


Born and lived:  Born in Essex, then moved around to university in Hull and Leeds, jobs in London, Oxford and Glasgow, and finally semi-retired to Scotland.

Early life:  Living in a small village with a brother six years younger and attending school in Frinton-on-Sea and Colchester.  I set up my first library aged ten and lent my books for a penny a time to my friends and neighbours.

Professional career and activities:  My first job was with a small consultancy developing computer-aided indexes, followed by a period at the BNB (pre-British Library) doing Dewey classification for the retrospective conversion (I specialize in the 900s).  After that, various jobs in Glasgow before coming back to London to work in another consultancy specializing in patent information.  I then started my first company doing consultancy and library system software which was sold to Dawson, for whom I worked briefly doing publisher relations and licensing.  When it was taken over by RoweCom I moved swiftly back into consultancy and started working with publishers to organize their customer information and create a master database.  In 2005 I merged this company with a Portland based company to form Ringgold, which then developed the customer database further.  In 2011 I retired from Ringgold to go back to the consultancy business.

Family:  I am married to Chris Leamy, who worked in various roles with the British Library, Department for Culture, Media, and Sport and the European Commission.  He was also part of the original Information Power team and the genius behind the Ringgold database.

In my spare time:  I love to play golf, and if the weather is too bad I cook or read.  I’m joining in the artistic community in Kirkcudbright, but more in a marketing capacity than actually creative (so far).

Favorite books:  How do you choose from the many hundreds?  Every room in our house is full of bookcases.  I love Bill Bryson, whose accurate observations can always make me laugh out loud, even after multiple readings.  Jane Duncan is a Scottish author to whom I completely relate.

Pet peeves:  Profanity, intolerance, people who wear strong perfume on aeroplanes.

Philosophy:  Just get on with it.

Most memorable career achievement:  Pushing for a standard identifier for institutions which is now the International Standard Name Identifier.

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  Get my golf handicap down.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  If we have the same changes as in the last five years, publishers will have entirely different business models and librarians will become information scientists (I always considered myself an information scientist rather than a librarian, although I have both qualifications) rather than custodians.



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