Today’s episode features a conversation with Peter McCracken, Electronic Resources Librarian, Cornell University. The interview was conducted by Matthew Ismail, Editor in chief of the Charleston Briefings and Conference Director at the Charleston Conference.
Peter received a library degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, then a master’s in maritime history from East Carolina University. While he was working on that master’s degree, he was hired for his first professional position as a reference librarian in East Carolina’s Joiner Library. In 1999, he graduated and was offered a position at the University of Washington in the undergraduate library as a reference librarian. One year later in 2000 Peter, his brothers, and a high school friend started Serial Solutions, which was acquired by ProQuest in 2004, where Peter continued to work until 2009 when he left Serial Solutions and ProQuest to focus on his passion, maritime history. He created a second company called ShipIndex.org, which helps people do research on ships that interest them. He continues to work at his company, and also as an E-Resources librarian at Cornell for the past 6 years.
Matthew and Peter will talk about being an entrepreneur and the founding of Serial Solutions, where the funding came from, what Serial Solutions is and what problems it solves. Peter has seen both sides as a librarian and as a vendor in this scholarly communication world, thus he understands what it means to be a salaried employee and to be an entrepreneur. He also discusses what libraries need for businesses and what libraries need to know about being an entrepreneur.