Meet… Clemens Gresser

CG in 2013, photographed by Alice Boagey.

CG in 2013, photographed by Alice Boagey.

MusiCB3: What has your road to librarianship been?
Clemens Gresser: As a student I found myself covering the Musicology Department’s library desk on a few occasions, but I didn’t feel any urge to become a librarian. Fast forward to having finished my Ph.D. at Southampton University, and the realisation dawns on me: I need a job, and the librarians I met in the last couple of years were really friendly and some of them even had Ph.Ds.. So I decided to apply for jobs in libraries.

Before working at the Pendlebury Library of Music and the CUL Music Department, where have you been?
CG: I couldn’t convince the librarian of my local public library to let me do work experience (Her: “You’ve got a Ph.D. – this isn’t rocket science!” Me: “That’s fine, I haven’t studied rocket science”). I spent an extremely short time volunteering at the two libraries at RHS Wisley (Lindley Library for the general public, and the unnamed academic/research library). After an enjoyable set-back at a Tourist Information Centre, I started in earnest, full-time and for a pay of 3 shillings and sixpence at the University of Surrey, where half of my job remit was web page admin person and e-resources trainer and admin. My lucky break was supposed to be becoming Issue Desk Supervisor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama; however, after some music and maybe a bit too much drama, I left there after 18 months for a part-time position at the BL’s Music Reference Service – this was intended to help me find time for my part-time studies (as I was heading for my 2nd year in my Library and Information Studies M.Sc.). Unfortunately, 7 other people above me got promoted temporarily, so I was offered an extra 50% of working hours, and couldn’t refuse. After a good while in this full-time job (I remember more than 7 renewal letters, most of them for 3 months each), a temporary position at the BL’s German Collections was available. To my surprise, they didn’t check my German, but I still got the job.
At the end I didn’t want to go back to my previous job, having finished my M.Sc. in the meantime. I was extremely lucky to be appointed Deputy Head of Music here in Cambridge, and now, more than 3 years later, I will soon be on my way to pastures new.

What do you like most about the University Library / the Pendlebury Library’s Music Collections?
CG: I actually like most things, I feel no need to single things out.

Do you read any foreign languages?
CG: I’m good in reading most languages, but my French and (deteriorating) German give me the most understanding (i.e. I actually mostly understand what the letters and words mean!).

What do you like about working in Cambridge most?
CG: After 3 years and working hard and playing (mostly) softly (on my piano), I’m still discovering new things which make me glad to be here. However, as a vegetarian I need to praise the Rainbow Café in King’s Parade.

Best day at work?
CG: Figuring out a problem and solving it, preferably with a colleague, or the whole team.

Worst day at work?
CG: Difficult to pin-point, but probably days when I realised that I had made a mistake, and could have avoided it.

What is/are your most favourite composer(s)/type(s) of music?
CG: This really depends on the when and where. I can cope with most musics, but generally-speaking prefer not-too-loud music.

Where did you live before moving to the region?
CG: Various: a smallish village near Frankfurt am Main, Augsburg, Howth (County Dublin) and Woking.

What is/are your instrument(s)?
CG: Voice, though once trained I “peaked” way too early. I’m not really a good musician. I can also play on keyboards which make sounds, so not very well. Played saxophone in a (‘rock’) band, and clarinet to annoy my family and some people at school.

Any hidden talents?
CG: I’m a good rambler and a bouncy ceilidh dancer.

Clemens Gresser will be working at the Pendlebury Library of Music and in the Music Department of Cambridge University Library until the end of November 2013.

About cg474

Since August 2010 I have been working as a librarian at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK). Since October 2015 I am the librarian at the Faculty of Divinity Library. Between August 2010 and November 2013 I was the Deputy Head of Music at Cambridge University Library and at the Pendlebury Library of Music. Between December 2013 and September 2015 I was the Librarian at the Marshall Library of Economics. Since October 2015 I have been the Librarian at the Divinity Library.
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1 Response to Meet… Clemens Gresser

  1. Pingback: Goodbyeeee! | MusiCB3 Blog

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