A new part of my job is to run my office’s ISDN booth for radio interviews during the afternoon. I set the booth up for the interview, establish the connection with the radio program, help the person being interviewed get settled, then listen in another room in case there are any problems that might require my attention.
I think I average about one session a week. Some weeks, there are several interviews; others, there are none.
In the few years since we’ve had the booth, more than 100 members of the Harvard community have been in our studio. We’ve worked with many different radio programs, including those affiliated with the BBC and National Public Radio.
Here are some things I especially like about running the interviews:
- Recently, a producer called me after a taping to thank me for coordinating a late afternoon interview on short notice. Many times, they say thanks during the course of the interview, but that usually is after the recording or live broadcast is finished, so it doesn’t make it on the air.
- Sometimes the radio program mentions the interview is coming from Harvard on the air, like in this National Public Radio interview with Samantha Power that aired on Saturday, August 7.
- The coworker who runs the booth in the morning was named on the air for his work with an interview a few months ago.
- I can learn a little bit more about a host’s personality while listening to him get an interviewee settled and ready for discussion.
- Like everything else in news, I get to learn all sorts of neat things in the process of running an interview.
- It seems like a really quirky skill for a librarian to have.