2013.02 President's Letter

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 THE ROLE OF THE ARCHITECTURAL RESOURCE LIBRARIAN AND THE ARCHITECTURAL REPRESENTATIVE

 The responsibility of the Architectural Resource Librarian is to administer the firm’s resource library and perform related library services.  I recently went on-line and looked up “Job descriptions for an Architectural Resource Librarians”. One of the first web sites to pop up was Career Planner. According to Career Planner the librarian’s background should include:

  1. Customer and Personal Service – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services.
  2. English Language – Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  3. Administration and Management – Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. 

  4. Education and Training – Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  5. Computers and Electronics – Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  6. Clerical – Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, excel, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  7. Personnel and Human Resources – Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  8. Communications and Media – Knowledge of media production, communication, dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Some of their resources include Building Directories, Green Sites, Associations, Books, Codes & References, Professional Organizations, BIM Sites and the Architectural Representative.
“The Architectural (Manufacturer’s) Representative brings in cool things” according to Nicole Smith, in her role as an Interior Designer and Resource Librarian at Wright & Company, Chicago. She spends a few hours a week meeting with reps and developing the education side, by scheduling them to come in over the lunch hour or for a project meeting to help the firm get familiar with new products. Her role is also to help the firm’s project team. For example, she consults with the group to gather information about the project.
Kelly Potenza, Resource Librarian, Gensler, New York office is one of the most efficient resource persons I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Gensler is a leading global design, planning and strategic consulting firm.
The Librarian’s tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and advisory services. They may perform in-depth, strategic research, budgeting, and synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information. The librarian may set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.
Architectural products sales representatives sell products such as windows, glass, resins, doors, movable walls, paints, brick and stones. Their main goals are to strategically generate sales leads and increase product sales for their company.
This job involves frequent travel, meeting with clients and attending trade shows, such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). These shows offer presentations and seminars on existing products and promote new products. Architectural products sales reps should have excellent customer service skills in order to build and maintain long-term relationships with clients. They must follow up with clients and serve as technical consultants as needed to ensure customer satisfaction. It is also important that architectural products sales reps know their clients' services to make appropriate product recommendations. For this reason, they often maintain a database of their customers and prospects. They may use the information in their databases as a guide to seek out new clientele. Experienced architectural products sales reps may train new employees on their company's products and teach continuing education classes.
Although some employers do not have any specific education requirements, many require or prefer job applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree in any subject. Earning a 4-year degree can make a person more competitive when seeking employment. Many employers also prefer job candidates who have experience in the architectural or construction industries since it is important that they know how to read plans and specifications. In fact, some require a bachelor's degree specifically in architecture. Previous sales experience is also a common requirement.
Architectural product sales reps need strong communication skills and maintain close communication with other members of their sales team and clients. They should also have good presentation skills and a professional demeanor. Other skills that are helpful for the job include the ability to work independently and as part of a team, a strong drive to succeed and basic computer skills.

Jeffrey Matles
President

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