Name With The Face: Chris Horn, Training & Information Specialist, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts

Article ImageName With The Face: Chris Horn
Job Title: Training & Information Specialist
Organization: Cambridge Scientific Abstracts

Job Function: CSA publishes abstracts and indexes to scientific and technical research literature. Chris Horn, training & information specialist, is part of a team of four people in the U.S. and three in Europe who train customers, including many academic institutions, on CSA Illumina, the interface for CSA's 80 databases, and RefWorks, a Web-based bibliographic management service. "At each client, I run sessions for between a half dozen to as many as 40 people at once," Horn says. "When students attend, I'm always amazed how quickly they pick things up. One of the most satisfying aspects of the job is working for librarians: they're smart, they're organized, and a little subversive, which is cool."

Training is a very important component of the overall CSA product offering, according to Horn. "I think that one of the reasons that CSA put so much energy into training is to distinguish ourselves from the competition," he says. "In order to be a trainer at CSA, you have to hold a Masters in Library Science—it goes a long way to establish credibility within our clients."

In A Day's Work: "I'm on the road anywhere from two to five days each week," Horn says. "I try to leave on a Monday or a Tuesday by taking a train or flying to a city and then hitting as many clients as possible." Much like an actor, he's developed a strategy for keeping sharp. "I try to make each training session fresh by showing different databases and using different example searches." Horn also acts as the eyes and ears of the organization by writing summaries of each training session. "Much of this unfiltered feedback about what clients need also becomes information for new product development," he says.

Oddest Client Encounter: "I always ask my librarian clients about their outside interests. One elderly librarian told me about her erotic literature collection!"

View From The Desk: "I have to be prepared to work anywhere. But when I'm in the office, I'm in a cube."

Outside Interest: "I used to be a photojournalist, so I always have a camera with me. I take a photo from the window of each hotel room I stay in."

If Not Econtent, Then What?: "My wife is from South America, so our plan is to move there at some point when we retire. I want to teach photojournalism skills to disadvantaged youth."