WiLS November 2017 Vendor Partner Interview: Fani D. Koutsovitis, Morningstar, Inc.
At WiLS, we want to bring valuable information to our library partners, including information about the missions and big ideas of the vendors they may already do business with. Each month, WiLS interviews a vendor partner in order to bridge the gap and open the door to valuable collaborations. This month, we are delighted to share insights from Fani D. Koutsovitis, Sales Director – Midwest/West Coast at Morningstar, Inc.
Tell us about your company’s background.
Morningstar was founded in 1984 by Joe Mansueto. He didn’t think it was fair that individual investors didn’t have access to data and information that was available to financial professionals. Morningstar was founded to provide data and research to individual investors so that they could make informed investment decisions.
Why do you, personally, choose to work with libraries?
My love of reading began in the 3rd grade, thanks to our school librarian Mrs. Lee. I switched schools that year, and my new school had a library. Mrs. Lee introduced me to Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. I was hooked. Libraries have been a part of my life since then, whether it was checking out a book, doing research for a paper, or just needing a quiet place to study or read a book. I’ve enjoyed taking my kids to the library for story time and summer reading programs. My appreciation for libraries has grown even further since I moved to this sales role four years ago. Libraries are a jewel in every community. They give access to resources that one may not have access to otherwise. They stay current and continue to be a space for all to learn and grow.
What do you like to know about the libraries you work with? What helps you better understand their needs?
Libraries are a jewel in every community. They give access to resources that one may not have access to otherwise. They stay current and continue to be a space for all to learn and grow.
I like to know about the strategic plan so that I can gain insight into what the goals are for the library. Hearing about patron programming and marketing initiatives for databases is a great way for me to see if Morningstar can help with content for patron programs or provide promotional materials for marketing the database. I also like knowing what programs and marketing have been successful so that I can share this information with other libraries that may be struggling in these areas.
What big ideas are being worked on at your company? What problems are being solved?
Morningstar continues to create innovative products and research to serve the investor. New research and tools are pulled into the Investment Research Center, giving patrons access to research that can educate and help them with their investing decisions.
How can librarians become partners in product or training development?
We welcome client feedback on the database. We want the database to be friendly and intuitive. Feedback can always be sent to .
We want library staff to be knowledgeable about the database so that they can easily help their patrons. We offer twice monthly web training that is open to both staff and patrons. We’re also happy to schedule a web training specifically for your staff and/or patrons.
This interview is part of a series of interviews with both WiLS library and vendor partners. Your feedback is appreciated. If you have any to offer on this article or suggestions for upcoming interviews, contact Andrea Coffin at .