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Teams are the work structure upon which the library’s plans are based, and teams have become the means by which the staff has been made to feel more comfortable with change and the advent of technology in library services–two things that the Camden County Library system continues to experience. This acclimation to change has resulted from the combined experiences of team members working through new process and procedures. As they are confronted with change and with the prospects of innovation, team members each have responded differently; but ultimately the whole team becomes accustomed to the nature of the change at hand and reacts not only as individuals but also as a team.

A number of people have said they follow the news on the Internet because it is more comprehensive and up to date.

Clockwise from lower left) Lori Schwabenbauer, Supervisor, Auromation Services; Linda Babli, Assistant Supervisor, Automation Services; Lois Wainfan, Public Information Officer; Claudia Sumler, Director.

Training has been a high priority and has been another key to acceptance of information technology. The library takes advantage of training provided by ALA, NJLA, PLA, and PALINET, but, in addition, provides workshops in-house to all staff. In 1995 and 1996, workshops have been offered on the Internet–an introduction, an orientation to the library (including its history, policies, and customer service orientation), technostress, and conflict resolution. Sumler expects that the library’s investment in training will pay off in enhanced customer service and in new efforts, by a well-prepared staff, to teach the public about electronic information.

A man was using the system to improve his computer/Internet skills in order to get a job.

The library has an Automation Services Departmentof four: a supervisor, an assistant supervisor, and two part-time computer operators. The staff supports the main library and three branches, coordinates technical training for staff and the public, and provides technical support and training to CamNet members. Department supervisor Lori Schwabenbauer finds that balancing the response to in-house and CamNet service calls is a challenge, and that in-house calls sometimes take a back seat. She would like to get one person dedicated solely to CamNet, perhaps an intern or part-time graduate student. Although the library has a staff that understands libraries and the library software intimately, Sumler would like to be able to hire a staff person with a computer background, not necessarily a librarian, to fill the need for someone who understands the hardware inside out. Hiring technical people is difficult, she notes, because of the difference in pay scales for technical employees and librarians.

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