CLR Case Studies–Carnegie Library



The library’s ability to adopt new technologies is due in large part to staff attitudes toward change, according to several supervisors. Younger staff are hired into the library ready to work with the technology, while several long-term staff members are learning to use computerized resources. “The Internet is a fantastic resource. Any librarian interested in books and information can’t help but like it,” is how one long-term staff member described it. “You use the same kind of research techniques and traditional detective work as before, but it’s much faster.” Staff agreed that there is a valuable and vital place for librarians in this expanded information environment. “We can help patrons select better resources; we can provide the kind of assistance that many people need,” noted one librarian. “Just as we select the books that patrons need, we can help them select resources on the Internet.”

As the library has assumed greater responsibility for the regional network and for programs built through community partnerships, its staffing structure has evolved. The library maintains an office of three people for development and planning, including one librarian. Development functions include not only writing grant proposals but also keeping funding agencies informed in a variety of ways, from grant reports to social events. In this library, the placement of planning and evaluation functions with fund raising is highly strategic. The library’s office of networked and automated services also was planned carefully, with staffing structures, functions, and even salaries developed by the consulting firm that wrote technical specifications for the EIN. The funding raised for the EIN then covered the cost of the staff to support it.