Not only has Marian Bauman of Neptune weathered the changes in her job, she's actually implemented a few them herself.
"There's a big difference in the way people use libraries. From videos, to books on tape so busy people can listen to them in their cars, things have really progressed," explained the township's new top librarian.
Bauman gladly accepted the position of Neptune Library Director January 1. She's only the second person to hold the position in the township library's 34-year history.
The Neptune Library Board of Trustees knew who to look to when selecting the best person to fill the post.
Bauman has been with the township bibliotheque since 1980. She first headed the Children's section, then moved to Reference. An eye for technology landed Bauman with a management job in Systems Administration and eventually lead her to the position of assistant Director.
"I started before the computers were really around and big. Now we have 14 available for public use," said the Maryrove College graduate.
Bauman also completed advanced studies at Rutgers University School of Library and Information Studies.
"Our whole selection of books is on the computer and online," she continued, when asked if the library still used the card catalog system.
"Users get their own PIN number to access book titles and make reservations right from their homes."
To say computers and modern retailing has changed the focus of today's libraries is an understatement.
As Systems Administrator, Bauman saw the future and grasped it with both hands.
"Yes, people still get library cards, but we went forward with the new cards that are like the supermarkets -- the small, keychain cards with the barcode -- people just love them because they don't have to fumble around," Bauman asserted.
"Our computers continue to be the most popular attraction. In 2004 we had more than 20,000 individual users, which is a 98 percent increase since 2000. We've also counted 38,000 hits on our website."
"People come in to work on the computers and make their resumes, apply for jobs and check their email," she added.
Bauman said that the library will continue to keep with the times. Techniques such as placing new arrivals near the front of the library and pursuing the purchase of "mixed" media are on the agenda.
"Like Barnes & Noble, we've got to compete -- we're trying to merchandise and make things user-friendly," she explained.
As Director, Bauman will oversee a staff of 18 employees. In addition, she will compile the library's budget and pursue state grants and other fund-raising.
Bauman has lived in the township for 25 years and currently resides in "a big ol' farmhouse" near the Hamilton Gardens section of town. Some of her free time is spent renovating the family abode.
"It's part of the Stout farm," she explained of the structure, "The original chicken coup is still standing. We turned it into a game room, kind of a hang-out for the kids."
Bauman and her husband, Tim, have three children.
A reception marking the reorganization of the library is planned for Friday, January 21, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Neptune Township meeting room adjoining the library.
A professional librarian is on staff at the Neptune Library during each hour of its operation: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For more information about the library and its various children's and adult programs, please telephone(732) 775-8241 or visit www.neptunepubliclibrary.org.