Web 2.0 - Hands On Workshop > Stephanie Zimmerman

Stephanie Zimmerman

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headshot.jpgYou may be asking yourself, who is Stephanie Zimmerman?  I have been the Training Coordinator for the Library System of Lancaster County since January of 2004.  I am responsible for training all staff and volunteers on the Integrated Library System software, Millennium, as well as Microsoft Office Applications and emerging technologies. 

How did I get here?  I graduated from Millersville University with a BA in Social work (minor in Spanish) in 1991.  I worked as an SSI Claims Representative for the Social Security Administration until the end of 1998.  It was here that I found a love for all things software.  When I started my job with SSA, we used terminal computers connected to a Main Frame - you know, the black screens with the green letters.  We had two PCs in the whole office with Windows 3.something or other.  About a year after I started, we moved to a LAN/WAN environment and everyone was shocked by the huge change.  As the youngster fresh out of college, I had a knack of picking up software rather quickly and became the go-to person when people had questions or needed help.  When the paper forms became incorporated into a software program, I was sent away to be trained and bring that training back to the staff in my office.  Well, that did it.  After that first time teaching software to my coworkers, I knew that's what I wanted to do as a career.

So, I enrolled in the Computer Information Systems Associate Degree program at Harrisburg Area Community College while still at SSA.  I always say I went to school backwards; got the BA, then went for an Associates.  I decided at the end of 1998 to take a grass-roots Social Work job just to be sure I didn't fit in that field while at HACC.  I worked about a year for a wonderful agency, Tabor Community Services, as an In-Home Intensive Program Counselor helping the homeless to learn how to get a job, establish a residence, and learn to use a budget.  I realized I was not cut out to be a Social Worker during that year. 

At the end of 1999, I was still at HACC, and was hired by Lancaster County Domestic Relations as their Assistant Systems Administrator.  My job was to create training manuals and train all of the new staff when they started and all staff on any changes to the software used.  I really enjoyed the work, but felt it was time to leave government work by the end of that year.  I also got married in October of 1999.

Thanks to monster.com, I got a job with Spectra Marketing in January of 2000.  Here I trained retailers and manufacturers across the country in the consumer packaged goods industry to use geodemographic marketing software.  I truly enjoyed this job and got to see so much of the country.   But my husband and I bought our first home in April of 2003 and by the end of the year, I didn't want to be flying and away so much. 

In December of 2003, I saw an add for a Training Coordinator at LSLC.  Sounded interesting, but I was hesitant as I had no background in libraries.  I knew immediately during the interview that I had found a gem of a job.  Here was the joining of all of my skills.  I'm still at social worker at heart, I want to help people.  But private industry just wasn't a fit for me.  I was back in the non-profit world and found a true love for libraries.  Luckily, I was hired in January of 2004.

As soon as I started this job, I began delving into the world of the Social Web.  Here I was, a trainer with no library background, being told to create a training program for all of the staff and volunteers of the member libraries and the system employees.  There were no other local trainers to go to for help, I was the sole trainer working within the IT department of the system.  First, I had to learn Millennium inside and out.  I joined the Innovative Users Group and began begging and borrowing all I could through people I met on the listserv.  Then, I found WebJunction through a Google search.  What a gold mine!  I started following people through their blogs, then learned how to subscribe through RSS, and well, the rest is history.  All along the way I have shared whatever I have developed, because so many have and continue to share with me.  That is the beauty of Web2.0 - SHARING!

My husband and I received a most wonderful gift on 1/5/07 with the birth of our daughter, Xia.  We were told we could not have children, so this has been quite the turn of events.  Thank goodness I work for libraries and have access to so much information.  How fortunate that it would happen after we bought the house and I stopped traveling.  That's what I call providence. We are currently expecting our second daughter at the end of March 2009.  Wow, two miracles; what do doctors know?

Web2.0 applications have become my passon and I use them extensively in my work and continuing education.  I have been following how libraries are using this technology since I began here, and it is truly amazing to watch it all unfold.  I'm SO HAPPY that this path I have been traveling has made it's way to this wonderful opportunity.  I hope you will all become as passionate as I am about the POWER of Web2.0.  Enjoy the ride...

Here's all the great ways to find me online:

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