Flexibility a must at small company

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Pat Kolis has been with Pittsfield, Mass.-based Laurin Publishing for almost 24 years. During that time, she's been everything from a receptionist and typesetter to her current position as production manager.

MB: Do you ever miss the old way of putting magazines together?

Kolis: Sometimes I wish we had film in our hands. You had four pieces of film, and everything you needed was right there.

MB: You don't receive any film?

Kolis: Not anymore. Ads are mostly digital now. Stuff comes in on disks and e-mail. We always send out proofs, and that's a lot when you're sending out a proof for someone who is buying a sixth of a page each month. We've looked into digital proofing. That's something that our printer does offer. We've thought about it and I've seen it onscreen, but it almost scares me. It'll happen as soon as we can get ourselves into that mind-set.

MB: Do you have downtime to do such things?

Kolis: No. It used to be there would be a brief time between issues. I work on four: Biophotonics International, Photonics Spectra, EuroPhotonics and Photonics Resource Showcase. Now, there is a print newsletter that gets scheduled in and an online newsletter. Since we're not a really big company, I'll do anything when I'm not doing production work. I'll send out surveys for our e-mail job survey. I do those little things in between what I'm doing for production. You have to do that kind of thing in a small company. There's no such thing as a job description.

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