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AMERITECH LAYS OFF 140 EMPLOYEES

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More than 100 local employees of Ameritech Library Services learned Thursday morning that elimination of their jobs is part of the company's realignment of resources.

Another 40 employees of Ameritech's Illinois and international offices also were laid off Thursday. Crystal Ashton, a spokes-woman for Ameritech Library Services, said the cutback leaves about 430 employees working at the company's Riverwoods and downtown Provo offices."In order to be more competitive in the marketplace, we have to do some realigning," Ashton said. "It's going to be a lot better all around for the company and our customers."

The company plans to use resources of the corporate offices in Illinois and alliances with other companies to eliminate duplication. Project teams composed of library professionals, software engineers and quality assurance experts have been created to deliver the company's services more efficiently.

"We will concentrate and expand on what we do best - delivering software solutions that meet the automation and networking requirements of the library community worldwide," said Roger Sloan, Ameritech Library Service's acting chief operating officer.

Ameritech Library Services provides library management and information-access software and services to more than 4,200 libraries in 34 countries. The company was founded in Provo as Dynix but was sold a few years ago to Ameritech Corp.

Most of the cuts were in management positions. Only a handful of those notified Thursday will be allowed to remain with the company until projects they're working on are complete. All others were asked to clean out their desks Thursday.

"We didn't escort them out or anything like that. We have quite a bit of trust in our employees," Ashton said.

This is the first time that Dynix or Ameritech Library Services has downsized. Ashton said it should be the last.

"We don't have any immediate plans for any other cutbacks," she said.