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Why Technology Planning (Johnson & Sauers)
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Why Technology Planning (Johnson & Sauers)


Technology Planning is good for your library! This session will take you through the ins and outs of technology planning for your library in this world of ever-changing tech. Topics will include the …

Technology Planning is good for your library! This session will take you through the ins and outs of technology planning for your library in this world of ever-changing tech. Topics will include the whys of technology planning and how it aligns with your library’s mission and priorities, and the how—from formulating your library’s technology goals to technologies you should be planning for now.

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  • By its very nature, planning is optimistic—it assumes a future and it usually assumes growth. That makes it such a satisfying and reassuring activity.
  • Parts Inspiration 10 Aspiration 5 Imagination 15 Perspiration 35 Information 35
  • A planA demonstrationA lens with which to focusA prioritizing agentA budgeting toolAn aligner with other institutional goalsA training scheduleA fund-raising tool
  • ConciseSpecificIntegratedForeseeableFlexible
  • Tech for tech’s sakeDoesn’t connect the tech to the mission of the libraryDoesn’t explain why the tech is neededPoorly organizedTechno-babbleLeaves stuff out
  • Alignment: Is your plan to use technology in alignment with the programs and mission of your organization?Does the plan align with the programs and mission of the funders with whom you wish to develop or deepen your relationship?Business Case: The business case for most technology projects can be computed by a relatively straightforward equation. The net benefits of the technology initiatives must outweigh the total costs.Framework for Accountability: Your plan should provide a high-level timeline for achieving goals and putting technology systems in place in a strategic and coordinated way. This timeline is a natural framework for ensuring accountability and providing funders with concrete milestones. During each phase of the planning, development and implementation, organizations and funders can make decisions about whether tasks were accomplished and initiatives continue to be viable.Discrete Initiatives: Often it will be in your best interest to develop your technology plan as a series of discrete initiatives. If you are pursuing a multi-funder strategy, this will allow funders the opportunity to decide which specific areas of the plan they would like to fund.Appropriate Costs: Demonstrate reasonable efforts to optimize the costs of your projects. Consider ongoing costs such as staff time, maintenance, and support.Proactive Approach: Articulate how your plan is proactive in its approach to technology instead of just simply trying to patch a set of existing problems in a "break-and-fix" mode of IT spending.Highlight Innovation: Many funders may be drawn to projects that use technology in new and innovative ways to service programs and mission. Funders may view such innovation projects as an opportunity to experiment with ideas that may prove to be valuable for other grantees in their portfolio. Although innovation can also provide an opportunity to raise the profile of your organization in the eyes of prospective funders, keep in mind that funders who are most interested in innovation may differentiate between "leading edge" and "bleeding edge" technology projects.Viability and Sustainability: You will need to ensure that the set of objectives outlined in your technology plan are reasonable both in their scope and timeframe. Additionally, your technology plan and its initiatives must be able to endure over time and enhance the health and long-term stability of your organization.
  • BoardDirectorDepartment headsStaffPublic?
  • Direct:Current strategic and/or long-range planLibrary mission and/or vision statementCurrent and/or previous technology plansIndirect:All of the above for parent institutionLibrary journals, magazines, and blogs
  • A 1-2 page narrative summary of the plan
  • (Cravath Memorial Library,Hay Springs)IntroductionPurpose of the planLibrary historyPhysical descriptionMission statementCommunity servedStaffingBudgetCollection size & annual growthServices offeredUse of the libraryCurrent technologyVisuals never hurt
  • SWOT AnalysisStrengthsWeaknessesOpportunitiesThreats
  • HardwarePatron computers, Staff computers, networking equipment, peripheralsSoftwareOSes, Patrons, Staff
  • Audio/VideoWireless (802.11n / WiMax)MobileRFIDSocial MediaPhoto printing?
  • Think about “competencies”What do you think you staff needs to know to move your library into the future.
  • Technology Skills Library Staff Should Have terms glossaryHardwareParts of your desktop computerParts of a laptop computerUsing printersUsing photocopiersUsing telephonesUsing fax machinesUsing self-checksUsing projectorsUsing digital still camerasUsing digital video camerasUsing digital microphonesUsing sorting systemsSoftwareOperating systemEffective management of files and folders systemsWord Processing softwareSpreadsheet softwarePresentation softwareMultimedia players and plug-insWeb browsersE-mail and calendar software (Outlook or whatever)ILS (back-end staff-side stuff)Computer and/or room reservation softwareOnline reference softwarePhoto editing softwareVideo editing softwareAudio editing softwareSecurity and PrivacyPolicies regarding security on public computersPolicies regarding security on staff computersPolicies regarding user data collection and privacyPublic ComputingFamiliarity with softwareFamiliarity with hardwareFamiliarity with wired and wireless networksFamiliarity with computer and network use policiesErgonomicsProper ergonomic computer set-upHow to avoid repetitive stress injuriesHow to avoid eye strain with computersLibrary web presenceURLs for library’s website and catalogUsing the library’s websiteUsing the library’s web catalogBest practices for searching the catalog and websiteFamiliarity with library’s or library vendors’ mobile apps or sitesFamiliarity with eBooks collectionsFamiliarity with databasesFamiliarity with virtual reference and tutoring servicesFamiliarity with accessibility requirements and proceduresWriting for the web best practicesHow to post content (text, links, images) to the library’s websiteHow to post content to the library’s intranetBest practices for social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)How to post photos to FlickrHow to post video or audio files (to whatever sites you’re using)TroubleshootingAssisting in-house users effectively on our equipment or theirsAssisting remote users effectively on their equipmentPersonal SkillsContinuous learningChange managementPlanning and evaluating new information technology systemsAbility to quickly learn and adapt to new web servicesOne-on-one training best practices
  • Follows current design practices?Platform?Static, CMSAccessible?Social?Mobile?


  • 1. Technology Planning:the why andthe how
    Laura Johnson & Michael SauersNebraska Library Commission
    Technology Planning Summer Camp22-23 August 2011
  • 2. Planning
  • 4. Plan
    A scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc., developed in advance
    A specific project or definite purpose
    A proposed, usually tentative idea for doing something
    An outline, sketch, etc
    A schematic drawing
  • 5. Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood....
  • 6. Planning
  • 7. Why Plan?
  • 8. To reach a port, we must sail--sail, not tie at anchor--sail, not drift.
  • 9. Golfers walk the course before a tournament
    London Taxi drivers have to pass a test on city geography
    Conductors follow the score
    Entrepreneurs follow a business plan
    Boy scouts and the Coast Guard are prepared
  • 10. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them. 
  • 11. Planning in a Nutshell
    Look around
    What are the needs?
    Which of them could you address uniquely well?
    How will you accomplish this?
  • 12. 1. Look Around
    • At the community
    • 13. At the library
    • 14. At the general environment
  • You gotta’ know the territory…
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 24. The best laid schemes
    o’ mice an’ men
    Gang aft a-gley.
  • 25. Be
    To Change
  • 26. 2. What are the Needs/Wants?
  • 27. It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
  • 28. Surveys
    Focus Groups
    Keeping your eyes open
  • 29. Surveys
    Focus Groups
    Keeping your eyes open
  • 30. Surveys
    Focus Groups
    Keeping your eyes open
  • 31. 3. Which Needs/Wants Can the Library Address Uniquely Well?
  • 32. Consider:
    Library Mission
    Library Self-image
  • 33. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action.
  • 34. 4. How Will You Do It?
  • 35. Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan. . . upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.
  • 36.
  • 37.
  • 38. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
  • 39. What a Technology Plan is…
  • 40. Your plan should be SMART
    Aggressive & Attainable
  • 41. What makes a good plan?
  • 42. And what doesn’t?
  • 43. What others will look for
  • 44. The players
  • 45. Resources
  • 46. The Structure
    Executive summary
    Library description
    Library challenges
    Current technology environment
    Emerging technologies
    Web site evaluation
  • 47. Executive Summary
  • 48. Library Description
  • 49. Library Challenges
  • 50. CurrentTechnology
  • 51.
  • 52. Emerging Technologies
  • 53. 52
  • 54.
  • 55. Which tech do I plan for?
  • 56. Staff Competencies
  • 57. Web Site Analysis
  • 58. Recommendations
    Description of relevant categories
    Listing of the specific recommendations
    Type (new software, application, hardware)
    Cost (including interdependencies)
    Recommended timeline
    Assessment/results/training needed
  • 59. “In the next [time frame], the library will [action or recommendation], which will result in [associated benefits].”
  • 60. Resources
    Matthews, Joseph R., Technology Planning: Preparing and Updating a Library Technology Plan: Libraries Unlimited, 2005.
    Technology Planning for E-rate: technology-planning/