Technology Planningfor E-Rate Michael Sauers & Christa Burns
Who are we? Michael SauersTechnology Innovation LibrarianAuthor, Blogger, Photographer Christa BurnsSpecial Projects LibrarianGamer, Gardener, Cat & Ferret minion
Who are you? Name Position Library Service area / # of patrons served When was the last time your library had a technology plan?
What a Technology Plan is… A plan A demonstration A lens with which to focus A prioritizing agent A budgeting tool An aligner with other institutional goals A training schedule A fund-raising tool
What it is not… A list of technology that the library wants and on what time frame it wants it.
You plan should be SMART Specific Measureable Aggressive & Attainable Results-oriented Time-bound
Why? Give the library direction Show the library is forward-thinking Help minimize technology-related crises Use staff time efficiently Avoid wasting money on equipment Help you think through your priorities in order to use technology in a way that directly furthers your mission It’s required for E-rate requests for more than Basic Telephone Service
What makes a good plan? Concise Specific Integrated Foreseeable Flexible
And what doesn’t? Tech for tech’s sake Doesn’t connect the tech to the mission of the library Doesn’t explain why the tech is needed Poorly organized Techno-babble Leaves stuff out
What others will look for Alignment Business Case Framework for Accountability Discrete Initiatives Appropriate Costs Proactive Approach Highlight Innovation Viability and Sustainability
The players Board Director Department heads Staff Public?
The Resources Direct: Current strategic and/or long-range plan Library mission and/or vision statement Current and/or previous technology plans Indirect: All of the above for parent institution Library journals, magazines, and blogs
The Structure Executive summary Library description Library challenges Current technology environment Emerging technologies Web site evaluation Recommendations
Executive Summary 1-2 page narrative summary of the plan
Library Description Introduction Purpose of the plan Library history Physical description Mission statement Community served Staffing Budget Collection size & annual growth Services offered Use of the library Current technology Visuals never hurt
How to pick new tech Think about “competencies”What do you think you staff needs to know to move your library into the future.
Emerging Technologies Audio/Video Wireless (802.11n / WiMax) Mobile RFID Social Media Photo printing
Web Site Analisys Follows current design practices? Platform? Static, CMS Accessible? Social? Mobile?
Recommendations Priorities Description of relevant categories Listing of the specific recommendations Type (new software, application, hardware) Cost (including interdependencies) Benefits Recommended timeline Assessment/results/training needed
Suggested phrasing “In the next [time frame], the library will [action or recommendation], which will result in [associated benefits].”
24 Technology Plans and E-rate Federal Communications Commission rules require libraries to write technology plans when they are receiving support for more than basic telephone service Basic telephone service is defined as wireline or wireless single-line voice service (e.g., local, cellular, and/or long distance) as well as mandatory fees associated with such service (e.g., federal and state taxes, universal service fees, etc.)
25 Technology Plan Needed? NO Local/long distance service (landline or cellular) 800 service Centrex YES Digital Transmission Services DSL, fiber optic, OC-x, frame relay, etc. PBXs Key system lines Internet Access Internal Connections Basic Maintenance
26 Purpose of the Technology Plan Technology plans ensure that libraries are prepared to effectively use the requested services to integrate telecommunications and Internet access into the educational program or library services they provide. Technology plans should support and validate the services requested on the Form 471.
27 Timing Technology plans must be written before the Form 470 is filed Applicants need to determine the services they require before filing their Form 470 Technology plans must be approved before services start or Form 486 is filed (whichever is earlier) Generally, this means on or before July 1 of the new funding year
28 Important Terminology Written (same as created): When the technology plan first contains the five required elements in sufficient detail to support the services requested on the associated Form 470, USAC considers the technology plan to be written. The date this occurs is the Creation Date. The creation date must be prior to the date the associated Form 470 is posted to the USAC website.
29 Important Terminology Approved Date: The date when the technology plan is approved by an USAC Certified Technology Plan Approver. The approval date should appear on the approval letter. SD Public libraries go to Dept. of Ed – Peg Henson - Peg.Henson@state.sd.us USAC does not approve technology plans – DO NOT submit your technology plan to USAC unless requested during review.
E-rate Forms Indicate current status of your technology plan Block 5 of Form 470 Block 6 of Form 471 Certify that the plan approval has been obtained Block 4 of Form 486
31 Technology Plan Duration Technology plans should not cover more than three years due to the rapid development cycle of new technologies Technology plans must cover the entire funding year for which a service is being sought funding years run July 1 – June 30. Libraries need to keep copies of the technology plan and the approval letter for at least five years following their last date of service for audit purposes.
32 Five Required Elements Clear Goals and a Realistic Strategy Professional Development Needs Assessment Sufficient Budget Evaluation Process
33 Clear Goals/Realistic Strategy The technology plan must establish clear goals and a realistic strategy for using telecommunications and information technology to improve education or library services.
34 Clear Goals/Realistic Strategy Specific goals for using technology should identify: Improvement that should occur from the use of technology by library patrons Achievements and/or successes that can be attained using technology Increased staff and library patron competency with using technology Additional Internet and/or telecommunication options for classrooms or public areas of a library Accessibility to technology
35 Clear Goals/Realistic Strategy Realistic strategies should identify: How the library will develop and integrate the technology (e.g., how many computers will have Internet access) Standards required for implementation of the technology Technology needed for the future to maintain or enhance the current instructional or library environment
36 Professional Development The technology plan must have a professional development strategy to ensure that staff know how to use these new technologies to improve library services.
37 Professional Development Describe and list the professional development activities required of staff to train properly on the technology in the library Training is more than just how to turn on the computer Identify person or group in charge of planning and coordinating staff training Verify current levels of training
38 Details of training Methods of training to be used (classroom, seminars, Train-the-Trainer, etc.) How training supports the library usage goals Documentation of training (sign-in sheets, computer lab logs, lists of in-service activities, etc.) Professional Development
39 The technology plan must include an assessment of the telecommunication services, hardware, software, and/or other services that will be needed to improve library services. Needs Assessment
40 Needs Assessment Provide a status of the existing technology, such as:
Building Infrastructure (e.g., electrical capacity, cooling system)
42 Needs Assessment Describe maintenance needed for new and existing equipment How often will the technology be serviced? (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) What are the characteristics and capabilities of the equipment? (e.g., age, model, year, memory, etc.)
43 The technolgyplan must show how the library will: Pay the non-discount share of the cost Acquire and support the necessary resources (computers, training, electricity, software, etc.) needed to make effective use of the discounted services. Sufficient Budget
44 Sufficient Budget Include specifics about budgeted items and the sources of funding. For example: Salaries Telephones (E-rate funding) Desktop software (state funds) Budgets can be projections Budgets should be based on reasonable expectations of receiving funding and incurring expenses
45 The technology plan must include an evaluation process that enables the library to monitor progress toward specified goals and make mid-course corrections in response to new developments and opportunities as they arise. Evaluation Process
46 Evaluation Process Evaluation process should describe: How frequently the technology plan will be evaluated The person(s) responsible for updating the plan How progress toward the goals and objectives will be measured or monitored If and how goals were met Any unexpected outcomes Any new needs that emerged Any goals that are no longer relevant
47 Plans for Other Programs Other federal, state, or local programs may have technology plan requirements USAC does not require a technology plan in addition to other technology plans However, if there is only one technology plan covering all programs, the information required under E-rate must be included in that technology plan HINT: Include a cover sheet giving the page number(s) where each E-rate requirement is addressed
48 Revising Plans Through the evaluation process, the technology plan writer may discover that the technology plan needs revisions or mid-course corrections. For example, if there are major changes, such as: Budget Increase/shortfall New technology introduced New construction Mergers and closures
49 Revising Plans Major Changes If the changes are significant (e.g., building a local area network or starting a new initiative like distance learning), the technology plan should be re-approved TPA can re-approve revised technology plan for balance of the original time period approved A new technology plan incorporating the changes can be written to cover another three years
50 Revising Plans Minor Changes If the changes are minor (e.g., a change in technology that USAC could approve under a service substitution request), the technology plan may not need to be amended TPA can request copies of any changes USAC does not expect a new approval letter Retain documentation of any changes
51 Pitfalls Technology plan does not contain all five required elements Technology plan is undated Time period the technology plan covers is not specified Library used an approver who is not a TPA Technology plan was approved after services started (if necessary, USAC will adjust the service start date to the date the technology plan was approved) Technology plan does not support services being requested or technology currently in use Technology plan is not realistic based on TPA’s expertise
E-Rate & filtering Compliance with CIPA required for: Internet access Internal connections But not telecommunications (telephone) CIPA requires Filtering Internet Safety Plan Public notice and public hearing or meeting E-rate information on CIPA: http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step10/ cipa.aspx