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Technology planning for libraries

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Presented at Internet Librarian 2010 in Monterey, CA on 23 October 2010.

Presented at Internet Librarian 2010 in Monterey, CA on 23 October 2010.

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  • Must include why’s and how's!!!
  • 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.

Transcript

  • 1. Technology Planningfor Libraries
    Michael Sauers & Christa Burns
  • 2. Who are we?
    Michael SauersTechnology Innovation LibrarianAuthor, Blogger, Photographer
    Christa BurnsSpecial Projects LibrarianGamer, Gardener, Cat & Ferret minion
  • 3. Who are you?
    Name
    Position
    Library
    Service area / # of patrons served
    When was the last time your library had a technology plan?
  • 4. 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
  • 5. What it is not…
    A list of technology that the library wants and on what time frame it wants it.
  • 6. You plan should be SMART
    Specific
    Measureable
    Aggressive & Attainable
    Results-oriented
    Time-bound
  • 7. 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
  • 8. What makes a good plan?
    Concise
    Specific
    Integrated
    Foreseeable
    Flexible
  • 9. 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
  • 10. What others will look for
    Alignment
    Business Case
    Framework for Accountability
    Discrete Initiatives
    Appropriate Costs
    Proactive Approach
    Highlight Innovation
    Viability and Sustainability
  • 11. The players
    Board
    Director
    Department heads
    Staff
    Public?
    Vendors
    Consultant
    State Library
  • 12. 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
    Other libraries’ tech plans
  • 13. The Structure
    Executive summary
    Library description
    Library challenges
    Current technology environment
    Emerging technologies
    Web site evaluation
    Recommendations
  • 14. Executive Summary
    1-2 page narrative summary of the plan
  • 15. 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
  • 16. Library Challenges
    SWOT Analysis
    Strengths
    Weaknesses
    Opportunities
    Threats
  • 17. Current Technology
    Hardware
    Patron computers, Staff computers, networking equipment, peripherals
    Software
    OSes, Patrons, Staff
  • 18. How to pick new tech
    Think about “competencies”What do you think your staff needs to know to move your library into the future?
  • 19. Emerging Technologies
    Audio/Video
    Wireless (802.11n / WiMax)
    Mobile
    RFID
    Social Media
    Photo printing
  • 20. Web Site Analysis
    Follows current design practices?
    Platform?
    Static, CMS
    Accessible?
    Social?
    Mobile?
  • 21. 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
  • 22. Suggested phrasing
    “In the next [time frame], the library will [action or recommendation], which will result in [associated benefits].”
  • 23. http://webjunction.techatlas.org/
    Inventory Tool
    Event Tracker
    Planning Tool
  • 24. More Resources
    Matthews, Joseph R., Technology Planning: Preparing and Updating a Library Technology Plan: Libraries Unlimited, 2005.
    TechSoup for Libraries: http://www.techsoupforlibraries.org/
    WebJunction – Technology Planning:http://www.webjunction.org/techplan
    NLC Technology Planning Worksheet: http://www.nlc.state.ne.us/libdev/erate/worksheet.html
    Links:http://delicious.com/travelinlibrarian/techplan
  • 25. Thanks!
    Michael SauersTechnology Innovation Librarianmsauers@travelinlibrarian.infowww.travelinlibrarian.info
    Christa BurnsSpecial Projects Librarianchrista.burns@gmail.comchristajoy.blogspot.com