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Technology planning for libraries

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

Published in: Technology, Business
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Technology planning for libraries

  1. 1. Michael Sauers & Christa Burns Technology Planning for Libraries
  2. 2. Who are we? • Michael Sauers Technology Innovation Librarian Author, Blogger, Photographer • Christa Burns Special Projects Librarian Gamer, Gardener, Cat & Ferret minion
  3. 3. Who are you? • Name • Position • Library • Service area / # of patrons served • When was the last time your library had a technology plan?
  4. 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. 5. What it is not… • A list of technology that the library wants and on what time frame it wants it.
  6. 6. You plan should be SMART • Specific • Measureable • Aggressive & Attainable • Results-oriented • Time-bound
  7. 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. 8. What makes a good plan? • Concise • Specific • Integrated • Foreseeable • Flexible
  9. 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. 10. What others will look for • Alignment • Business Case • Framework for Accountability • Discrete Initiatives • Appropriate Costs • Proactive Approach • Highlight Innovation • Viability and Sustainability
  11. 11. The players • Board • Director • Department heads • Staff • Public? • Vendors • Consultant • State Library
  12. 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. 13. The Structure • Executive summary • Library description • Library challenges • Current technology environment • Emerging technologies • Web site evaluation • Recommendations
  14. 14. Executive Summary • 1-2 page narrative summary of the plan
  15. 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. 16. Library Challenges • SWOT Analysis –Strengths –Weaknesses –Opportunities –Threats
  17. 17. Current Technology • Hardware –Patron computers, Staff computers, networking equipment, peripherals • Software –OSes, Patrons, Staff
  18. 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. 19. Emerging Technologies • Audio/Video • Wireless (802.11n / WiMax) • Mobile • RFID • Social Media • Photo printing
  20. 20. Web Site Analysis • Follows current design practices? • Platform? – Static, CMS • Accessible? • Social? • Mobile?
  21. 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. 22. Suggested phrasing “In the next [time frame], the library will [action or recommendation], which will result in [associated benefits].”
  23. 23. http://webjunction.techatlas.org/ • Inventory Tool • Event Tracker • Planning Tool
  24. 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. 25. Thanks! • Michael Sauers Technology Innovation Librarian msauers@travelinlibrarian.info www.travelinlibrarian.info • Christa Burns Special Projects Librarian christa.burns@gmail.com christajoy.blogspot.com

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