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Technology planning for libraries



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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. • 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: • WebJunction – Technology Planning: • NLC Technology Planning Worksheet: .html • Links:
  25. 25. Thanks! • Michael Sauers Technology Innovation Librarian • Christa Burns Special Projects Librarian

Editor's Notes

  • 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.
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