Technology Plan FY2016 - FY2018

Ada Community Library
Technology Plan FY2016 - FY2018

Introduction: Dreams, Ideas and Information
We are a comfortable place for the community to connect, create and be inspired.

Ada Community Library (ACL) has had a strong historical commitment to technological innovation and the integration of technology into its programs and services. A history of technology implementation is included at the end of this document, along with our Computer Skills Assessment used during the hiring process.

Technology Plan Goals:
Goal 1: To implement equipment replacement and upgrade procedures which are responsive to changing technology and public service needs.
Goal 2: To plan for and implement needed software upgrades and purchases.
Goal 3: To integrate appropriate emerging technologies into library technical services and public services processes.
Goal 4: To maintain the Library's role as an advocate for digital literacy and electronic access.
Goal 5: To address the training and information needs of the ACL staff.
Goal 6: To further develop the library's web-based services in relation to other library public services, and work to increase the usefulness of the library website as an e-branch.
Goal 7: To implement an evaluation process of the technology projects of the library.

Goal 1: To implement equipment replacement and upgrade procedures which are responsive to changing technology and public service needs.
Strategies:

  1. Follow set program for planned replacement of outdated or failing desktop and public access work-stations and servers, including refinement of criteria for deciding when and where to add staff desktop/laptop stations.
  2. Maintain sufficient staffing for the setup, maintenance and repair of existing hardware or have maintenance agreements in place to provide those services.

Goal 2: To plan for and implement needed software upgrades and purchases.
Strategies:

  1. Cooperate with LYNX Consortium in the automation system and effectively manage changing technology and needs.
  2. Follow planned program for upgrades to the LAN software.
  3. Follow planned program for upgrades to the operating system software on the ACL web server.
  4. Follow plan for productivity software upgrades and purchases such as the MS Office suite.
  5. Follow criteria to identify need and procedures for decision-making.

Goal 3: To integrate appropriate technologies into library technical services and public services processes.
Strategies:

  1.  Assess new technologies and evaluate their usefulness in improving access to the library's collections.
  2. Assess community technology needs and provide instruction opportunities as needed through a combination of staff led trainings, online/database resources and circulating materials for self instruction.
  3. Provide sufficient staff for webmaster, ILS (integrated library system) and software support functions.
  4. Maintain an awareness of and evaluate the impact of new electronic formats and technologies on library services and collections.
  5. In order to accurately reflect total library services, refine methodology for measuring the use of electronic services (in-house and remote) and reporting data as part of annual library output.
  6. Evaluate the use of existing and new technologies to increase services and reduce costs such as patron self check and automated renewal systems.

Goal 4: To maintain the Library's role as an advocate for digital literacy and electronic access.
Strategies:

  1. Cooperate with LYNX! Consortium members in accessing new electronic databases at a discount rate.
  2. Continue to provide leadership, training and coordination of community efforts to maximize citizen access to information.
  3. Monitor new developments in technology as they apply to libraries.
  4. Consider training that might be provided by ACL staff to meet the needs of external groups, such as school librarians, community based organizations, legislative groups, and the general public.

Goal 5: To address the training and information needs of ACL staff.
Strategies:

  1. Assess training needs of ACL staff.
  2. Ensure that all public services staff complete ACL Computer Skills Assessment of core competencies.
  3. Provide standardized training materials for all new hires and for continued access by all staff on basic technology skills for employment.
  4. Encourage supervisors to suggest staff training to ensure all staff are skilled in addressing the common technology questions of our public, suggest and schedule additional staff training as necessary.
  5. Seek opportunities and funding for the provision of needed training externally and for staff to coordinate in-house training activities and resources.
  6. Develop staff competencies in Local Area Network (LAN) and staff wiki navigation and conventions, as well as basic database skills including appropriate search methods and analysis of results.
  7. Work with Idaho Commission for Libraries and others to identify and take advantage of appropriate training opportunities.
  8. Explore and take advantage of web-based opportunities for training, troubleshooting and support.

Goal 6: To further develop the library's web-based services in relation to other library public services, and work to increase the usefulness of the library website.
Strategies:

  1. Develop standards and templates and continually review current practices for the webmaster support functions for ACL.
  2. Consider the potential for combining web-based services with other agencies.
  3. Continue to explore publishing newsletters, documents, blogs, and posts or links to information on the web, as an individual organization and collaboratively with others.
  4. Increase interactive web based activities in the public service departments of the library.
  5. Maintain sufficient staff for web development and support functions.

Goal 7: To implement an evaluation process of the technology projects of the library.
Strategies:

  1. Solicit feedback from patrons on a regular basis in the form of surveys, anecdotal information and staff observations that determine a satisfaction level with current technology services and provide a venue for suggestions on preferred services or training.
  2. Collect annual website driven feedback from patrons and staff and process into graphical representations to help determine the impact of the technological directions we choose.

ACL History of Technology Innovation – see below:
Library service goals are seen as driving the need for technology enhancements. Although the basic infrastructure and functional capacity in the library is in a fairly well developed state, some elements are aging and will soon need replacement. Program for planned replacement of hardware and software is in place. Regular staff training has been identified as an ongoing need and multiple ways to provide it are in place and are a process in motion. In order to continue providing the highest quality library service to residents of the community, we need to maintain ACL's technological expertise and leadership. The team continues to work to develop an understanding of future needs and new functions for library automation, and to refine this plan to meet those needs. In order to accomplish all of the goals in this plan, the team recognizes that we may need to shift existing, or seek additional, funding for staff training, equipment replacement, and staff to coordinate many of these efforts.

Technology budget:
An equipment replacement budget for overall library operations went into effect beginning with the FY2005 budget process. Strong efforts have been made to maintain this budget line in following years. It is currently .5% of the total annual budget. Our goal would be at least 1%. We must maintain an annual technology budget that supports the technology needs of the library and includes an equipment line item adequate for regular and timely maintenance and replacement of both hardware and software, and connectivity costs.

Appropriate telecommunications discounts under FCC rulings and e-rate under CIPA compliance have been and will continue to be applied for. The library management team has also been discussing alternative sources of funding for some of the initiatives listed here. Funds may be sought from capital campaigns, library budget increase requests, grants, Federal and state discount programs, Friends of the Library, business donations, matching donation programs or individual donors. Other ways to ensure adequate funding include expanding LYNX consortium opportunities, enhancing efforts to take advantage of statewide contracts for electronic reference products and other technology applications, actively supporting existing LiLI databases and developing staff grant writing skills with key and interested staff.

Evaluation methodology:
Ensure "Computer Skills Assessment," included as Appendix A of this plan, is completed by all public services staff, providing an opportunity for identifying and scheduling any training or skills refreshment. Feedback from patron and staff in the form of surveys, anecdotal information and staff observations will help us determine the impact of the technological directions we choose.

Approved by the Ada Community Library Board of Trustees on June 21, 2016.