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Library Planning: Technology Planning


A technology plan outlines a library’s goals and strategies for utilizing technology to achieve its overall mission, goals, and objectives. It also addresses the library’s current inventory of technology equipment and software utilized in the library, as well as a plan for the future purchase/replacement/maintenance of equipment and software.

While it is good practice for libraries to have technology plans, not all libraries are required to do so. However, the  Standards for Public Libraries does require a 3-5 year technology plan at the Future-Focused level (F13).

Library Technology Planning

The following sections are adapted from the “Library Technology Planning for Today and Tomorrow” webinar by Diana Silveira (available online via WebJunction).

Aspects of a Technology Plan

  • Technology assessment (evaluate what you have, evaluate current usage, and identify critical issues)
  • Community input and the definitions of options
  • Goals and outcomes (goals should be S.M.A.R.T.)
  • Planning/ timeline
  • Budgeting
  • Criteria for evaluation
  • Planning for the future

What should be Included?

  • Internet access (bandwidth)
  • Routers, firewalls, etc.
  • Hardware (staff and public)
  • Software (staff and public)

Connect Your Plan to Your Community

  • Who are your users?
  • How is your community changing? (age, demographics, etc.)

Determine Staff Needs

  • How do staff needs vary from users?
  • What software is needed or wanted?
  • How do you plan to gather and understand staff needs?

Evaluating Technology

  • Usability
  • Performance
  • Price
  • Quality of technology
  • Warranty
  • Support
  • Quality of the product

Continually Evaluate

  • User feedback
  • Usage Statistics
  • Anecdotal evidence
  • Training numbers
  • Are there issues? (Are there issues with training, maintenance, charging, audience, location, marketing, etc.?)

Plan for the Future

  • Use the technology assessment as a living document
  • Note recommendations for the next review/ plan

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Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.