Thursday, August 2, 2007

Technology planning in libraries

I'm taking (well, auditing really) a class called Developing a Library Technology Plan, offered by InfoPeople and taught by Lori Bowen Ayers. The class is most meaningful if you have an actual plan to develop, as it points to great resources and clearly outlines a process for developing such a plan. In fact, at the end of the class, you actually have created a technology plan, so therere is a tangible product to reward your efforts. For me, since I am not actually in possession of a library at the moment, it is more of a purely educational effort, and serves to remind me that technology planning (indeed all institutional planning and budgeting) follows the same basic business principles, no matter the venue.

Some of the wonderful resources that Lori has shown us include TechAtlas, a free tool that leads you through the 5 steps to creating a library technology plan: envision, assess, inventory, budget and evaluate. It provides a tool to automatically inventory your entire network, surveys you can use to assess the technology skills of your staff, assessments of your network security, patron technology training, public access computers and much more.

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