These are the basic steps of a library Technology Plan. Having a Technology Plan helps with planning, meeting community needs, and general technology upkeep. This is meant to be used as a roadmap rather than a strict set of instructions – if it works better for you to do a step out of order or to change things around, that is up to you. Please keep in mind that this is a process – so don’t worry if it takes you some time to complete!
I also recommend that, if possible, you work with other library staff members or your library board members to form Technology Plan writing team. Having your staff and/or library board members invested in Technology Plan means that it has a higher chance of being followed once it is completed.
Please also keep in mind that technology changes fast! So, I recommend that your Technology Plan cover about 3 years. You can then update your Plan every 3 years to better reflect your current needs. After you have a solid foundation for your Technology Plan, updating it should not take very long. Updating is a great opportunity to reflect on your technology needs, what you’ve accomplished, and any new goals you might have.
If you run into any questions or concerns as you write your Technology Plan, please feel free to contact me! I am happy to schedule a phone call, video call, or in-person visit any time.
South Dakota State Library
Library Technology Coordinator
Choose a Technology Plan template that you think would work best for you and your library. You can create your own template or search online. If you are interested in a pre-made template, you can e-mail Cheyenne Chontos, Library Technology Coordinator.
Provide the mission statement for the library. In most cases, the mission statement can be taken verbatim from the library's current long–range or strategic plan. Link your library's mission statement to your Technology Plan.
In one or two brief paragraphs discuss the library's technology goals in conjunction to the overall mission of the library and discuss the role technology plays in the library's services.
For your library to be CIPA compliant (necessary if you utilize or want to utilize E-rate), you must have an Internet Safety Policy. This policy addresses the following issues:
This section should be broken down into two sections: current technology and future technology. In the first section list current computing and telecommunication technology being used at the library. If relevant, include a breakdown by branch.
I highly recommend using the Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit to complete the “current” technology inventory section. I also recommend you use a technology spreadsheet to keep track of your current technology. Email Cheyenne Chontos, Library Technology Coordinator, for a digital copy of this toolkit and for a technology audit spreadsheet template.
The future technology piece encompasses hardware, software, telecommunications, and information technologies the library hopes to implement during the lifetime of the Plan. If necessary, the future technology section should include a discussion of upgraded electrical systems required to handle new technologies.
Discuss how technology will be integrated into the services provided to staff and for users. A strong plan will include goals, objectives, and strategies/activities. Goals are the broad statements regarding technology in the library and may extend beyond the lifetime of the Plan. Objectives are specific measurable activities to be undertaken to reach the goals. Strategies are the steps to be taken to meet the objective.
Includes approximate costs associated with the desired level of technology, both ongoing as well as upgrade and maintenance costs for current technology, as well as costs for intended new technologies. Also indicate from where funding will be derived. This is probably the section of the Plan most likely to require revision. Make sure mention is made of any maintenance contracts.
Provide an overall evaluation statement as to how the library plans to determine if the Technology Plan goals are being implemented and their degree of success. Additionally, indicate how you will know if technology is having a positive impact on staff, users, and the community, and how well technology is helping you address your overall library goals. Also indicate how often the Plan will be reviewed and updated and by whom.
Provide detail on training for staff and patrons on current technology. Include information on what types of training are offered, by whom, and how often. Types of training provided could include, but is not limited to, programs on searching databases, word processing, using the OPAC and so on.
Provide lists of your current hardware inventory, your software/license inventory, and any other important technology information or details. Having this information in one space is helpful for maintenance and for planning.
What have you learned about managing your library’s technology now that you’ve completed this library Technology Plan? Please address the following: