The Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit is a free, open-source technology learning, diagnostic and advocacy tool designed for public and tribal libraries in the US. The toolkit will guide you through a series of questions about your technology environment -- and provide you with all the information you need to answer the questions.
The toolkit is an excellent way to diagnose and fix library technology problems. It is designed to address the most common technology issues in libraries, so it does cover a lot of ground. You or libraries you work with may need to only complete the sections that are the most important to you. Some libraries have found it especially useful in preparing for Erate requests, budget cycles, and even in helping open up lines of communication between library staff and tech workers!
Best of all, you do not need to be a “techie” to use the toolkit. While it’s always helpful to have someone with technical knowledge to assist, this toolkit was piloted with at least 70 library staff in 58 rural and tribal libraries in the US to ensure that it is as simple as possible to use.
The toolkit is divided into 10 sections covering 60 pages. It also has a handy glossary section at the end for quick lookups of technical terms.
After you’ve completed the toolkit, you can use another document called the Broadband Improvement Plan to create your own long-term and short-term strategies to improve your technology!
The toolkit is free and open source (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License). As well as being a stand-alone resource, you are free to use anything from the toolkit and mix it into other documents. This may be especially useful for State Library Organizations; Rural & Education Networks; Library Consortiums and others who would like to customize the toolkit materials.
The "Toward Gigabit Libraries" project was funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS)