Those dreaded benchmarks: a rural librarian's perspective

Benchmarks. These are words of foreboding for this rural librarian. Great. On top of non-existent funding now the library is going to have to live up to some Queens Library-quality technological advancements.

Utopian Benchmarks are not the Goal

When I was first invited to be a representative of public library directors in the Public Access Technology Benchmarks Initiative (joining the consortium of 13 organizations including TechSoup Global, ALA, PLA and the Urban Libraries Council), I was reluctant.

You can learn a lot from a chicken

When new projects first start, often teams feel a little unsure or unclear about what they're being asked to accomplish, conjuring up Gertrude Stein's, "there's no there, there," or maybe leaning more toward Bill Clinton's "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." At any rate, let's just say in the parlance of our time that you may have been a little fuzzy, like Gertrude and Bill once were.

Better together: benchmarks and advocacy

What would you think about a tool that:

  • Creates a common language for discussing public libraries' and public access technology's role in supporting community goals
  • Sets clear, achievable and measurable standards for public access technology for libraries of all sizes
  • Supports strategic planning, budgeting and advocacy processes
  • Provides an extra layer of legitimacy and authority to library technology discussions
  • Helps you find new and clearer ways to tell your library's story

Creating meaningful and useful Public Access Technology benchmarks

What do you think of when you hear the word, "benchmark"? From my experience, it evokes a range of emotional and intellectual responses. For many, it can sound a bit scary, like "job security for some of us (or the ditch we die in)."

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