benchmark

Technology Training Series: Models from Libraries

Are you looking for ideas for technology instruction services in your library? Tips for how to offer public technology assistance? Ways to improve digital literacy in your community? Then look no further. This is the first in a new TechSoup blog series to explore examples of successful technology training programs, and to give practical advice on how to create similar programs in your library.

Edge Benchmark One: You Shared, We Learned

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts in last month’s survey, which focused on the Edge initiative's first Benchmark. Don't tell the other benchmarks, but this one might be my favorite as it is focused on technology training.

 


Thoughts on the Edge benchmarks from Colorado

Last month in Philadelphia, the Edge Coaltion had plenty of opportunities to learn what librarians and staff from libraries big and small thought about the benchmarks being created to support public access technology.

How do you turn a negative into a positive?

If you've ever been involved in creating something the public sees or uses, you know how setting it free feels: you're vulnerable, you want others to believe in it, to see what you see, you want positive feedback. For me, I want to know what people think. To really know, even if it's negative, because that's important information I can use.

Kick it. Benchmarks get more input.

At a recent ALA MidWinter session on the Edge Initiative, Larra Clark from ALA OITP ended her remarks with, "the benchmarks are meant to be kicked. So kick it." Thus launched a focus group exercise where approximately 50 attendees were asked to provide feedback to a draft set of public access technology benchmarks.

The benchmarks: what will get you to Yes?

TechSoup Global has been working on the Public Access Technology Benchmarks project for over a year now, and we're excited to share what we've learned, and what we hope will be useful tools for the library community.

Why use benchmarks?

As TechSoup and the other agencies working on the public access technology benchmark initiative get feedback and refine the benchmarks, the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) is doing a lot of work to document the process.

Societal Impacts of Digital Exclusion

Recently I was asked to comment on the importance of digital technologies from the perspective of local governments, which led me to think philosophically.

Benchmarks, from PLA's perspective

Earlier this year, the Public Library Association joined 12 other organizations to develop public access technology benchmarks. The group is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Urban Libraries Council is serving as the facilitating organization. Members of the group have been working very hard examining the history and roles of benchmarking and thinking about what sort of common, measurable services libraries offer. The purpose of the benchmarks is to develop a tool that libraries can use to quantify their public access services and to give libraries a common language in talking about these services to local decision makers.

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