Benchmarks could be the trick to getting the support we need

I have to be honest, when I first heard about the Benchmark project I was a little circumspect. In my experience, most people don’t even know what the definition of a “benchmark” really is and it is often misconstrued as a goal or an objective. While benchmarks do work with goals and objectives, and even, *said in a whisper* strategic plans, they are by definition different. A benchmark is an industry standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed. For example, a company wishing to improve would look to another company that is setting the industry standard in terms of development, quality, or service, and use that company’s success as a benchmark for setting their own goals.

Working a framework: benchmarks are a process.

Along with TechSoup, the ALA Office for Technology Information Policy (OITP) is one of the thirteen organizations working to develop a beta set of national public access technology benchmarks for public libraries. We’d like to thank Sarah for the opportunity to introduce ourselves and share some of our thoughts and experiences from working on this project.

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.

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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