Information Technology Plan for a Consortium

By Boss, Richard W. | Library Technology Reports, January-February 1998 | Go to article overview

Information Technology Plan for a Consortium


Boss, Richard W., Library Technology Reports


The plan has the following components, each one of which is discussed in this document:

i. Mission Statement

ii. Technology Goals

Objectives

1. Adopt a service bureau or governance agreement for cooperative information technology programs, including cost allocation formula.

2. Maintain a shared, comprehensive automated library system.

3. Maintain a wide area network (WAN) using frame relay technology.

4. Maintain contracts with two Internet Service Providers and regularly evaluate performance.

5. Seek to conform to all relevant standards.

6. Provide "express catalogs" near building and reference area entrances in all libraries.

7. Provide one or more "electronic access centers" for patrons in each library, regardless of size.

8. Replace "dumb" terminals with PCs and utilize a multi-tier PC strategy.

9. Configure all of the PCs, existing and future, with a Web browser.

10. Configure all PCs with printers, and attach coin boxes or debit card readers to all "electronic access center" patron devices.

11. Provide access to a CD-ROM server from all workstations.

12. Maintain a Web site.

13. Undertake a cooperative special files and imaging program.

14. Establish and maintain a small micro lab in each facility of more than 25,000 square feet.

15. Maintain spares inventories and contract for local maintenance.

16. Use competitive bidding for shared online reference services. Avoid proliferation of the same information in multiple formats.

18. Upgrade staff work surfaces to accommodate information technologies.

19. Accommodate information technologies when building or remodeling library facilities.

20. Implement a theft detection system for each library with more than $1 million worth of library materials.

21. Designate a full-time system manager and network specialist.

22. Maintain staff training and patron orientation programs.

23. Seek funding from external sources.

24. Phase in implementation over a four-year period.

These components are discussed in detail on the following pages.

i. MISSION STATEMENT

The libraries are committed to providing and making accessible the best possible informational, educational, cultural, and recreational materials and services to the citizens of their service area.

ii. TECHNOLOGY GOALS

The libraries' most important technology goal is to give all citizens access to information regardless of format, and regardless of where the information is stored.

The secondary goal is to make that access available from anywhere in the service area insofar as possible, including from all sizes of libraries, from homes, and from offices.

To carry out its mission and technology goals, the consortium has developed a plan which consists of the following objectives:

1. Adopt a service bureau or governance agreement for cooperative information technology programs, including a cost allocation formula.

Libraries which share information technologies need a written agreement among them which spells out their rights and obligations. This can be either a service bureau agreement in which one library provides services to others per agreed-upon terms; or a governance agreement in which the participants all have an equity interest in the information technology. The former approach is normally adopted when one library is substantially larger than the others; the latter when they are comparable in size.

One of the following will be the basis for cooperation: Service Bureau Agreement

The following Agreement is entered into between

the -- Library, hereinafter known as the "host library" and

the -- -- Libraries, hereinafter known as the "client libraries"

for the purchase of goods and services by the client libraries from

the host library. …

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