Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Information Technology Plan for a Single Facility

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Information Technology Plan for a Single Facility

Article excerpt

The following plan is suitable for a library with a single facility. It is more modest in scope than that for a library with branches because most libraries with a single facility have modest budgets; however, a library may opt to selectively adapt and incorporate plan elements from Section II.

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

i. Mission Statement

ii. Technology Goals


1. Maintain a basic automated library system.

2. Implement a local area network.

3. Maintain a contract with an Internet Service Provider and regularly monitor performance.

4. Seek to conform to all relevant standards.

5. Provide "express catalogs" near the building and reference area entrance(s).

6. Provide one or more "electronic access centers" for patrons.

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

8. Configure all PCs, existing and future, with a Web browser.

9. Configure all PCs with printers, and attach coin boxes to all "electronic access center" machines.

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

11. Maintain a spares inventory and contract for local maintenance.

12. Use competitive bidding for online reference services.

13. Avoid proliferation of the same information in multiple formats.

14. Upgrade staff work surfaces to accommodate information technologies.

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

16. Designate a part-time system manager. Maintain staff training and patron orientation programs.

17. Maintain staff training and patron orientation programs.

18. Pursue external sources of funding for information technology.

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

These components are discussed in detail on the following pages.


The library is committed to providing and making accessible the best possible informational, educational, cultural, and recreational materials and services to the citizens of its service area.


The library's 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 community insofar as possible.

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

1. Maintain a basic automated library system.

The library will maintain a library system which supports the internal automation of acquisitions, serials control, cataloging, circulation, and patron access catalog.

The cataloging module will be linked to a bibliographic utility (e.g., OCLC) or a cataloging support system (e.g., BiblioFile or another CD-ROM-based product). If some books are supplied preprocessed, the book wholesaler will be asked to log onto the system and transfer machine-readable records online, rather than sending records periodically on magnetic media.

The database will be complete, including not only the book collection, but also bibliographic records for periodicals and nonprint materials.

Circulation will be configured with off-line backup so that the library can continue to charge and discharge library materials when the host or server is not available.

The library will seek to utilize a graphical user interface (GUI) for all staff modules as this has been shown to increase staff productivity.

The patron access catalog will be configured with a graphical (GUI) or Web-based user interface as these are more intuitive than character-based user interfaces. The latter has the advantage of being familiar to many users, and it allows a common user interface to a number of sources of electronic information. …

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