Weinberg Memorial Library

Technology Plan 2011-2013
Finalized on November 8, 2011

Introduction

Purpose

The purpose of this Technology Plan is to establish clear goals and a realistic strategy for the Weinberg Memorial Library’s exploration and implementation of new technologies.  The Plan will make explicit the Library’s vision of technology not as an end in itself, but as a tool that can and should be used to meet the Library’s stated Mission, Vision, and Goals.  The Plan will highlight and expand upon technology needs and initiatives embedded in the Library’s Tactical Plan for 2010-2013.

While new technological advances cannot be predicted, this Plan aims to guide technological development in the Library over the next three years by providing a structure for planning, budgeting, implementation, and assessment of technology initiatives.

Process and Timeline

This Technology Plan was drafted in Summer and Fall 2011, a few months after the creation of the Weinberg Memorial Library’s Emerging Technologies Committee. The committee chair reviewed other academic library technology plans and presented a draft to the other committee members.

After review by the Emerging Technologies Committee, comments and suggestions were solicited from the remaining faculty and staff of the Library.  The Dean of the Library gave administrative approval after minor revisions. The final draft of the Plan will now be posted publicly on the Library website, and the Dean of the Library will submit the document to the Provost for his support.

The Committee intends that the Technology Plan should be reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis.  The Committee suggests that the Technology Plan accompany the Tactical Plan, with the next Technology Plan review occurring in 2013 when the new Tactical Plan is written.

Mission and Vision

Weinberg Memorial Library Mission

The University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library provides superior resources, services and programs that meet the dynamic scholarly, cultural and social endeavors of the University and the community at large. We are committed to a culture of innovation, assessment and sustainability through the support of teaching and learning. We preserve and promote the history of the University and provide access to rare cultural resources.

Weinberg Memorial Library Vision

The Weinberg Memorial Library will be the University community’s premier portal to knowledge for innovative and collaborative life-long learning. Our commitment to excellence will permeate the diverse intellectual and social life of The University of Scranton.

Technology Vision

The Weinberg Memorial Library investigates, experiments with, and implements emerging technologies as tools to further the Library’s stated Mission, Vision, and Goals. The Library aims to anticipate user needs and will thus serve as a campus leader in academic uses of new technologies.

Approach

The Weinberg Memorial Library’s approach to, and decisions about, emerging technologies will be characterized by the following principles:

  1. User-Driven Focus. The Library will seek out and strive to meet current and future user information needs, experimenting with different technologies as ways to meet those needs.
  2. Awareness. The Library will be mindful of the special needs present in our diverse community.
  3. Transparency. The Library will openly discuss and share progress on emerging technology initiatives with others on campus and in the library profession.
  4. Collaboration. The Library will partner with other campus departments as well as other libraries when possible to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of technology initiatives.
  5. Inclusion.  The Library will encourage and welcome participation in emerging technology initiatives from all Library faculty and staff members. 
  6. Responsibility. The Library faculty and staff will act as role models demonstrating the ethical, responsible, and appropriate use of technology.
  7. Interoperability. As far as possible, the Library is committed to the adoption of tools and resources that are compatible with industry standards, in order to ensure interoperability with other systems and to benefit from a shared professional knowledge base.
  8. Assessment. All emerging technology initiatives will be regularly assessed for effectiveness.
  9. Environmental Sustainability. The Library will consider environmental factors when investigating and assessing technology initiatives.
  10. Financial Sustainability. The Library will seek sustainable funding for emerging technology initiatives through the annual budget process and through the University administration.

Goals and Objectives

As stated in the Technology Vision, the Weinberg Memorial Library seeks to use technology to meet the Library’s Mission, Vision, and Goals. The following tactical goals were identified in Summer 2011; here, objectives explain how the Library will use emerging technologies to support those goals.

Goal 1. Integrate the Library into the University experience beginning with student recruitment through student retention and culminating with career placement.

Technology Objectives:

  1. Explore availability of new, high quality resources in ebook and other nonprint formats
  2. Maintain and expand the Research Guides wiki to expose students to useful resources
  3. Continue to provide timely and convenient reference assistance to students via chat, instant messaging, email, and text messaging
  4. Improve mobile access to Library resources, including databases
  5. Continue to improve remote access to Library media via streaming video
  6. In collaboration with Student Affairs, use Library game nights as a way to integrate the Library into student life
  7. In collaboration with Information Resources, maintain high quality computer labs and printing services to provide students with convenient access to needed hardware
  8. Add social features (e.g., commenting, tagging, sharing) to Library user interfaces, including the catalog and digital collections

Goal 2. Design and implement services and programs that effectively enable continuous innovation and support life-long learning.

Technology Objectives:

  1. Use Library social media accounts to engage with, and solicit feedback from, students and other patrons
  2. Circulate iPads and other devices that students may want or need for academic innovation
  3. Research and implement catalog and discovery layer enhancements to facilitate access to Library resources (e.g., Synergy)
  4. In collaboration with the CTLE, support faculty use of technology in pedagogy

Goal 3. Communicate the value of Library services, resources, and personnel to the University community through marketing, advocacy, and community engagement.

Technology Objectives:

  1. Consistently post announcements and updates about Library events and services to Library website and social media accounts
  2. Create and post digital signage announcing Library events and services
  3. Use QR codes or other mobile technologies to advertise and provide access to Library resources at the point of need (i.e., in non-Library study spaces)

Goal 4. Teach literacies in a variety of forms and formats.

Technology Objectives:

  1. Study, explore, and react to the effects of technology on student literacies
  2. Develop point-of-use tutorials to assist students with finding, accessing, and evaluating information
  3. Monitor new trends and best practices for the attribution of nonprint resources
  4. Explore and become familiar with new tools for citation management (e.g., Mendeley, Zotero)
  5. Investigate and determine ways to avoid common misuses of copyrighted digital media by students and faculty (e.g., Creative Commons)
  6. Post useful information literacy hints or tips to Library social media accounts
  7. Share the Library’s expertise on emerging technologies with other University community members via Technology on Your Own Terms workshop

Goal 5. Develop new strategies for collaborative and learning spaces, characterized by flexibility, adaptability and usability.

Technology Objectives:

  1. Use Library social media accounts to gather feedback from students and faculty about Library spaces
  2. Continue to provide access to technology at the point of need, such as computer stations in group study rooms and easily accessible power outlets
  3. Collaborate with Information Resources to maintain and continually strengthen internet and wireless access from the Library building
  4. Study and monitor how students and faculty use mobile devices to determine what physical needs (power, cords, syncing, etc) they might have

Goal 6. Create an assessment plan for all aspects of the Library for continuous improvement..

Technology Objectives:

  1. Find and implement assessment tools for each Library technology initiative
  2. Explore ways in which new technologies could streamline Library workflows
  3. Hold student focus groups to assess demand and desire for technology initiatives
  4. Collect web analytics for all Library web pages
  5. Continually monitor and update Library web pages for usefulness and timeliness
  6. Conduct regular usability testing of Library website and digital resources

Goal 7. Foster an entrepreneurial culture in the Library.

Technology Objectives:

  1. Continue to provide technology training for Library faculty and staff via in-service workshops and one-on-one consultations
  2. Establish regular funding for Library faculty and staff to pursue external continuing education on uses and best practices for new technology
  3. Share information about emerging technology on the Staff Blog
  4. Use technology tools such as Google Docs to foster collaboration and information sharing
  5. Experiment freely with new technology
  6. Continue to recruit and hire skilled student workers as Library TechCons
  7. Establish regular funding to purchase hardware and software as needed so that Library faculty and staff can experiment with new technology

Goal 8. Educate all library users about the importance of sustainability and lead by example through cultivating an environment of sustainable practices within the Library.

Technology Objectives:

  1. Replace paper handouts at Library meetings with electronic documents when possible
  2. Consider environmental impact and energy efficiency when purchasing new hardware
  3. Promote sustainability efforts of the Library Green Team via social media
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