Technology Plan Outline

Introduction

Public libraries in Massachusetts wishing to apply for Universal Service E-Rate discounts for Internet, internal wiring, or any telephone service that goes beyond basic local and long distance calling, cellular, or PCS services, are required to have an approved technology plan. The Board of Library Commissioners is the agency responsible for approving library technology plans in Massachusetts.

Download the technology plan document in MS Word or Portable Document Format

Format

3 Year Plan

Libraries should prepare a three year plan. No plans will be approved for more than three years. If necessary, shorter interim plans will be considered.

5 Elements of the Technology Plan

You are not required to use the exact format that is provided throughout the rest of this document. However, you are required to clearly organize your plan into the five sections required by the SLD:

  1. Goals and Objectives
    Your goals should not be focused on the technology to be deployed, but the library services and educational goals. They should be clear and realistic (achievable).

  2. Professional Development Strategy
    Your professional development strategy should show that your library staff have the skills needed to make good use of the technology for which you are receiving discounts.

  3. Equipment Assessment
    Your assessment should identify the telecommunications services, hardware, software and other services that will be needed to improve library services.

  4. Budget
    Your budget should show that you clearly understand all the direct and indirect costs associated with meeting your technology plan goals. The SLD would like to make very sure that you have the wherewithal to pay your share of the bill, and that you have thought about the other types of costs that, though they are non-eligible under E-Rate, are still critical to the success of your technology goals. This includes costs for professional development, electricity, or electrical wiring, maintenance on equipment and services, equipment not on the eligible equipment list (e.g. printers, fileservers, operating system software, application software, etc.)

  5. Evaluation Process
    You must show that you have a plan to evaluate how well you are doing in meeting your technology goals. You must show how you will monitor your progress and be able to make mid-term corrections, should your technology plan need to be adjusted.

    Note: If --based on your monitoring-- you realize that you need to request discounted services or equipment from E-Rate that was not covered in your three-year technology plan, you must sent a modified version of your technology plan to the Board of Library Commissioners for approval in a "timely" manner (before you file a 470).

Signature

An authorized signature (Library Director or Trustee Chair) must accompany the plan, either on a cover letter, or on a signature page on the plan itself

Individual Libraries vs. Automated Networks

Public libraries that are members of an automated resource sharing network (e.g., CLAMS, MVLC, C/WMars, etc.) are not required to cover PC's and terminals, other hardware, software, data lines for services received from the network in this plan. For the purposes of E-Rate funding this is the network's responsibility.

Nevertheless, as part of a truly comprehensive technology plan for your library you may certainly choose to describe your relationship with your automated network. Be sure to be consistent throughout your plan. For instance, if you identify a need to add OPAC workstations in your library as part of your information strategy (Goals and Objectives - Section I), then you also should discuss the need to increase bandwidth through SAILS, what the impact will be on your annual assessment (Budget - Section IV), and the need for additional computers to provide the access (Assessment - Section III, and Budget - Section IV). Libraries filling out the section on Professional Development (Section II) may also want to refer to training opportunities afforded them by their network.

How to Submit

All plans should be sent to:

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
98 North Washington St., Suite 401
Boston, MA 02114
Attn: Rachel Devin

Questions should be directed to:

Paul Kissman
617-725-1860
800-952-7403 (in-state)
paul.kissman@state.ma.us

Once you have submitted your plan, you will receive either a notification of approval from the Board or a follow-up request for additional information or clarification.

A copy of your approved technology plan and approval notification should be kept on file along with copies or printouts of your e-rate application (Forms 470 and 471). You should also document when you sent your technology plan to the Board.

  1. Goals and Objectives"The plan must establish clear goals and a realistic strategy for using telecommunications and information technology to improve education or library services". SLD Q&A Regarding Technology Plan Policy and Procedures

    If your library has an active long range plan on file with the Board, please extract any goals and objectives that have a technology component. If you do not have a current long range plan, please formulate your technology strategy in the form of goals and objectives. Objectives should be measurable and at least one objective for each goal should show that your technology will have an impact on end users.

    In an accompanying narrative statement, describe how technology, such as telecommunications and Internet services, will be used to support your goals and objectives

    Sample Goal(John Doe Library): Improve the job preparedness of the residents of D'eauville through the use of public library reference tools and library programs.

    Sample Objective: By the end of June, 2001, the library will have trained at least 100 residents in the use of online databases that contain employer information, such as business profiles and SEC filings.

    Sample Narrative: In order to provide sufficient access to support online database training in our planned career center, we will need to add two more workstations with access to CLAMS network databases and the Internet. We hope to do all the wiring in October, add one workstation at that time, then add a second computer at the beginning of the next fiscal year (August 2000).

  2. Professional Development Strategy

    "The plan has a professional development strategy to ensure that staff know how to use the new technologies to improve education or library services." SLD Q&A Regarding Technology Plan Policy and Procedures

    1. Please describe any planned continuing education or training for your staff to help them use your library's technology themselves, and to help patrons. You may wish to include descriptions of in-house training, municipal employee development, MLA, NELA or NELINET workshops, network and regional training.
  3. Assessment

    "The plan includes an assessment of the telecommunications services, hardware, software, and other services that will be needed to improve education or library services." SLD Q&A Regarding Technology Plan Policy and Procedures

    Provide a narrative overview of the connections, hardware and software in your library, and then any additions or changes that you need to make in order to support the goals and objectives that you have identified in Section I.

    Note: Remember that if you discuss your automated resource sharing network services. (e.g., CLAMS, ABLE, etc.) throughout the rest of the plan, you should do so here as well.

    1. Telephone Example: We currently have three phones lines in the library: at the circulation desk, the director's office, and the fax machine. We would like to add a new line just for the children's department, and a second line to the career center for modem access to the Internet. We also need to beef up our OCLN connection from 56k to 384k for the ten additional OPAC stations that we will be installing.
    2. Internet Example: We currently receive Internet access through three of our MVLC workstations, located in the adult section, the children's room, and at the reference desk. We cannot afford another MVLC port at this time, and we have been offered a free Internet access from Media One at one location in the library. We intend to put this in our career center.
    3. Internal Connections Example: We currently have 12 ports with NOBLE connected via a LAN. We need to wire an additional six ports for NOBLE in order to expand access into our new children's wing, which will be renovated during the Spring of 2005. We only have three ports left on our hub, and will need to add another 8-port hub which will not be paid for by NOBLE.
    4. Hardware (PC's, Modems, Printers, etc) Example: We have a real printing crisis in our library already. The printers are all old HP Thinkjets circa 1987. They are hard to fix and we can't even get cartridges for them anymore. We would like to take advantage of our new LAN and buy one good printer that outputs both black and white and color for administrative work, and we would like to replace the Thinkjets at the public workstations with cheaper color inkjets, so that kids can take away good copies of Web pages and CD-ROM encyclopedia articles.
    5. Software (Operating Systems, Applications, Networking) Example: We would like to upgrade all our Web browsers from NCSA Mosaic 1.1 to Netscape 7 with Macromedia Flash and the Adobe Acrobat plug-in to take full advantage of MLIN and the statewide reference databases. We have WordPerfect 6 for DOS and Lotus 1-23 v.2.2 on our public workstations and on our administrative PC, and would like to move to MS Office.
  4. Budget

    "The plan provides for a sufficient budget to acquire and maintain the hardware, software, professional development, and other services that will be needed to implement the strategy for improved education or library services". SLD Q&A Regarding Technology Plan Policy and Procedures

    You may choose to use this type of matrix as a guideline in developing a three-year budget projection for activities that support your library's technology goals and objectives. Remember that these are summary figures only, and that to accurately estimate the budget requirements necessary to support new services, you will need to develop more detailed backup documentation. Two samples showing how E-Rate discounts can be included as part of your overall projection are included below.

      Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 3 Yr. Total

    *Telecommunications - Subtotal

    1950

    2103

    2270

    6323

    Local

    600

    618

    637

    1855

    Long Distance

    1350

    1485

    1633

    4468

    ISDN, DSL, Leased Line, etc.

    0

    0

    0

    0

    *Internet - Subtotal

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Internet Service Provider Charges

    0

    0

    0

    0

    **Internal Connections -Subtotal

    0

    425

    3660

    4085

    LAN Wiring

    0

    300

    0

    300

    Hubs/Routers/DSU's

    0

    125

    0

    125

    Network File Servers

    0

    0

    2500

    2500

    Network Server Software

    0

    0

    785

    785

    Firewalls

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Maintenance

    0

    0

    375

    375

    Ineligible Hardware - Subtotal

    0

    0

    400

    400

    Acquisition

    0

    0

    400

    400

    Maintenance

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Ineligible Software - Total

    1000

    1000

    1000

    3000

    Acquisition

    1000

    1000

    1000

    3000

    Maintenance

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Professional Development

    375

    425

    475

    1275

    Other (Automated Network Assessment)

    15,353

    16,750

    16,750

    48853

    ANNUAL TOTALS

    18678

    20703

    24555

    63936

    * Supported by SLD funding
    ** Supported by SLD funding if library is in a high discount bracket
    For an up-to-date list of eligible services, refer to:
    http://www.sl.universalservice.org/reference/eligible.asp

    Sample Calculations Taking E-Rate Discounts Into Consideration

    • Example 1- Maintaining Same Level of Service and Saving Money

      Library A makes $900 in long distance calls annually, and is eligible for a 40% discount under the E-Rate. Anticipating SLD funding for FY2000, Library A budgets $540 ($900 x 60% =$540) of its own funds to support the same level of service.

    • Example2 - Expanding Service

      Library B makes $900 in long distance calls annually, and is eligible for a 40% discount. Library B desires to loosen the reins on its reference staff and allow them to make additional long distance phone calls to support a higher level of reference service. Anticipating the 40% SLD funding, Library B continues to budget $900 of its own funds in anticipation of $1500 in phone charges ($1500 x 60% = $900).



  5. Evaluation

    "The plan includes an evaluation process that enables the school or library to monitor progress toward the specified goals and make mid-course corrections in response to new developments and opportunities as they arise." SLD Q&A Regarding Technology Plan Policy and Procedures

    For each goal, objective, or service response given in Section 1 "Goals and Objectives", give at least one measurement that will enable you to determine progress toward that outcome.

    You may integrate your discussion of the evaluative technique right into the objective:
    Example:
    Goal 1:
    Objective 1
    Evaluation Technique for Objective 1
    Objective 2
    Evaluation Technique for Objective 2

    The technology components of your information strategy are most often implicit in your goals and objectives, but are not ends-in-themselves, That is, you don't add more computers to your library simply for the purpose of having more computers. You do so to provide a service to your patrons that requires computers (e.g., resume writing or access to CD-ROM encyclopedias).

    In this section of your technology plan focus on evaluative measures that attempt to clarify whether the particular technology that you have chosen is:

    1. working well for you and/or
    2. sized correctly for the level of your use.

    For instance, a library chooses to put in two workstations to support its new career center, one with Internet access, and one without. After six months, the library staff discovers that the workstation without Internet Access is underutilized, and the workstation with Internet access is overbooked. A mid-term correction might be to add Internet access to the second workstation.

    In order to make this decision, the library might have had in place an evaluative measure that reads:

    Example: Sign-in logs will be used to show the usage of career center computers. Hits on our newly developed Career Pointers Web page will show that end-users who have been trained in our career workshops are reaching quality Internet job information sites that have been evaluated by our reference staff.

Signature - Don't forget to sign your technology plan on the cover sheet or on a signature page.

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Page last updated on 04/11/2012