Launched in March 2011, the Edge initiative is an effort driven by a coalition of leading library and local government organizations to develop a suite of tools that support continuous improvement and reinvestment in public technology. The Urban Libraries Council is leading this Initiative.
Edge will help library leaders:
As the driving force behind the Edge Initiative, the Edge benchmarks will help libraries evaluate and continually improve their public technology services for their communities.The Edge benchmarks - a rating system comprised of benchmarks and indicators designed to work as an assessment tool - will help library staff understand best practices in public access technology services for their communities and determine what steps they need to take to improve their technology services.They identify what practices, policies, equipment, and staffing libraries need to have in place to provide robust computer and Internet services to their patrons.
The benchmarks serve as reference points against which best practices may be compared and will help libraries determine:
In aggregate, the Edge benchmarks will enable libraries to score themselves against best practices that define access and quality. The benchmarks will be supported by training and a toolkit of customizable materials that will help library staff demonstrate the value of enhanced technology services in meeting community needs.
Digital access and literacy are the currency for productive living in the 21st century. Today, public libraries are at the forefront of providing high-quality public access to computers and the Internet, and technology training to ensure all people can benefit from opportunity online. Each year, millions of people use technology services at public libraries to continue their education, find jobs, improve their career skills, access e-government services, research health information, connect with family and friends, and much more.
The world and library users continue to change, and the Edge Initiative will help libraries continually evolve to meet the digital needs of their communities.
The Edge initiative matters because we focus on: