Edge was developed with an understanding of the challenges libraries face today. Technology demands and challenges are different for every library, just as each community has unique needs and demographics. Through completing the Edge Assessment, libraries evaluate their current services and identify opportunities for improvement.
The Edge Assessment evaluates the library’s public technology services. Through the assessment tool, libraries understand best practices in technology-related services for their communities and determine what steps they need to take to improve their public technology programming.
The Edge Benchmarks are divided into three main categories that assess:
- Community Value (Benchmarks 1-3): specific programs, services and supports that enable people to get value from their use of technology.
- Engaging the Community & Decision Makers (Benchmarks 4-6): external practices that connect the library to the community.
- Organizational Management (Benchmarks 7-11): internal management and infrastructure.
Each category has benchmarks for specific practices. Success on each benchmark is determined by a set of indicators that provide information about the library's progress. By working through the assessment, a library sees, on different levels, an overview of current programs, where services are effective, and where improvements can be made.
As a result of the benchmarking activity, Edge provides libraries with a suite of tools as well as training to put strategies into action.
"I think that the benchmark criteria make sense and will definitely lead to the desired outcome. I think that in this day, these criteria are relevant and not that far out of reach for most libraries."
Gretchen Pruett, Library Director, New Braunfels Public Library, New Braunfels, TX