The Edge Initiative: Launching January 2014

December 6, 2013
Author: 
Brenda Hough

As you may have heard,  beginning in January 2014, libraries across the U.S. are invited to participate in the Edge Initiative. It is an exciting way to focus on aligning your library's public technology services with community needs for greater impact. Since August 2012, we have been hosting webinars that feature libraries and librarians from around the country talking about the Edge Initiative. The recordings are a great way to learn more about Edge and its potential for your library and community. Here is a list of the eighteen webinars and speakers, with recordings.

Want to Hear Librarian Perspectives on the Edge Initiative?

In this session, special guests Mary Haney, Hennessey Public Library (OK)  and Lee Ann Barnes, Okeene Public Library (OK) respond to the question, Is the Edge Initiative useful for small and rural libraries, too?

In this session, special guests Marcia Johnson, Miami Public Library (OK)  and Dionne Mack, El Paso Library (TX) discuss their experiences and insights as Edge Initiative pilot libraries.

In this session, special guests Denise Davis, Sacramento Public Library (CA) and Gretchen Pruett, New Braunfels Public Library (TX) discuss their experiences and insights as Edge Initiative pilot libraries.

Want to Explore Best Practices and the Edge Initiative Benchmarks?

The eleven Edge Benchmarks are at the heart of the Edge Toolkit. The benchmarks are divided into three main categories that assess Community Value, Engaging the Community and Decision Makers, and Organizational Management. Each of the following webinars features a guest discussing one or more of the benchmarks.

Community Value

Benchmark 1: Libraries provide assistance and training with the goal of increasing the level of digital literacy in the community.

In this session, special guests Stephanine Gerding, Independent Consultant, Wendy Street, Pella Library (IA) and I talk about ways to support technology training for patrons when you have limited resources.

In this session, special guests Diana Weaver, Basehor Community Library (KS) and Amber Slaven, King County Library System (WA), describe the ways in which they support community members who want to learn more about ereaders.

Benchmark 2: Libraries provide access to relevant digital content and enable community members to create their own digital content.

In this session, special guest Donna Feddern, Escondido Public Library (CA), introduces LibraryYOU, an innovative project that helps capture and share the expertise of community members.

Benchmark 3: Libraries provide technology resources to help patrons meet important needs related to personal goals and community priorities.

In this session, special guest Dana Abbey, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental region, shares resources and tips that can help you better assist people who are seeking health information online.

Engaging the Community and Decision Makers

Benchmark 4: Libraries make strategic decisions based on community priorities for digital inclusion and innovation.

In this session, special guest Jennifer Nichols, Pima County Public Library (AZ), discusses the ways in which teens have been involved in designing and implementing the technology services provided by the library.

In this session, Sam Becker, University of Washington, helps libraries understand the Impact Survey, which public libraries can use to survey their communities about technology.

Benchmark 5: Libraries build strategic relationships with community partners to maximize public access technology resources and services provided to the community.

In this session, special guests Irene Rosa and Alba Williams, Poudre River Public Library District (CO), share their experiences with Tech-a-la-Carte, a program in which they take a mobile lab into people's homes to provide technology training

Benchmark 6: Libraries support continuous improvement in public access technology services by sharing expertise & best practices with other digital inclusion organizations.

In this session, special guest Stephanie Gerding and I talk to technology trainers from around the country about favorite resources and techniques for technology learning.

Organizational Management

Benchmark 7: Libraries integrate public access technology into planning and policies.

In this session, special guest Alexis Caudell, Mitchell Community Library (IN) shares her approach to technology planning, from connecting with community needs to sharing the plan with others.

Benchmark 8: Libraries have sufficient staff with technology expertise to help patrons achieve their goals.

In this session, special guests Mick Jacobsen and Toby Greenwalt, Skokie Public Library (IL), talk about techniques and resources for creating a culture of continuous technology learning.

In this session, special guests Penny Talbert, Ephrata Public Library (PA) and Stephanie Zimmerman, Library System of Lancaster County (PA), overview the use of competencies for ensuring staff technology abilities.

Benchmark 9: Libraries have sufficient devices and bandwidth to accommodate user demand.

In this session, special guest Kieran Hixon, Colorado State Library, helps us understand broadband basics, from connection types to speed tests.

Benchmark 10: Libraries manage their technology resources to maximize quality.

In this session, special guest Joe Olayvar, Washington State Library, introduces basic PC troubleshooting techniques.

Benchmark 11: Libraries ensure participation in digital technology for people with disabilities.

In this session, special guest Holly Jin, Skokie Public Library (IL), discusses technology and ways it can be used successfully with children on the autism spectrum.

In this session, Soon Har Tan, Itasca Community Library (IL) and Tom Perski, The Chicago Lighthouse,  discuss the creation of the library's Vision Center.

Thank you again to each of these guests for sharing their time and talents! I hope you enjoy the recordings.