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About Edge

Edge is a management tool that helps libraries of all sizes align their technology resources to community priorities.

“Part of what Edge has done is open up new ways of thinking about technology. By using up-to-date technology and resources, we’ve changed our role in the community. People see what’s going on and want to be part of it.”

Dianne Connery, Director
Pottsboro Area Public Library

Mission

Edge helps public libraries establish a baseline for continuous improvement and greater community impact. Edge achieves this mission by providing libraries with standards in technology services and programming, and tools to help libraries measure and implement change.


Edge Benchmarks

Edge Benchmarks are goal statements. Edge 2.0 includes 10 benchmarks, which represent aspirational resource and service standards to promote excellence in libraries' efforts and leadership to promote digital inclusion.

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Online Platform

Edge offers a dynamic benchmarking platform that provides powerful tools for users to assess their library's programs and services, compare their current progress to libraries across North America and plan for continuous improvement.

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Edge Team

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Lourdes Aceves

Director of Edge, Urban Libraries Council

Lourdes joined ULC in 2013 to launch the Edge Initiative. She has dedicated the last eight years to working closely with state and public library leaders and organizational partners to grow an evaluation culture, build public library capacity and advance outcome measurement in the public library sector. Lourdes is passionate about equipping public libraries to make informed, evidence-based decisions and understand how technology services are being used. She holds a master’s degree in public policy with a concentration in local economic development.

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Betsey Suchanic

Senior Program Manager, Urban Libraries Council

Betsey comes to ULC with a professional background that includes work in small business development, graphic design, higher education strategic planning and urban planning at the local government level. She holds an MPA from the University of Delaware's Biden School of Public Policy and Administration and a B.A. from Mary Baldwin University.

History

Initial Launch

Led by the Urban Libraries Council, the Edge Initiative was developed by a national coalition of leading library and local government organizations and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 2011, the Edge Coalition has worked hand-in-hand to create this professional tool and ensure its value for all libraries and communities.

The Edge Coalition includes:

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The American Library Association
  • Public Library Association
  • Information School at the University of Washington
  • California State Library
  • Oklahoma Department of Libraries
  • Texas State Library and Archives
  • TechSoup Global
  • WebJunctionLyrasis
  • The Information Policy & Access Center
  • ICMA

Edge 1.0

Launched publicly in 2014, the first generation of Edge focused on public access technology and the activities carried out by the library that support community priorities related to public access technology. Over 2,700 libraries across the U.S. and Canada used Edge 1.0 to better align their resources and activities to community technology priorities. The Edge 1.0 platform is no longer available as of Dec. 31, 2019.

Edge 2.0

In 2018, the Urban Libraries Council completely revised Edge to give libraries the means to better serve their communities in the face of technology’s evolving impacts on society.

Launched in March 2019, Edge 2.0 extends the technology access focus of Edge to incorporate a broader assessment of the library’s efforts related to digital inclusion and a greater focus on outcomes. In addition to revised benchmarks, Edge 2.0 introduced an all-new online platform for subscribers, as well as new toolkits, resources and learning opportunities.