Manžuch, Z. (2011), "The Complete Library Technology Planner: A Guidebook with Sample Technology Plans and RFPs on CD‐ROM", The Electronic Library, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 728-728. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640471111177170
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
This is a manual enabling professionals working in medium and small‐sized libraries of any type to plan information and communication technology (ICT) initiatives. Cohn and Kelsey have written several technology planning manuals in earlier years. This technology planner considers cutting edge ICT trends in libraries, and a special focus is put on integrated library systems. Instances include the evolution of traditional integrated library systems into interoperable applications providing intuitive interfaces, new search features and user input; wide adoption of web 2.0 platforms; and availability of open source software.
The guidebook promotes a strategic approach to managing information and communication technologies. It provides a solid grounding for rational long‐term solutions. The benefit of a strategic approach is connecting the objectives of technology planning with the mission and goals of the library. It ensures that technology‐based activities are oriented towards reaching results that contribute to implementation of the major library goals.
The authors start by providing a general introduction into planning then gradually shift the focus to specific issues. Chapters 1‐4 provide arguments for a strategic approach to ICT planning in libraries and an overview of the major terms and elements of strategic plans. Chapters 5‐7 focus on specific steps and methods for developing the library technology plan. Here one can also find useful advice on how to organise a collaborative effort for developing a basic strategic plan. Tips for building the planning team and conducting brainstorming sessions are included in Chapter 7. Chapters 8 to 11 provide an overview of issues and practical tips on preparing additional documentation, refining the plan, working with vendors, staffing and training, and assessing the plan itself. In these chapters are valuable remarks relating ICT planning to other fields of library management, for instance, human resource management. The authors suggest different solutions for developing staff necessary to run ICT applications and services depending on available resources (e. g., training and outsourcing). Final remarks on the features of good and bad strategic ICT plans are made in Chapter 12.
Multiple examples in the text, templates, webliography and examples of documentation collected from different U.S. libraries and provided on the CD increase the value of the publication for practitioners. The text is well‐structured and easy to read. In general the guidebook should be considered a good introduction to strategic planning of ICT for beginners.