Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Writing and Updating Technology Plans
Cohn, J.M., Kelsey, A.L. and Fiels, K.M.Neal-Schuman PublishersNew York, NY1999
Keywords Technology, Planning, Libraries
Undoubtedly, this book will fly off the shelves of any bookstore. This book is designed to provide any library undertaking the development of a technology plan with a general introduction to the concepts and key issues in technology planning. Beyond such goals, this book can serve as a road-map for any non-profit or for profit organization in need of developing a technology plan.
This book also gives public and school libraries guidance in preparing technology plans which are part of an application for the newly established federal e-rate program to meet the basic planning requirements under this evolving program. Provided through the text and accompanying CD is an outline of the general planning process, suitable for libraries of all types and all sizes, to develop either a stand-alone plan or as the library component of a comprehensive organizational plan. The authors also provide specific examples of plans illustrating a variety of approaches. These approaches include stand alone technology plans, which are more typical of public libraries and organizational plans with library components, which are more typical of college, university and school library plans. In addition, a number of special library plans are also included.
The authors have organized this book in the following manner. The first chapter offers the reader a brief historical summary of planning for technology in public libraries, academic libraries, public school libraries and special libraries. This is followed by a discussion of not only what makes up a technology plan, but also the purpose of these plans. The sine qua non of this book is found in chapters two, three and four. In chapter two, one finds an overview of technology plans followed by numerous examples from various plans. Chapters three and four address the technology plan through a chronological process and discuss methods by which the components are created and developed after an assessment of purpose and need. The actual preparation and writing of the technology plan is discussed in chapter five. As with any technology plan, institutions have to learn how to implement, evaluate and keep their plans current. The authors tell you how to accomplish this in chapter six. In addition, there is a very good discussion, which distinguishes good technology plans from those which are inadequate. An additional bonus in this book is how each chapter contains an annotated list of sources relevant to the proceeding chapter.
The authors want to make it abundantly clear: the making of the plan should never be a goal in itself. The technology plan is a tool, which enables you to provide better service to your user community. According to the authors, one must never forget that user communities vary and each is unique in its own way. Thus a successful technology plan must grow out of and be closely connected to your library and institution's strategic vision, mission, goal and objectives. That is, a technology plan must be realistic, contain attainable services and applications.
To add to the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of this book, a CD-ROM is included. It includes 50 technology plans collected from different types of libraries. Also included is a Webliography of technology planning resources available on the World Wide Web. The plans included on the CD-ROM have been selected for their outstanding or unique qualities. Secondly, because locating technology plans on the World Wide Web is easier said than done, this CD-ROM pre-selects those which are worth your while to consider. In addition, Appendix A in this book, gives you a list of Web based resources specifically geared toward libraries of a particular type. It is our opinion that the authors have made a practical contribution in the area of relevant technology planning. For anyone who is faced with the task of technology planning, we recommend that you study this book.