WebJunction is pleased to be part of the Coalition working to develop the Edge Benchmarks. After gathering extensive feedback from the library field and testing beta benchmarks with libraries around the US, the Edge Coalition has completed the Edge Benchmarks Version 1.0. The benchmarks can help library staff understand best practices in public access technology services and determine what steps need to be taken to improve technology that is being provided to the public.
The benchmarks are divided into three main categories that assess:
- Community Value (Benchmarks 1-3): External practices that connect the library to the community.
- Engaging the Community & Decision Makers (Benchmarks 4-6): Specific programs, services and supports that enable people to get value from their use of technology.
- Organizational Management (Benchmarks 7-11): Internal management and infrastructure.
Each category has benchmarks for specific practices. There are a total of eleven benchmarks. Each benchmark includes a set of indicators. These can be used to help a library see, on different levels, where it is doing well and where it could improve.
The benchmarks are currently available on the Edge Initiative website. The final benchmark product will be an online assessment, which libraries will be able to complete to receive scores and tools for improvement. Future Edge tools will also include resources to help libraries communicate results to stakeholders and turn data into investments in public technology.
Other Benchmarks Buzz
LibraryJournal's Michael Kelley reports on a ALA Midwinter session in Edge Coalition Releases Tech Benchmarks for Public Libraries.