Technology Vision Statements: Examples and suggestions
What is a Technology Vision Statement?
The technology vision statement is a compelling, succinct statement that has been created with input and approval from all members of your technology team. The statement should reflect the interests of your various stakeholders and paint the picture of how your library will function with the mission-driven use of technology. Think of the vision statement as the best case scenario for technology in the library - where the library wants to be.
How to craft a vision
Your whole technology team should be around the table to work on your vision statement. A good reason for that is to help create organizational buy-in for the vision and to create some excitement around what the library is doing. Expect to spend time brainstorming and drafting the statement and consider factors such as how technology will impact your operations internally as well as externally. To help you get started, think over these questions:
- What’s working in each program?
- What are the opportunities for growth?
- If resources and training were not an issue, what would be different?
- What would technology and training resources do for the staff?
- What would technology do for the patrons?
You may find it easier and a bit faster to do this brainstorming as a large group, then have a few people take the results of the brainstorm and work on possible statements. The smaller group would then bring suggestions back to the bigger group for consideration. The statement might begin with the phrase "We believe…" or "We are committed to…"
What to do after the statement is finished
Be proud of it! It's a reflection of the best that the library can be an idea of where the library is going. Share the statement with the staff and talk about the future. Bring the statement to your next board or Friend's group meeting so that they can be motivated to support technology initiatives.
Sample Vision Statements
Here are few examples to help you see what other libraries have done. Please avoid the lure of just copying and pasting - the vision statement should be about your library. The process of developing a vision statement will inform the rest of your technology plan and should be custom-made for your library.
North Smithfield Public Library (RI)
Patrons of North Smithfield Public Library will have electronic access to a collection of relevant materials to answer questions relating to school, work, and personal life and will receive assistance from knowledgeable staff in locating and using these resources.
Mendon Public LIbrary (NY)
The Mendon Public Library will be an essential contributor to the quality of life in the Town of Mendon. Our library will provide life-long learning opportunities through exemplary collections, technological information resources, and opportunities to gather, discuss, learn and enjoy.
Ellsworth Public Library (IA)
The people of Ellsworth and the surrounding community will have convenient access to electronic information resources through proven technology and telecommunications. In the virtual and physical libraries, our role will be to provide value-added products and services which guide and direct customers to excellent sources of electronic information. Patrons will be assisted as needed by a sufficient number of knowledgeable, trained staff who can help them make the best use of both new and traditional information resources. Staff will be supported by up-to-date technology to ensure quality services that are efficient and cost-effective.
Dakota County Library
The people of Dakota County, in and through their Dakota County Library, will have convenient access to library resources through proven technology and telecommunications. In the virtual and physical libraries, our role will be to provide value-added products and services that guide and direct customers to information and resources. Customers will be assisted as needed by a sufficient number of knowledgeable, trained staff who can help them make the best use of both new and traditional information resources. Staff will be supported by up-to-date technology that ensures provision of quality services that are efficient and cost-effective.
To support this vision we draw on these values:
- We value acquiring and using technology to support the missions of the Library and the County.
- We value the principles of intellectual freedom guiding the Library in developing access to electronic resources, with customers responsible for what they choose to use.
- We value making electronic information resources available to persons of all ages, physical conditions and locations in Dakota County.
- We value electronic resources extending library services, complementing other materials and services provided by the Library, and where appropriate, substituting for equivalent resources in other formats.
- We value promoting electronic resources and complementary resources in other formats to all residents of Dakota County, both current and potential customers.
- We value staff interaction with customers, instructing them as necessary, assisting them in locating, using and evaluating information, whether a customer is on library premises or accessing library services from a remote location.
- We value the ongoing offering of new and emerging resources delivered via new technologies.
- We value the continuing education and training of Library staff in the use of electronic resources and new technologies.
What will your Technology Vision Statement look like?
This article was original published in 2010 and has been updated.
This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License