March 17, 2018

Technology for Results at PLA

By LJ Staff

The technology talk at the Public Library Association’s 11th National Conference was especially lively, with speakers offering much practical hands-on advice, rather than speculation on "where it’s all going." Diane Mayo of Information Partners and Deborah Duke of the Fort Worth PL hosted an informative session titled Technology for Results: Developing Your Library’s Technology Plan. "There are no national standards" for building a tech plan, says Mayo, so it is different for every library. "You have to decide what you want to achieve," she said. She emphasized thinking through the process carefully and keeping logs on every step for easy review and revision. "Technology is a financial sink hole, there’s never enough money," she said, recommending careful planning. Another paramount facet of plan building is deciding on who needs to be on the inevitable committee. She advised combining staff and tech support people from within the library/university with those (from local government or university administration) who have the power to approve the plan as well as those who have the power to derail it. Mayo warned listeners to proceed steadily because technology becomes outdated very quickly.