Wisconsin Library Technology Strategic Plan

 


The Wisconsin Library Technology Strategic Plan has been endorsed by the following organizations:

  • Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND)
  • Friends of Wisconsin Libraries (FOWL)
  • System and Resource Library Administrators Association of Wisconsin (SRLAAW)
  • Wisconsin Educational Media Association (WEMA)
  • Wisconsin Health Science Library Association (WHSLA)
  • Wisconsin Library Association (WLA)

Wisconsin Library Technology Strategic Plan

Wisconsin Library Technology Strategic Plan (September, 2007)

Contents

Preface
1. Introduction
2. Statutory Framework for Library Networking
3. Building a Statewide Library Network
4. Vision Statement
5. Goals and Objectives
Appendix A. Features and Components of a Statewide Library Network
Appendix B. Technology-related Activities of the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Administration
Appendix C. The Library Technology Planning Conference (February 1998)
Appendix D. Program Descriptions

This publication is also available in print from the Division for Libraries and Technology, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, P.O. Box 7841, Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7841, (608) 266-2205. Bulletin No. 99071.


Preface

The Department of Public Instruction is committed to using technology to foster resource sharing, and it supports continued development of statewide library networks to improve access to information resources for all Wisconsin residents. This plan reflects this commitment. The use of technology to promote greater access to information will be in cooperation and coordination with the Wisconsin library community. The ultimate vision of this plan is to ensure that:

All Wisconsin residents have equitable, convenient, and universal access to the information and knowledge resources they need to meet personal, work, educational, and community goals. This is facilitated by the participation of Wisconsin libraries in statewide networks linking library resources through appropriate technology and technology standards.

The goals and objectives outlined in this plan will help make this vision a reality.
 

John T. Benson
State Superintendent

1. Introduction

Access:
- For Anyone
- From Anywhere
- At Any Time

These three phrases characterize our vision of a Wisconsin library and information network. Today, librarians in Wisconsin know that by working together with library advocates and other information professionals they can help the residents of Wisconsin achieve a level of information access only dreamed of fifteen years ago.

This strategic plan for using technology is the product of a process which began long before the Library Technology Planning Conference held February 23-24, 1998. It started with the first beehive OCLC terminals and the first Apple microcomputers. It started with the first conversions of card catalogs to online catalogs. It started with the first WISCAT on microfiche. It started with the first online searches of ERIC. Wisconsin libraries have developed a substantial technology base which has enabled us to construct a strategic plan that will benefit all our citizens.

A strategic plan should be set forth in broad terms. It includes goals and objectives but does not include specific details on how the vision will be achieved. The next step will be to develop implementation plans. Implementation plans will be living documents; they will need to be continually reviewed to reflect changes in technology and changes in the information needs of the state's residents.

This strategic plan reflects the division's statutory commission to promote cooperation among all types of libraries and to coordinate the development of networks to foster resource sharing. The Department of Public Instruction's Division for Libraries and Technology is committed to continuing to bring together the Wisconsin library community for the benefit of all Wisconsin libraries and, more importantly, for the benefit of all Wisconsin residents.

Although leadership for the development of this plan was provided by the Division for Libraries and  Technology, it is hoped that other library organizations and agencies will find common ground with the vision, goals and objectives contained in the plan. The division acknowledges the involvement of the Library Technology Conference Steering Committee, the participants in the conference and preceding forums and input from other interested parties.

2. Statutory Framework for Library Networking

The legislature has long recognized the importance of libraries and library networking in the state. This recognition is incorporated in chapter 43 of the state statutes, which charges the Department of Public Instruction and the Council on Library and Network Development with a variety of responsibilities and tasks related to libraries, library networking and interlibrary cooperation. In addition, the Department of Administration, as outlined in chapter 16 of the statues, has a variety of responsibilities in the areas of technology, technology planning and telecommunications. These legislative declarations and the areas of responsibilities are outlined below.

The legislature recognizes

  • The importance of free access to knowledge, information, and diversity of ideas by all residents of this state
  • The critical role played by public, school, special and academic libraries in providing that access
  • That the most effective use of library resources in this state can occur only through interlibrary cooperation among all types of libraries and through the effective use of technology
  • The major educational, cultural and economic asset that is represented in the collective knowledge and information resources of the state's libraries

The legislature declares

  • That it is the policy of this state to provide laws for the development and improvement of public libraries, school libraries and interlibrary cooperation among all types of libraries

The legislature directs the Department of Public Instruction to

  • Promote cooperation and resource sharing among public libraries, school libraries, other types of libraries and related agencies
  • Plan, coordinate, evaluate and set statewide priorities for the development of networks to enable library cooperation and resource sharing within this state
  • Maintain a statewide database (WISCAT) of library materials
  • Accept, on behalf of the state, grants from the federal government

The legislature directs the Department of Administration to

  • Be responsible for statewide information technology planning
  • Develop and maintain a statewide long-range telecommunications plan
  • Provide (in coordination with the TEACH Wisconsin program) Wisconsin's public and nonpublic schools, postsecondary institutions and public libraries with an affordable telecommunications network for the transmission of voice, video and data

3. Building a Statewide Library Network

Each library must determine its level of participation in the evolving statewide library network. The development of a statewide library network will build on the substantial networking infrastructure already in place. This infrastructure can be generally divided into conduits and content. The conduits consist of the networking infrastructure, which includes local area and wide area networks, the public/private telecommunications networks and the host of protocols that allow linkages between these networks to facilitate the flow of information. The content is the information that is accessed and transported by the network conduits to the end user. The information may reside in the patron's local library or halfway around the world. The conduits and content come together for the library patron in the form of a graphical workstation with high-speed Internet access. For examples of the constituent parts of the conduits and content, see Appendix A.

The term "statewide library network" is used only in the conceptual sense. The evolving network will not be a single structure. Such a structure is neither feasible nor desirable in the age of decentralized and distributed networks or at a time when repositories of information are similarly decentralized and distributed. Rather, a statewide library network will be an interconnected network of local, regional and statewide networks. The degree of interconnection will be highly dependent on the technology used-which will, in turn, be determined by commonalties of

  • Service
  • Governance
  • Geography
  • Or a combination thereof

For many libraries these commonalties are already well defined. A state library network can enhance existing service structures and assist in developing new service structures for resource sharing as changing needs and demands warrant.

A statewide library network will seek to enhance the network conduits and access to content for libraries already networked. This will allow these libraries to experiment with more advanced networking topologies and protocols and various methods for delivery of content. A statewide library network will also seek to provide some degree of access for libraries now isolated from the networked world, ensuring them a basic level of both network participation and access to information.

4. Vision Statement

Access for anyone, from anywhere, at any time:

All Wisconsin residents have equitable, convenient, and universal access to the information and knowledge resources they need to meet personal, work, educational and community goals. This is facilitated by the participation of Wisconsin libraries in statewide networks linking library resources through appropriate technology and technology standards.

This vision statement served as a keynote for participants at the February 23-24, 1998, Library Technology Planning Conference. A vision is just that: it is a vision. It is a statement of where one hopes to be at a future date and it does not wholly reflect the current environment. A considerable amount of work must be done in the coming years to make this vision a reality for our state's libraries and citizens. The second sentence of the vision describes, in general terms, how technology can help move the Wisconsin library community closer to making this vision a reality. This is explained in more detail in section 3, "Building a Statewide Library Network."

5. Goals and Objectives

Note: See the Updated Goals and Implementation Plan for the status of this section of the plan.

Appendix A. Features and Components of a Statewide Library Network

The conceptualization of the evolving statewide library network is shown below. The conduits, as previously noted, provide the network connectivity and access. The content is the information provided directly or indirectly over the networks. The user interface is at the intersection of these two key segments. It provides access to information for library staff and patrons through a networked workstation with access to the Web.

The main components or features of the above three segments are listed below. (Acronyms are defined in Appendix D.)

Conduits User Interface Content
  • Programs facilitating Internet access
    • BadgerNet
    • TEACH Wisconsin
    • E-rate
    • Library Services and Technology Act
    • Technology Literacy Challenge Fund
  • Linking automated systems
    • Local
    • Regional
    • State
  • Interlibrary Loan
  • Document delivery
    • Electronic
    • Physical
  • Networked workstation
    • Graphics-based
    • Text-based
  • Different levels of
    • User interaction
    • Access
      • For staff
      • For patrons
  • Cross platform support
  • Training
    • TEACH Wisconsin
    • Technology Literacy Challenge Fund
  • Technical support
  • Interface defined by local library
  • Physical collections
    • Print
    • Multimedia
  • Electronic collections
    • Popular, full-text databases
    • Specialized databases
  • Web resources
    • Peer reviewed sites
    • Local/regional sites
  • Library online catalogs
    • Local
    • Regional
    • State (WISCAT)
    • National
  • Government documents and resources

Appendix B. Technology-related Activities of the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Administration

Listed below are several key activities and programs of the Department of Public Instruction's Division for Libraries and Technology and the Department of Administration for 1998-99. These activities will help achieve the vision, goals, and objectives of the Wisconsin Library Technology Strategic Plan.

Department of Public Instruction:

  • Cosponsored with the state Department of Administration the 1998 Library Technology Planning Conference.
  • Provides statewide access for all types of libraries and residents to the BadgerLink full-text periodicals and other reference materials. Will use federal Library Services and Technology Act funds for this access through 1999 and seek state funding in the biennial budget to continue the program.
  • Will develop a model for linking together WISCAT, local and shared automated library systems, government information, full-text information, and other electronic resources.
  • Continues and improves the online (Web) version of WISCAT. Allows library staff to update holdings and create interlibrary loan requests using appropriate software and the Internet.
  • Maintains the QuILL interlibrary loan management system and explores ways to link various interlibrary loan systems.
  • Continues to manage the federal Technology Literacy Challenge Fund program and award grants to school districts.
  • Continues to manage the federal Library Services and Technology Act program and award grants to libraries and library systems.
  • Assists schools and public libraries to participate in the state TEACH Wisconsin and BadgerNet programs and the federal E-rate program.
  • Uses state and federal programs and funding to help the Department of Public Instruction reach its goal, adopted in 1994, that "by the year 2,000 every PK-12 school and library in Wisconsin will have full, direct (not dial-up) access to the Internet."
  • Implements information and technology literacy standards for schools.
  • Improves access to and preservation of state government information in electronic form. Manages a shared online catalog and circulation system for state agency libraries.

Department of Administration:

  • Manages BadgerNet, the state's telecommunication network for the transport of voice, video and data.
  • Provides statewide acquisitions and contract management for a variety of technology hardware, software, and network services.
  • Provides financing options for some network acquisitions.
  • Directs Wisconsin state government information technology planning.
  • Assists in making state government information available via the Web by, among other things, overseeing state agency Web development.
  • Works closely with the TEACH Wisconsin program, providing necessary technical assistance and general program administration.

Appendix C. The Library Technology Planning Conference (February 1998)

Overview and Background Information

In April 1997 the state Legislative Council's Special Study Committee on Public Libraries recommended that the Department of Public Instruction, in cooperation with the Department of Administration, hold a Library Technology Planning Conference with participation by all types of libraries. The DPI fully supported this recommendation, and in September 1997 State Superintendent John Benson appointed a statewide steering committee to help plan the conference.

The conference, sponsored jointly by the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Administration, was held on February 23-24, 1998. This was an invitational conference with eighty-four participants. The participants represented academic, public, school, and special libraries, library organizations and other key stakeholders.

Conference Partners

To fulfill its statutory directive, the Department of Public Instruction has long supported the use and advancement of technology in the state's libraries. For example, WISCAT, the state library catalog, represents the department's largest investment in a cooperative statewide library technology project. Over 1,100 libraries of all types now participate in WISCAT. The DPI has also allocated funds, primarily in federal Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) dollars, for a variety of other technology-related projects. The department has negotiated contracts for access by all libraries, educational institutions and Wisconsin residents to full-text periodicals in electronic format and to other databases. The department has allocated $2.1 million in federal funds to pay for access through December 1999.

The Department of Administration led the development of an enterprise-wide vision of information technology for state government. In addition, the DOA is responsible for BadgerNet, the state's telecommunications network. BadgerNet is available to all state PK-12 schools, public libraries and academic institutions. With access to information increasingly dependent upon access to a robust and affordable networking infrastructure, the DOA plays a key role in development of education and information networks. The department is also responsible for the TEACH program, which funds technology access and use in our state's PK-12 schools, institutions of higher education and public libraries.

Conference Goal

The Library Technology Planning Conference goal was to develop a consensus in the state's library community on the strategic direction for further development of library automation and information technology. This consensus was attained through the conference workgroup sessions that identified top priorities in such areas as features of a state library network, training issues and funding. The strategic direction that evolved from this consensus served as a basis for developing this plan and will serve as a basis for developing any legislative package submitted as part of the 1999/2001 biennial budget.

The Process and a Summary of Conference Results

The conference participants addressed five issues through group processes and priority setting exercises. In the first session, all participants worked together in developing ideas and priorities in connection with the major issue, under the program heading "Features of Statewide Electronic Library Networks." Participants then divided into smaller workgroups to consider four other issues: (1) training, (2) technical assistance, (3) document delivery, and (4) educating decision makers. Follow-up sessions by all participants developed priorities for training, technical assistance and document delivery. There was broad agreement on the need to educate decision makers; no priorities were developed for this issue. The information below summarizes the workgroup sessions and the preferences from the priority exercises. This information is extracted from the conference report, which includes much more information.

Features of Statewide Electronic Library Networks: There were more than 400 individual comments related to this topic. The top priorities can be summarized under the categories of network access, the user interface, and access to content. Network access priorities include Internet access for all libraries, linking automated systems, flexible interlibrary loan, and statewide delivery of electronic as well as print resources. User interface priorities include a GUI (graphical user interface) based Web interface, different levels of use, cross platform support, and training. Content priorities include access to library collections, statewide licensing of full-text and other databases, and developing a list of quality Web resources.

Training Issues: Some of the needs identified by these workgroups included methods for training staff and patrons, use of distance education (e.g., videoconferencing), use of computer-based training (CBT), and training focused on topical issues (e.g., licensing, copyright, policy development).

Technical Assistance Issues: The top recommendations in this area included setting a base level of funding to provide adequate hardware / software / high-speed Internet connections in every public library, and a state-defined minimum standard for hardware/software and network access. Also mentioned was the need for a hierarchy of state and regional level specialized personnel in such areas as technology implementation, Web page design, network design/administration, training and security.

Document Delivery Issues: The major findings from the workgroups on this issue were the need for all libraries to have access to effective delivery services, the need for multiple or flexible delivery options, direct electronic access to content, and direct delivery to patrons.

Educating Decision Makers: There was general consensus on this critical need, and this workgroup did not conduct a priority setting exercise. Some of the key issues discussed included the need for regular communication with key stakeholders and other groups and the need to demonstrate linkages among networks and show how a statewide library network is dynamic, not static. Another key theme was the need for a coordinated state lobbying effort by the library community, emphasizing how the network will benefit all libraries and citizens.

Appendix D. Program Descriptions

Below are brief descriptions of some of the key programs referenced in this plan.

BadgerLink: BadgerLink is a project of the DPI's Division for Libraries and Community Learning. Its goal is to provide Wisconsin residents with increased access to information resources in cooperation with the state's public, school, academic, and special libraries. BadgerLink focuses on content by providing access to information resources using existing telecommunication networks (e.g., BadgerNet) and Internet connections. The concept of BadgerLink was a key topic discussed at the February 1998 Library Technology Planning Conference. BadgerLink represents an initial attempt to implement the technology plan's first goal, to provide access to information. For more information, see the BadgerLink Web site at http://www.badgerlink.net.

BadgerNet: BadgerNet is the state's next generation of voice, data and video networks and communication services. It serves all state, regional and local units of government, public libraries, K-12 schools, institutions of higher education and any entities eligible for the TEACH Wisconsin program. BadgerNet is part of the Department of Administration. For more information, see the BadgerNet Web.

E-rate: The E-rate (Education-rate) is a federal program designed to provide K-12 schools and public libraries with discounts from 20 to 90 percent on costs related to telecommunications, Internet and internal connections. For more information, see the DPI's E-rate Web site at http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/pld_erate.

TEACH Wisconsin: TEACH (Technology for Educational ACHievement) Wisconsin is a major state educational technology program that provides support for educational technology and for telecommunications access by eligible organizations. The program is designed to accelerate the use of technology by libraries, K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. For more information, see the TEACH Wisconsin Web site at http://www.teachwi.state.wi.us/.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA): The LSTA program is a federal grant program administered by the Division for Libraries and Community Learning. Several key purposes of the LSTA program are to establish or enhance electronic linkages among or between libraries, to assist libraries in accessing information through electronic networks, and to encourage libraries to establish consortia and share resources. For more information, see the DPI's LSTA Web site at http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/pld_lsta.

Technology Literacy Challenge Fund (TLCF): The TLCF program is a federal grant program administered by the Division for Libraries and Technology. The key purpose of the TLCF program is to support the national technology goals that teachers have the training and support needed to help students learn through technology, that all students and teachers have modern computers in their classrooms, that every classroom be connected to the Internet and that effective software and online resources be integrated with the curriculum.

Direct any questions on this plan to:

Ryan Claringbole, Technology Consultant
WI State Library Division -- Public Library Development
125 S. Webster St. Madison WI 53707-7841
(608-266-9534, fax 608-267-9207)
Ryan Claringbole

Updated May 2, 2014

For questions about this information, contact Robert Bocher (608) 266-2127