Understanding Library Tech Needs and Readiness: a new IFLA Briefing
07 October 2020
Information technology continues to have a fundamental impact on the library sector. Libraries’, library users’ and policy-makers’ expectations of library services are evolving alongside technological developments and changing community needs. To make sure libraries are able to deliver on these tasks, suitable and fit-for-purpose library ICT infrastructure, equipment and skills are crucial. A new IFLA briefing offers an overview of common recurring themes in relevant literature and key considerations for assessing library ‘tech readiness’.
From public internet access facilities to digital collections, from online learning to makerspaces – the ICT-enabled roles and services libraries take on require a fit-for-purpose ICT infrastructure, staff digital skills, and more.
Drawing on the available literature on library technology planning, evaluation and assessment in the field, this new IFLA briefing offers an overview of some of the key topics and considerations for assessing library tech needs and readiness.
The briefing discusses:
- A first step towards library tech assessment – inventory of available infrastructure and equipment;
- Broader actors that impact library ‘readiness’, from budgets to policies and beyond;
- The wider tech readiness context: tailoring library tech plans and goals to community needs.
Drawing on the above, the briefing suggests that library tech needs can be understood as solving an equation between library offerings based on available resources and infrastructure, staff skills, policies and practices – and community needs and demands.
You can access the briefing on the publications page.