GET THE EDGE!
The Edge Initiative represents the first-ever set of benchmarks for public access technology in public libraries.
Edge helps you, as a library leader, to:
- assess your current public access technology and how it's used
- identify ways to strengthen or enhance public access technology and technology training
- engage with key stakeholders and the community on the value of the library's services for supporting workforce development, the educational needs of students, and more
Edge is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and coalition partners include:
Use Edge to match your services and technology against best practices that define access and quality. Take the assessment, then use the results to identify opportunities for improvement, to engage staff, and to open dialogue with your community and decision makers.
Edge support resources include: nationally recognized benchmarks, case studies, training, reporting tools, presentation tools and templates. Beginning later this year, you will also be able to see how your library compares to peer libraries nationwide. Edge tools and resources are all designed to help you demonstrate the positive impact of library technology services in your community.
Several Texas libraries have already started working with Edge! Here are the libraries who helped pilot Edge, and who can share their experience with you.
www.libraryedge.org is the go-to spot for all things Edge.
- From the Edge home page, select the ‘Sign Up’ link in the upper right corner of your browser window.
- On the Library Registration page, select your system name from the drop-down menu, enter contact information and submit the form. Make sure that the registrant is the person authorized to sign-up on behalf of your library system.
After you request an account, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to the Edge Assessment Workbook (also available here). If you like, use the Workbook to gather your information beforehand, so that details are handy when you start entering data into the online tool.
Within 10 business days, you will receive an activation email from the Urban Libraries Council with your log-in link. You can then log in to your account and complete the online assessment. Note that your log-in link remains active for 14 days - if not accessed at least once it will expire and you will need to re-register.
Accredited public libraries that have completed and submitted the Edge assessment are eligible for reimbursements for the purchase of computer equipment and supplies that will help meet the public access technology needs of their community. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has developed this program to support libraries that are developing Edge Action Plans and that will promote the equipment purchase and Edge results to their community.
A webinar on the Edge Reimbursement Program was held December 16, 2014. You can view the archived webinar here.
Applications will be accepted starting now through February 27, 2015. All purchases and receipts are due by May 29, 2015.
Questions? Contact Jennifer Peters, Community Engagement Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-463-2214.
- Sign up, explore the benchmarks, keep up with the latest news, download templates, view cast studies, and more at www.libraryedge.org.
- The Edge Support Center help desk function is available from www.libraryedge.org and from within the Edge assessment tool. It includes a handy FAQ section, and links to training, as well as standard support desk functions.
- Watch the archived Edge overview webinar Getting the Edge!: How to Improve Your Technology and Community Services with Edge Tools and Resources. View details at http://bit.ly/tslacedgewebinars.
- Explore best practices and view trainings related to using your Edge results with TechSoup for Libraries at http://techsoupforlibraries.org/blog/edge-webinar-roundup.
- Questions about Edge in Texas? Contact Jennifer Peters or Deborah Littrell from the State Library at email@example.com, 512-463-5465, or 800-252-9386 (toll-free to Texas).