Get the Edge!

Overview | Why Edge? | Get Started with Edge | Learn More About Edge

Edge Initiative and Benchmarks

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:

-Urban Libraries Council - lead agency for Edge -American Library Association
-International City/County Management Association (ICMA) -LYRASIS
-WebJunction (OCLC) -Public Library Association
-State Libraries of CA, MD, OK, TX, WA -TechSoup Global

Why Edge?

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. 

-Abilene Public Library -Hidalgo Public Library
-Arlington Public Library System -Houston Public Library
-Austin Public Library -Hutchinson County Library (Borger)
-Balch Springs Public Library -Lewisville Public Library
-Bastrop Public Library -New Braunfels Public Library
-Bedford Public Library -Palestine Public Library
-Bell Whittington Public Library (Portland) -Robert J. Kleberg Public Library (Kingsville)
-Bertha Voyer Memorial Library (Honey Grove) -Salado Public Library District
-Castroville Public Library -Sam Fore Jr. Wilson County Public Library (Floresville)
-Coleman Publi Library -San Antonio Public Library
-Dripping Springs Community Library -Smithville Public Library
-El Paso Public Library -Tom Green County Public Library (San Angelo)
-Ethel L. Whipple Memorial Library (Los Fresnos) -Westbank Community Library (West Lake)
-Groves Public Library  

Get Started With Edge is the go-to spot for all things Edge.

  1. From the Edge home page, select the ‘Sign Up’ link in the upper right corner of your browser window.
  2. 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.

Get Your Questions Answered and Learn More About Edge

  • Sign up, explore the benchmarks, keep up with the latest news, download templates, view cast studies, and more at
  • The Edge Support Center help desk function is available from 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
  • Explore best practices and view trainings related to using your Edge results with TechSoup for Libraries at
  • Questions about Edge in Texas? Contact Jennifer Peters or Deborah Littrell from the State Library at, 512-463-5465, or 800-252-9386 (toll-free to Texas).
Page last modified: April 14, 2014