PART II: SURVEY REPORT

In-Depth Evaluations

III. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE NEGOTIATED GRANTS (TANG)

C. SYSTEMS ANALYSIS

The services funded through TANG and their impact on libraries' technological self-sufficiency were also analyzed in association with the Library Systems from which libraries received these services.

Library Systems provided technology-related training, consulting or assistance to most of their member libraries. Overall, libraries that received this training, consulting and assistance considered it helpful. BCLS, TPLS, and WTLS member libraries considered it most helpful.

Table III.C.1

Technology-related Training, Consulting, Assistance

BCLS


(N=35)

TPLS


(N=25)

CTLS


(N=57)

STLS


(N=31)

NETLS


(N=79)

TTPLS


(N=14)

NTRLS


(N=61)

HALS


(N=54)

WTLS


(N=27)

AALS


(N=39)

Staff Received Technology-related Training, Consulting or Assistance from Respective Library System Since 1998-99

91.4%

100.0%

87.7%

80.6%

94.9%

64.3%

80.3%

88.9%

100.0%

92.1%

Mean helpfulness of technology-related training, consulting or assistance to meeting library technology needs*

1.30

1.32

1.58

1.44

1.61

1.44

1.69

1.70

1.37

1.77

* Mean was calculated based on a 5-point scale where "1" refers to "very helpful" and "5" refers to "not at all helpful."

Libraries across all Library Systems identified a wide range of what they liked best about the technology-related training, consulting or assistance they received from their Systems.

Table III.C.2

Library Liked Best About Technology-related Training, Consulting or Assistance Library System Provided

BCLS


(N=34)

TPLS


(N=25)

CTLS


(N=55)

STLS


(N=31)

NETLS


(N=76)

TTPLS


(N=14)

NTRLS


(N=59)

HALS


(N=53)

WTLS


(N=26)

AALS


(N=39)

Technician's experience and knowledge

93.5%

83.3%

82.4%

84.6%

73.6%

84.6%

72.9%

68.9%

88.9%

80.0%

Technician has experience in working with libraries

54.8%

58.3%

78.4%

73.1%

56.9%

84.6%

64.6%

55.6%

85.2%

62.9%

Training was tailored to the level of knowledge/skills of staff

77.4%

83.3%

74.5%

80.8%

63.9%

46.2%

50.0%

53.3%

74.1%

60.0%

Training was hands-on

83.9%

95.8%

64.7%

88.5%

88.9%

53.8%

79.2%

75.6%

88.9%

82.9%

Technician provided training on-site

71.8%

54.2%

52.9%

73.1%

19.4%

15.4%

29.2%

13.3%

63.0%

22.9%

Technician provided follow-up training where needed

51.6%

25.0%

35.3%

57.7%

12.5%

23.1%

14.6%

11.1%

44.4%

11.4%

Materials were user friendly

67.7%

70.8%

54.9%

80.8%

62.5%

46.2%

56.3%

62.2%

70.4%

45.7%

Technician has a 1-800 line for technical assistance

74.2%

29.2%

52.9%

57.7%

18.1%

30.8%

25.0%

17.8%

55.6%

25.7%

Technician established a relationship of trust with the library staff

77.4%

29.2%

49.0%

65.4%

18.1%

46.2%

29.2%

31.1%

63.0%

25.7%

Training was tailored to library needs

77.4%

75.0%

58.8%

76.9%

50.0%

61.5%

52.1%

51.1%

81.5%

51.4%

Technician's communication abilities

80.6%

50.0%

66.7%

76.9%

40.3%

30.8%

39.6%

48.9%

74.1%

45.7%

Libraries across all Systems did not consider themselves technologically self-sufficient prior to receiving technology-related training, consulting, and assistance from their respective System. Libraries associated with NTRLS and TTPLS were relatively more technologically self-sufficient and libraries associated with BCLS were the least self-sufficient. Libraries across all Systems improved their technology self-sufficiency significantly as the result of the training, consulting and assistance the Systems provided. Libraries associated with WTLS regarded themselves as the most technologically self-sufficient. Libraries associated with BCLS were still the least self-sufficient. Libraries associated with WTLS and TPLS made the greatest gains in self-sufficiency. Libraries associated with NTRLS and TTPLS made the smallest gains in self-sufficiency.

As a result of the training the Library Systems provided, on average, libraries across all Systems were able to use and maintain their information resource technology to a moderate extent. Libraries associated with WTLS appeared to be the most able in this regard. Libraries associated with NTRLS appeared to be the least able to do so.

Table III.C.3

Technological Self-sufficiency


(Mean Scores)

BCLS


(N=34)

TPLS


(N=25)

CTLS


(N=55)

STLS


(N=31)

NETLS


(N=76)

TTPLS


(N=14)

NTRLS


(N=59)

HALS


(N=53)

WTLS


(N=26)

AALS


(N=39)

Mean extent to which library was technologically self-sufficient before Library System provided training

3.72

3.48

3.16

3.30

3.10

2.92

2.80

3.27

3.35

3.22

Extent to which library is technologically self-sufficient as a result of training Library System provided

1.93

1.58

1.65

1.81

1.85

1.82

1.96

1.80

1.44

1.83

Mean difference in technological self-sufficiency

1.79

1.90

1.51

1.49

1.25

1.10

0.84

1.47

1.91

1.39

As a result of training Library System provided, library is able to use and maintain information resource technology

1.91

1.56

1.64

1.83

1.81

1.92

2.10

1.96

1.41

1.97

* Mean was based on a 5-point improvement scale where "1" referred to "to a great extent" and "5" referred to "not at all."

Library System coordinators lauded the Systems' structure and efforts.

  • The strength of our System is the result of frequent meetings with exchange of information in a non-threatening environment and collaboration/ cooperation for many years. The System has an organizational culture that sets expectations of good public service in the local library. Communications among the librarians and with the System decrease the probability of isolation and, therefore, play a direct role in service excellence.
  • Systems are important to the continued growth of public libraries primarily because they provide support at ground level and, therefore, are able to understand member library concerns and seek solutions. Systems also provide the dynamic by which all-sized libraries can regularly share ideas and expertise with each other. We are grateful for the TANG grant for it has enabled the System to help a high percentage of member libraries achieve technological goals and offer improved service to the people of Texas: Systems could use more funding.

Library System coordinators also raised the following concerns:

  • System funding has remained flat for close to ten years, and because of the funding formula, the System's budget has lost from $1,000 to $5,000 each biennium or even each year. As a result, services and staff have slowly but steadily eroded over time.
  • Our System funding has decreased and it is becoming more difficult to maintain services.
  • This System puts more money into services than into materials and has for about eight years. Members have supported this gradual change but there is still a desperate need for materials money.
  • Regardless of the amount of training and knowledge, most of the librarians lack self-confidence in technological areas because of its ever-changing nature. Training can only be cumulative.

Library Systems coordinators made the following suggestions for the Texas State library and Archives Commission (TSLAC):

  • There should (or could) be increased funds for Systems with high poverty levels
  • TSLAC should give greater focus to serving needs of larger System members.
  • TSLAC has not addressed membership requirements.
  • Coordinators need TSLAC meeting time devoted to sharing of programs/ ideas. Communication is top-down

Part Two, Section Three B | Part Two, Section Three D

Page last modified: March 2, 2011