The Libraries of Foster Tech Plan 2015-2018
To provide patrons with free and equal access to materials, information, programming, and services via a knowledgeable, friendly staff that manages a diverse collection reflecting a broad spectrum of views and interests.
The plan outlined here depends not only on the vicissitudes of developing technology, but on the procuring of grants and other monies to augment the library’s budget. The specifics and time frame of the plan may change, but our overall goals remain constant.
The Libraries of Foster currently have 5 computers dedicated to public use, along with 6 laptops that may be used anywhere in the building by the public or for library programming or tutoring sessions. Card catalog services are available on any public computer through the Libraries of Foster website. High speed WiFi is available and extends beyond the building so that it may be accessed by anyone when the library is closed. A laser color printer, fax machine, and color copier is available at each site. We have a DVD projector, player, and sound system that are shared between the two libraries.
The staff and Director use a total of four computers, all connected to the internet. Three are primarily circulation computers, and the fourth is used in the Director’s office at Foster Public. All four have barcode scanners, and the three circulation computers are equipped with date due slip printers. The Director’s computer is attached to a label printer.
All staff are conversant with the technologies on offer at the two libraries. When new equipment is purchased, all staff is trained in its use. The Libraries of Foster depend on the services of the Ocean State Libraries consortium for hardware or software support.
The Libraries have created and maintain their own website: www.fosterlibraries.org. The Director and Youth Services coordinator have the primary responsibility for maintaining site content, while technical services are outsourced to a local web studio.
In 2015, the Libraries purchased 4 iPad Air 2s for in-house use, as well as Mac components for a film- and audio-editing system. We hope to augment these recent acquisitions with grants from Champlin and CAST, both currently in process.
Our goal for 2016 is to have acquired audio and visual recording equipment that will allow the basement at Foster Public to function as a recording studio, while being portable enough to travel out into the community to document the history and lives of Foster and its citizens, record concerts, or shoot films. We hope to have 10 laptops available per library, with charging carts, so that instruction or entertainment programming can take place on a larger scale than hitherto.
By 2017, we hope to have the start of a community resource library of films and recordings, as well as scheduled podcasts on a variety of subjects.
By 2018, we will be assessing our progress in community programming and evaluating what items need to be replaced, either with newer technology or as a result of wear and tear.