COMPETENCIES FOR
PUBLIC LIBRARY STAFF

TECHNOLOGY

There is an increasing variety and complexity of technology systems that drive library operations. Depending on the size and type of library, there may be strict divisions between the responsibilities of IT staff and other library staff, or the line may be more indistinct as it is for “accidental” systems librarians in small libraries. Given the importance of technology to providing quality library service and achieving many of the tasks that support quality library service, it is reasonable to expect that most staff can demonstrate the entire Basic Computer Literacy category.

Now that technology has permeated all levels of the library’s operations and services, every position requires some level of comfort with computers. This section defines a set of technology core competencies that all staff need in order to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the organization. They are complemented well by the Intermediate Technology Competencies.

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency: Performs basic functions of e-mail applications

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understand email as a basic business function of the library and corresponding appropriate use and etiquette
  • Receives, opens, forwards as needed, or deletes e-mail messages
  • Composes or replies to, addresses and sends e-mail messages
  • Sends, receives and saves attachments
  • Manages addresses/contacts, and extended absence messages
  • Creates folders and files messages for retrieval as needed
  • Identifies and uses web-based e-mail programs as well as desktop e-mail applications
  • Creates and inserts saved signatures when appropriate.

Competency: Performs basic calendar operations and task management

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates, accepts and sets recurring appointments
  • Sets reminders for calendar items
  • Plans and schedules meetings and invites attendees
  • Creates and manages task lists.

Competency: Understands and uses basic computer hardware and peripherals

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands basic technology terminology
  • Recognizes and understands the functions of basic computer components (computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, power supply, printer, scanner)
  • Performs basic operations on computer hardware (plug in, start-up, shut-down, reboot, mouse functions, keyboard functions, uses headphones and speakers)
  • Recognizes common removable storage devices (CD or DVD disks, USB drives, floppy disk) and identifies the appropriate drives
  • Performs basic troubleshooting procedures for computer hardware and peripherals
  • Understands the set-up and use of data projectors and other audio-visual equipment used for library programming
  • Performs basic printer maintenance tasks (start-up, load paper and cartridges, clear paper jam)
  • Demonstrates familiarity with the library’s assistive and adaptive devices.

Competency: Understands and performs basic operating system functions

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Performs basic operating system functions (logs on/logs off, launches programs from the desktop or menu, uses multiple open windows, deletes files)
  • Performs common file and folder management tasks and recognizes common file extensions
  • Performs basic computer maintenance tasks (e.g., empties “trash” or “recycle bin,” restores files from trash, runs virus checks).

Competency: Understands and performs basic functions and tasks of common software programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Identifies different types and uses of common software applications
  • Performs the manipulations common to most applications (open/close, maximise, scroll, print, etc.)
  • Understands and uses the features common to most applications (menus, toolbars, taskbar, Help menu, product version information, etc.)
  • Performs basic procedures to analyze and address software application problems
  • Locates and opens basic accessibility applications: magnification, narration, virtual keyboard, etc.
  • Determines the most appropriate software application for the task at hand (i.e. word processing vs. spreadsheet)
  • Shares content between compatible software applications (e.g. copies an Excel pie chart into a Word document)
  • Converts items to accessible PDF format, ensuring consistent formatting and display when shared or published online.

Competency: Performs basic printing operations from common applications

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Identifies printers available for a given workstation, changes default network printer when required
  • Identifies local versus networked printers
  • Adjusts the set-up, previews print jobs and performs print operations.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner-level proficiency with word processing programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates, opens, saves and deletes files
  • Selects, cuts, copies, pastes or deletes text
  • Performs operations to structure, format, spell-check and print documents.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner-level proficiency with spreadsheet programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the basic structure of workbooks, worksheets, rows and columns
  • Enters, saves, edits, finds and replaces, and filters data and text
  • Inserts rows, columns and worksheets
  • Copies and moves cells and worksheets
  • Applies basic formatting to cells.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner level proficiency with mobile devices

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrates familiarity with the use of e-reader devices and downloading of e-books
  • Demonstrates familiarity with other mobile devices in use in the library, including tablets and smartphones
  • Assists patrons to find answers to their questions about device usage
  • Assists patrons who want to print from their own devices to the library’s wireless-enabled printers
  • Assists patrons who want to access music and video management applications from their mobile device

Many large libraries operate at the enterprise level of computing—a level of complexity introduced by the need to integrate multiple computer systems (including legacy systems) and networks and to accommodate access by a variety of remote users.

Last updated: June 26, 2014

Competency:  Performs enterprise computing management to integrate computing systems across a large organization

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates network connections among local area networks (LANs), mainframes and stand-alone computers, including legacy environments
  • Understands the architecture and scale of the enterprise system
  • Delivers hardware and software configurations for a variety of platforms and networks
  • Performs life-cycle management of firmware and applications, upgrading or replacing as warranted
  • Establishes and maintains an organization-wide e-mail system
  • Understands and manages the complexities of operating system upgrades on servers and workstations as appropriate
  • Manages multiple vendor relationships and licensing agreements
  • Ensures password protection and data security across the organization
  • Functions adeptly in basic programming and scripting languages
  • Understands and practices the principles of project management.

Competency:  Performs enterprise-level software management

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands and practices software version management
  • Defines schedules and implements software upgrade processes
  • Understands enterprise systems in use in parent organization and integrates library systems and services where appropriate and efficient
  • Understands principles of identity management and integrates library's need for authentication and authorization with parent institution's identity management system
  • Understands and practices good code distribution by designing and implementing architectures that efficiently distribute processing across available computing resources
  • Defines and manages processes to track incidents from receipt to resolution
  • Understands principles of cloud computing and “software as a service” (SAAS) as software delivery models.

Every position in the library depends on the proper installation and reliable functioning of all of the computer equipment and software across the system, possibly including multiple locations. The hardware is the skeletal structure on which all computing functions are hung. The software needs to be properly configured for the particular skeletal structure and networking infrastructure in use across the system. 

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency:  Installs, configures and maintains computer equipment and peripheral devices

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands in detail the functions of the computer hardware, internal components, peripherals and external storage drives
  • Performs advanced troubleshooting methodologies for computer hardware and peripherals
  • Connects and troubleshoots any hardware and drivers required for RFID
  • Installs and configures a variety of computer components
  • Understands hardware performance and the impact of individual components on performance
  • Pursues the most effective and efficient ways to obtain technical support
  • Isolates, identifies and articulates problems with hardware.

Competency:  Installs, configures and maintains printers and scanners

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Connects printers, including 3D printers, adds printer drivers and configures properties
  • Connects scanners, adds scanner drivers and configures properties
  • Supports users’ access to networked printers and scanners
  • Isolates, identifies and articulates problems with printers and scanners
  • Implements and supports wireless printing.

Competency:  Manages software applications for staff and other nonpublic computers

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Evaluates and selects software applications appropriate for staff and other users
  • Installs and configures software applications
  • Isolates, identifies and articulates problems with software applications
  • Understands and manages licensing for all software applications
  • Understands group, consortia and discounted purchasing options and selects the most appropriate option from those available
  • Understands open-source options for software in libraries. 

Competency:  Provides administration for optimum performance of database programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Monitors and implements procedures to improve performance
  • Implements measures to secure, back-up, restore and repair database information
  • Implements methods for sharing database information. 

This section defines a set of technology competencies that most staff need in order to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the organization, whether they are behind the scenes or interacting with the public.

These competencies should supplement those in Basic Computer Literacy.

Last updated: April 7, 2016

Competency: Demonstrates a general understanding of all the technologies utilized by the library: e.g. catalogue, website, social media etc.

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Searches the catalogue competently
  • Understands the variety of access points in the library’s catalogue (author, subject, keyword)
  • Navigates the basic ILS modules with ease (circulation, membership, catalogue)
  • Navigates the library’s website knowledgeably.

Competency:  Understands and uses the Internet and web based applications

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the basic structure of the Internet and the World Wide Web (websites and web pages)
  • Identifies and uses common browsers for accessing the web; understands and uses URLs
  • Uses common functions of web browsers (navigation buttons, scroll, add “bookmarks” or “favorites,” print)
  • Troubleshoots connections to internet and network connectivity, and understands how the internet service is provided and who to contact for technical support (name of internet host, municipal contact)
  • Downloads and saves files from the Internet, including image, audio and video
  • Downloads e-books and audiobooks and performs troubleshooting on e-readers and other handheld reading devices
  • Demonstrates familiarity with RSS and feedreaders or other means to manage feeds.

Competency:  Performs basic information searches

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Identifies and uses search engines, web directories and online databases
  • Evaluates information for quality and credibility
  • Can organize and communicate information effectively
  • Demonstrates familiarity with a variety of search strategies (keyword, Boolean operators, phrase searching)
  • Utilizes the Find feature to locate information on a web page.

Competency:  Understands common security protocols related to Internet use                 

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the purpose of anti-virus and anti-spam software
  • Identifies pop-up windows and blocks or allows them as necessary
  • Understands the function of cookies
  • Recognizes secure transaction sites and understands what type of activities are conducted there
  • Understands and applies the library’s computer and Internet usage policies.

Competency:  Understands and uses common social media tools

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrates familiarity with micro-blogging
  • Demonstrates familiarity with social networking sites
  • Demonstrates familiarity with photo-sharing, music-sharing and video-sharing.

Competency:  Uses technology to share information, communicate and collaborate

Associate Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrates familiarity with online file-sharing and collaboration tools (GoogleDocs, wikis, LibraryThing, Dropbox, Slideshare)
  • Uses web conferencing programs for synchronous, online meetings or learning
  • Identifies and uses help menus, tutorials and support communities to acquire the necessary skills
  • Locates and follows information sources to stay informed of new technologies and social tools.

The network is the electronic nerve center of the library’s operations and its intricacy increases with every new technology and new security threat. It’s a high-wire act to keep on top of it all.

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency: Installs, configures and maintains the library’s local area networks (LAN)

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands network terminology, protocols, addresses and ports
  • Identifies and configures the key components for set-up of the local area network (LAN)
  • Understands the infrastructure that supports the library’s LAN and identifies site-specific network needs
  • Identifies the options for network administration of hardware and software
  • Understands core differences between workstation and server configurations
  • Understands the operations of client/server and peer-to-peer networks, and the advantages of each
  • Understands and applies the principles of user ID and account management schema and tools.

Competency: Understands and supports the library’s telecommunications and wide area networks (WAN)

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the relationship between a LAN (local area network) and a WAN (wide area network)
  • Assesses the library’s overall Internet connectivity needs and works with appropriate agencies and funders to ensure the long-term sustainability of high-speed connections that meet those needs
  • Understands IP authentication and related software for secure network access
  • Understands the basic concepts and terminology of telecommunications
  • Understands the infrastructure that supports the library’s telephony and wide area networks
  • Identifies a library’s site-specific telecommunication needs.

Competency: Installs, configures and maintains the library’s wireless networks

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Identifies the library’s site-specific factors and their impact on wireless signal transmission
  • Identifies the set-up options and the necessary equipment
  • Installs and configures the wireless components
  • Applies effective security protocols for all wireless networks
  • Identifies equipment needs for individual computers.

Competency: Troubleshoots problems with the library’s networks to maintain optimal operations for staff and users

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Applies strategies to isolate, identify and articulate problems with networks
  • Conducts effective technical support interviews
  • Locates and uses manuals and FAQs, and contacts appropriate sources for further technical support.

Competency: Develops and implements practices for network security to ensure maximum protection of library systems and staff and user information

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands network security architecture and protocols
  • Understands hardware-based and software-based security solutions
  • Establishes a password management system and maintains secure passwords
  • Identifies, addresses and communicates potential and real security and privacy threats related to computer and Internet use
  • Identifies and implements solutions for addressing security threats such as spam, spyware and viruses
  • Identifies and develops a plan for regular and automated security maintenance tasks
  • Consults appropriate sources to stay informed of emerging security threats and the most current strategies and tools
  • Balances need for security with library values of privacy and intellectual freedom
  • Establishes metrics that can be tracked, reported and used to evaluate the effectiveness of services.

Providing administration and support of the automation systems and the operating systems on the library computers and understanding the dependencies and workflows among systems are critical to maintaining a functional computing environment.

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency: Installs, configures and maintains all operating systems functioning in the library environment

  • Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Demonstrates general knowledge of operating systems available for use, including open-source and mobile systems
  • Selects, installs and configures appropriate operating systems
  • Understands the terminology, specifications and functions of the operating systems in use
  • Devises and executes a plan for operating system maintenance and update tasks
  • Troubleshoots problems with the operating systems
  • Devises, sustains, and tests integrity of effective back-up strategies
  • Understands and executes the process of imaging PCs
  • Understands use of terminal servers as alternates to VPN\desktop OS
  • Manages the process for upgrading systems, including determining applications compatibility and planning data migration.
Competency: Demonstrates advanced understanding of the library automation systems (ILS)
  • Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Articulates the value and purpose of a library automation system
  • Understands the interrelationships and workflows of the various modules of the library’s automation system (OPAC, circulation, cataloging, etc.)
  • Develops effective working relationships with others involved with the ILS, including internal staff, ILS vendor support and ILS user groups
  • Uses standard or customized reports from the automation system for management of library operations
  • Establishes procedures to ensure current backups and regular updates to the automation system; schedules overnight procedures and processes
  • Ensures process for maintaining a log of system failures and problems
  • Performs regular evaluations of the systems and communicates with the vendor on failure, problems and services
  • Demonstrates familiarity with operating and database systems used by the ILS
  • Manages user permissions
  • Plans for and implements ILS software upgrades
  • Ensures library policies are supported by the ILS
  • Understands and can articulate the functions of software as a service (SaaS) and other hosting arrangements
  • Pursues integrated e-book discovery and lending as part of the ILS
  • Creates database queries not supported within the ILS (i.e. Queries the underlying database directly (SQL or Oracle)

Computers for public use bring people into the library. Public computing has come a long way since its introduction in the mid-1990s. In addition to the foundational knowledge in the other technology sections, the public’s use of computers puts extra and unique demands on the set-up of the hardware, software, networks and security.

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency: Installs and configures the library’s public access computers and networks to best meet the needs of library users

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Determines the needs for public access computers, wireless access and programs
  • Understands the nature of security threats to a public access system
  • Selects and installs appropriate computer, networking and peripheral hardware for public use
  • Installs and configures appropriate operating systems and software applications for public use
  • Selects, installs and configures appropriate public access computer security measures
  • Configures public networks to secure and isolate them from nonpublic computers and networks
  • Selects, installs and configures access, bandwidth and content restriction measures as directed by library policy
  • Identifies and implements options for reservation, time and print management systems
  • Applies AODA recommendations for physical and electronic equipment where applicable
  • Understands pros and cons of open-source vs. proprietary software and identifies solutions that best meet user needs within organizational resources.

Competency: Maintains and troubleshoots the library’s public computers, networks and security

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Develops and executes plans for maintenance and update tasks of public computer hardware, operating systems, security and applications
  • Tracks and maintains software licences to ensure currency
  • Keeps current of advances in tools and applications of benefit to users and determines the implications of deploying them on the public computers
  • Establishes metrics that can be tracked, reported and used to evaluate the effectiveness of public access technology services while respecting the privacy and intellectual freedom of library patrons.

 

The complexity of computer networks breeds an increasing array of servers to deliver particular services to users. It may be necessary to select, configure and/or maintain any of a variety of server types appropriate to the library’s needs.

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency: Configures and maintains the library’s e-mail servers

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the terminology and protocols of e-mail systems, including SaaS cloud-hosting solutions
  • Identifies and configures the key components for set-up of the e-mail server
  • Applies appropriate and effective security protocols for e-mail transmission.

Competency: Configures and maintains the library’s web servers

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the terminology and protocols of web servers
  • Identifies and configures the key components for set-up of the web server (including static and dynamic content, authentication, log files)
  • Determines whether local or remote hosting is best for the organization
  • Ensures web server security.

Competency: Configures and maintains the library’s file servers

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the terminology and protocols of file servers
  • Identifies and configures the key components for set-up of the file server (including storage, response time, access and security)
  • Recognizes benefits and drawbacks of cloud-based storage.

Competency: Configures and maintains the library’s print servers

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the terminology and protocols of print servers
  • Identifies and configures the key components for set-up of the print server to host shared printers and process print requests over a network
  • Ensures print server security.

Competency: Configures and maintains the library’s database servers

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the terminology and protocols of database servers
  • Identifies and configures the key components for set-up of the database server
  • Recognizes when cloud-based hosting is a better solution than locally hosting a server.

Competency: Configures and maintains the library’s other servers as needed

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Identifies and configures other server types as needed (DNS, fax server, game server, proxy server, sound server, web feed server, telephone).

Many positions in the library require varying levels of proficiency with a growing range of software applications, depending on which tasks need to be accomplished. This category attempts to cover the breadth of technology use in libraries and allow for differing levels of proficiency.

Basic proficiency of the most common software programs are described under Technology Core Competencies.

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency: Demonstrates intermediate proficiency with e-mail programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Performs calendar operations to manage meetings and appointments
  • Configures rules, alerts and junk mail settings
  • Uses tasks, notes and journal features
  • Adjusts email interface to suit individual needs as required.

Competency: Demonstrates advanced proficiency with e-mail programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Manages e-mail archiving and storage
  • Uses remote access, instant messaging, fax and voice-mail features
  • Uses advanced features to manage contacts
  • Uses advanced calendar features to manage meetings and group schedules
  • Performs advanced printing operations
  • Applies awareness of organizational retention policies to email management.

Competency: Demonstrates intermediate proficiency with word processing programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Inserts header, footer and page numbers
  • Inserts and formats columns and tables
  • Creates and applies styles
  • Inserts and manipulates images, charts and graphs
  • Formats and prints envelopes and labels
  • Adjusts page layout and ribbons as needed
  • Inserts and edits hyperlinks.

Competency: Demonstrates advanced proficiency with word processing programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates and uses templates/ master documents
  • Creates and formats footnotes, endnotes and a table of contents
  • Uses advanced features for formatting pages and tables
  • Creates and uses mail merges, macros, forms, frames and controls
  • Understands and uses document security and collaboration features

Competency: Demonstrates intermediate proficiency with spreadsheet programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Applies a variety of formatting options (number, date, etc.)
  • Manages page settings, previews and print areas
  • Inserts hyperlinks, objects and images
  • Uses formulas and functions; finds maximum and minimum values
  • Creates basic charts to display worksheet data
  • Imports and exports data.

Competency: Demonstrates advanced proficiency with spreadsheet programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Applies advanced formulas and functions
  • Performs advanced data analysis (pivot tables, pivot charts, goal seek, scenarios)
  • Applies advanced number and condition formatting
  • Applies advanced data management (sorts, filters and consolidates; applies mathematical, text and database functions)
  • Creates, edits and runs macros
  • Applies validation, protection and collaboration options.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner-level proficiency with presentation programs (Microsoft PowerPoint, for example)

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates, opens, runs and saves a basic presentation slide set
  • Applies slide designs, layouts and basic formatting
  • Inserts images & graphics and modifies as needed
  • Understands and applies the printing options.

Competency: Demonstrates intermediate to advanced proficiency with presentation programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates and applies custom themes or templates and manages slide masters
  • Understand slide transitions, custom animations and action buttons and uses discretion in their application, with special consideration for those with accessibility needs
  • Uses multiple sources for images and graphics, manipulating various formats
  • Inserts hyperlinks, sound clips and video clips; records narration
  • Optimizes presentations for a variety of output options, including the web or automated kiosk display
  • Identifies the most effective use of text and graphics to convey meaning and engage audiences.

Competency: Demonstrates familiarity and beginner-level proficiency with document management programs (SharePoint, for example)

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the file and workspace structure of the document management system
  • Adds new files, retrieves existing files, checks files in/out and edits files
  • Understands and uses collaboration and information-sharing features.

Competency: Demonstrates familiarity and beginner-level proficiency with web-based office applications for online collaboration

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the advantages of using web-based applications for collaboration
  • Identifies and selects appropriate online applications
  • Collaborates with other content-creators
  • Identifies and uses help menus, tutorials and support communities to acquire the necessary skills.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner-level proficiency with database applications

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Designs a database to meet specified needs and identifies the data relationships
  • Creates a basic database and accesses different views of the data
  • Creates and modifies tables, relational tables and forms
  • Runs basic queries and reports on data.

Competency: Demonstrates intermediate to advanced proficiency with database applications

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Applies advanced processes for retrieving and validating data
  • Applies advanced manipulations of tables and forms
  • Applies advanced methods for queries and reports on data.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner-level proficiency with photo-editing programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Opens, saves and prints images
  • Resizes, crops, uses basic selection tools, and performs basic color and contrast adjustments
  • Reverses changes made to an image
  • Recognizes various file formats for images and their uses.

Competency: Demonstrates intermediate to advanced proficiency with photo-editing programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Uses the array of tools in the toolbox and image adjustment options
  • Uses a variety of detailed selection options
  • Uses layers, creates montages and applies special effects
  • Optimizes images for a variety of output options.

Competency: Demonstrates beginner-level proficiency with electronic publishing applications

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Creates or opens files, chooses layouts and saves files
  • Inserts and manipulates text blocks and tables
  • Inserts and manipulates graphical shapes, images and clip art
  • Understands and applies the printing options.

Competency: Demonstrates intermediate to advanced proficiency with electronic publishing applications

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Works with page masters and advanced layout configurations
  • Applies advanced techniques to text blocks, tables, paths and graphics
  • Creates customized publications, including books with table of contents and index
  • Optimizes publications for a variety of output options, including the web and commercial printing

The technology planning process is a blend of ongoing strategic and financial oversight and project management.  The purchasing of technology is entwined with budget and finance but informed by technical expertise.  There is no dispute that technology planning is critical in today’s library.  In this competencies category, planning is combined with policy development and training so that any and all technology decisions are in keeping with far-reaching organizational strategies.

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency:  Formulates and implements an ongoing technology planning process

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Identifies key players to form a productive technology planning team and orients the team with pertinent and current information and training
  • Collects relevant data (inventories of hardware and software, licensing requirements, subscription fees, upgrade and replacement requirements) and defines the criteria for upgrading or purchasing new equipment
  • Evaluates opportunities and requirements for expanded or new technology-based services
  • Establishes clear priorities for technology plans that align with the library’s ongoing operations and strategic plan and the needs of the library users
  • Establishes sources and contacts (both inside and outside the library sphere) to keep abreast of emerging technologies and how they impact library technology planning
  • Balances risk-taking with realism and alignment with library’s priorities.

Competency:  Develops and maintains a library technology plan that meets current and future needs of the library community

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Investigates and analyzes the needs of the community and environment to understand current and future needs and trends
  • Creates appropriate goals, objectives and activities that reflect analysis of community needs
  • Strives for compatible and stable systems and configurations for maximum reliability
  • Develops and applies evaluation measures that gauge the success of the plan
  • Anticipates and predicts changes, trends and influences to effectively allocate resources and implement appropriate library technology initiatives
  • Incorporates ergonomics into technology facilities planning (placement of computer components, table height, chair adjustments)
  • Reviews and updates technology plan and goals annually.

Competency:  Develops strategies and processes for purchasing technology for the library

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Prepares the budget for purchase recommendations based on the technology plan, factoring in total cost of ownership
  • Establishes and adheres to the library’s established rules and procedures for purchasing, including procurement rules and bidding processes
  • Considers open source software options
  • Prepares a Request for Proposal (RFP) to support sound purchase decisions
  • Identifies and negotiates with technology vendors to obtain products and equipment that best meet the needs of the users
  • Leverages consortia and province-wide procurement options
  • Maintains accurate records of transactions, specifications and standards
  • Establishes and adheres to a hardware replacement plan with a 3-5 year refresh cycle
  • Establishes and adheres to a software upgrade plan with a 3-5 year refresh cycle
  • Understands the processes for and implications of applying for grants from government, foundations and organizations to fund start-up costs associated with introducing new technology.

Competency:  Creates, evaluates and implements policies and procedures for library technology

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Establishes network usage policies that balance convenience and usability with security concerns and wise stewardship of resources
  • Establishes and publishes acceptable use policies for public access computers and wireless networks
  • Establishes and publishes acceptable use policies for staff’s personal use of library’s computers, and sets parameters for social networking participation
  • Articulates and applies library policies and procedures on privacy, intellectual freedom and filtering as they relate to technology access and use
  • Understands the issues related to access to social networking sites and programs
  • Seeks staff and stakeholder feedback during policies and procedures development
  • Explains the rationale underlying library technology policies and procedures and communicates effectively in nontechnical language
  • Continuously evaluates the needs for new or revised policies and procedures relative to changing technologies
  • Develops, reviews and maintains technology procedure manuals
  • Creates and regularly evaluates disaster preparedness and recovery plans for library technology.

Competency:  Develops a training plan to ensure that staff and library users can use the newest technology when introduced

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Articulates and demonstrates technical concepts and procedures to all levels of staff
  • Assesses technology trends that will affect the library and its users and advises all appropriate stakeholders in the organization
  • Aligns technology training with the library’s overall objectives and efforts for staff and user training
  • Develops and delivers training events, following principles of learning theory and interactivity
  • Assists staff and public users in the use of software applications
  • Identifies resources available to users for instruction and training on software applications
  • Provides opportunities for staff to explore new technologies in the library environment.

Library websites range from simple to complex, but they all share an awareness of how important it is in today’s web-enabled world to connect with the library community through the Internet.

Last updated: April 5, 2016

Competency: Designs a website for the library to provide virtual, 24/7 access to a portion of library services

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the concept of a virtual branch and the importance of having a website for the library
  • Understands the basic criteria for designing and hosting websites
  • Designs the user interface according to principles of usability and accessibility
  • Understands the basic criteria for designing and hosting websites
  • Conducts and analyses website usability tests
  • Understands privacy policies, user agreements and intellectual freedom principles and how they impact library website content and services.

Competency: Implements and updates the library website

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrates proficiency with content management and/or website management systems
  • Demonstrates proficiency with website design software
  • Checks website links and updates content at least monthly
  • Understands and applies the basic elements of HTML code
  • Understands the function of CSS and style sheets
  • Performs a content inventory of the library website at least annually
  • Understands the role of metadata in website organization and discovery
  • Investigates emerging technologies for their potential to enhance delivery of information and services through the website.

Competency: Applies advanced web technologies to the development of a library website

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the architecture, protocols and terminology of the Internet
  • Uses appropriate scripting languages and applies standards for creating valid code to add functionality to the website
  • Evaluates and selects appropriate website management software
  • Evaluates and selects the most appropriate hosting method
  • Writes code to ensure the usability and accessibility of the user interface
  • Uses responsive design to build a single website that adapts to desktop, tablet and smartphone environments
  • Uses graphic design principles to ensure effective communication and aesthetic appeal of the library's website
  • Uses information architecture principles to guide organization of library website
  • Understands and applies principles of user experience (UX)
  • Understands and employs multimedia formats
  • Builds dynamic pages with database integration
  • Understands the process of improving the visibility of a website through search engine optimisation
  • Sets up and monitors tracking of site statistics.

Competency: Implements and manages the library’s presence on the web to place the library’s services in the path of the users

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the importance of having a web presence beyond the library website
  • Investigates and develops the library’s presence on social networking sites following an established appropriate use policy
  • Develops and implements plans for regular and sustained engagement with users through the library's social networking accounts
  • Monitors usage and effectiveness of the library's social networking accounts
  • Applies best practices for attracting users' attention and encouraging interaction through social networking accounts
  • Evaluates and implements other tools for extending online access to library content (e.g., QR codes, etc).

Competency: Demonstrates proficiency with video and audio production programs

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Records, transfers and edits video or audio files
  • Understands format options for video or audio files
  • Stores and displays video or audio files.

Contact Us

For questions about the compentencies index, please contact Anne Marie Madziak, Service Development Director