This Technology Plan is an effort to plan for the effective and efficient use of resources to meet the automation and telephone needs of the users and staff of the St. Charles Public Library District for the foreseeable future. This plan is in support of Library goals and objectives detailed in the Library’s Strategic Plan.
Technology Needs Assessment
The Library’s automation program is in support of the Library’s mission:
The St. Charles Public Library is a place for all residents and taxpayers of the Library District that is dedicated to open and equal access to information; independent learning; the joys of reading; the building of a sense of community; and the promotion of cultural awareness.
Specific goals and objectives are detailed below in the fiscal years for which they are planned.
Technology Assessment / Inventory
The Library currently has in place a Windows 2008R2 LAN with Windows 7 workstations attached. Features available to the staff include Microsoft Office applications, catalog access, subscription electronic databases and Internet access using Internet Explorer or Firefox. Patrons have access to the Library’s catalog and web site, and to the electronic databases.
The IT Manager is responsible for the entire range of IT operations, including budgeting, planning and the management of the Technology Center. The Network Administrator carries out maintenance of the LAN under the direction of the IT Manager. Hardware and software maintenance of the Library’s SIRSI catalog is managed by LINC, a consortium of local public libraries.
There are security measures in place on the network. They include: virus scanning of all workstations and servers, off site storage of backup tapes and strategic placement of sensitive workstations to allow for staff oversight, and use of specialized software to prevent permanent changes being made by patrons on public access machines. The original physical network has been separated into 4 (staff, public, servers, wireless) by the installation of Cisco Catalyst 3750-X switches. Workstations are patched manually and redistributed in realtime thanks to desktop virtualization (XenDesktop and Flex) technologies, while servers are patched individually through Microsoft’s automated system.
All workstations will be replaced as required to allow for hardware and operating system consistency across the network. Printers will be replaced as need be. Wherever possible, networked workgroup printers will replace individual printers and those “shared” over the network. Software will be replaced as required to meet expanding needs, requirements and capabilities. These changes will not only meet technology needs but will also allow significant savings of time and resources spent troubleshooting and resolving problems.
In replacing hardware a projected figure of the most recent cost of the same item plus 5% will be used.
Since equipment is only useful if staff are able to use it there will be funds budgeted for training each fiscal year. Additional funds will be budgeted when a major software upgrade is contemplated.
Currently, LINC is funded by incomes from “ports” which are essentially nodes on the network that can access DRA. We currently have 40 “ports”.
Additional ports for public access will be added at a rate of 4 OPACs for each circulation workstation. An additional circulation workstation will be added each time circulation for the previous fiscal year increases by 125,000. Other staff access points will be added as necessary.
Public workstations dedicated to CD ROMs are no longer needed as vendors have turned to the Internet as a delivery medium.
1 Dell PowerEdge T710
1 Dell PowerEdge R710
1 Dell PowerEdge 2900
2 Dell PowerVault tape backup drives
Windows 2008R2 Server
Windows 7 on all staff machines
ESET Antivirus on all servers and PCs
Microsoft Exchange 2010
Microsoft Office 2010
Functions of Workstations
10 Adult OPACs
9 YS OPACs
4 Adult Electronic Resource workstations
25 Adult Internet workstations
4 YS Internet workstations
2 YS Electronic Resource workstations
90 Staff workstations
Library’s Plans to Address Technology Needs
The Library has set forth below specific plans to meet the technology needs of the community. Each fiscal year is set forth separately for planning purposes.
Goals for Meeting Future Technology Needs
- Specific Strategies/Action Steps
- Needed Hardware, Software, Building Renovation, Policies & Procedures
Fiscal year 2007-08
- CD ROM burning hardware and software in the Technology Center will be upgraded if significantly better products can be identified.
- Testing and evaluation of wireless LAN technology will continue. Demand may be driven by factors such as space constraints, new technological opportunities (PDAs, RFID), building construction or need for flexibility in location of workstations.
- Redesign of the Library website is ongoing. Some of the goals are to expand the range of features and functions available to patrons and visitors, and outreach to the growing Hispanic population.
- Gaming has become one of the most prevalent online phenomena, especially among the 18-34 year old demographic. We will attempt to reach out to this group by making some form of gaming hardware available in the Library, possibly with an associated program in the form of organized play, tournaments etc.
- We will upgrade our firewall. The existing Cisco PIX is obsolete and is now actually causing our network traffic to bottleneck. To stay current – especially in terms of security infrastructure – and to allow for ever-increasing bandwidth demand, a new firewall is required.
- We need a new backup tape drive system. The amount of data we store continues to increase at an amazing rate and we have reached the limitations of the current system.
- Examine and if necessary implement the upgrading of our cable infrastructure to 1 GB capacity. The growing demand for streaming video, webcasting etc. means we will be handling significantly larger files, in increasing numbers.
- Develop strategies to add value to the Library web site. These may include, but not be limited to, chat, patron book and movie reviews, interactive book and movie discussions and other such community-building activities.
- Identify content (pathfinders, stories, business references) which is of enduring value to patrons, and plan to make it available in a multitude of ways – via RSS feeds, MP# downloads, as OPML-enabled documents, etc.
- Begin the definition of IT infrastructure needs – including networking, hardware and software – as appropriate according to existing plans for new/renovated building.
- Evaluate Microsoft’s operating system offerings
- Plan and implement webcasting (voice and/or video) of content determined to be appropriate and valuable to be delivered in these media.
- We will again need to upgrade the backup tape system. We have huge amounts of extra data every year and we will need a new drive, which writes in a new data format to a new tape format, to accommodate it.
- Implement desktop virtualization strategy to extend lifespan, performance, and reliability of existing equipment.
- Maintain or reshape IT infrastructure to meet patron and/or staff demands from a software perspective. New hardware purchases are expected only in the instance of hardware failures; bulk purchases are not expected before 2014. Offloading applications to servers will be the primary method of extending PC life expectancy as needed.
- Increase network flexibility and extended DaaS (desktop as a service) offering to staff and/or patrons. Staff and patrons can choose the services they require as needed, thus thinning out the load placed on each desktop and further extending the life of all library PCs.
System security has become and will continue to be a major effort compared with the situation of past years. The speed of propagation of new viruses and other threats and the increasing revelations of weaknesses in most software means there is an ongoing task of monitoring and managing the need for patching of critical systems, including desktops, email and browsers. Protective software (anti-virus/spyware/phishing tools) will continue to be integrated into bigger, more complex products, requiring continuous monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the most effective and appropriate tools and techniques. The increasing sophistication of attacks, especially in the realm of social engineering, may require occasional training of staff to be aware of new developments.
A primary objective of the Library’s Staff Development Policy is to provide a qualified staff to support Library goals. Training on Library automation is a crucial component. As part of the staff development program, automation training will be included in each year’s budget as needed. Training will focus on topics such as: the Internet, the LAN generally, Windows 2000 and subsequent upgrades, and new applications as implemented.
The Library has several means of financing different automation expenses. LINC related expenses are primarily funded by a .02% levy. Ongoing LAN expenses and other expenses such as upgrades, additional workstations, etc. are funded by an automation line item in the corporate fund as budgeted annually. The Library also has a special reserve fund from which extensive expenses for automation could be paid if appropriated.
LINC is an ongoing partner in the automation program. All OPAC, circulation and cataloging automation services are provided in partnership with LINC.
St. Charles School District #303 is also a potential partner in automation. Dial-in access to the Library’s catalog and CD ROM databases is available in the schools, and the Library Director serves on the District 303 Citizens’ Technology Advisory Committee.
The City and Park District have joined with the Library in developing a community home page on the World Wide Web. The page features a community calendar and provides links to churches and other local organizations and agencies.
The Library hopes to realize the goal of meeting the community’s information needs through the use of appropriate technology. The steps to be taken in each fiscal year have been designed to meet this goal.
The St. Charles Public Library District will review the technology plan annually to ascertain whether or not goals, strategies, and action steps are being addressed appropriately and that the evolving needs of the Library and community are being met. The technology plan will be revised as needed to meet the technology vision.
ADDENDUM: St. Charles Public Library District Internet Access Policy
Revised 5/99; 3/01; 5/04; 12/06;