Using E-rate funds to Upgrade your Library? A Word on What to do with a Digitally Sound Facility

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Using E-rate funds to Upgrade your Library? A Word on What to do with a Digitally Sound Facility

The E-rate program is such a great outlet for funding discounts for enhanced broadband connectivity and wireless infrastructure. Libraries serve such a diverse set of clients that having reliable networks is critical for the personal development goals of its constituents. Yet what happens when you’ve completed the e-rate process, connected with a great provider and have a library that is digitally wired and ready to go? Well here are three fun yet simple ideas to put in motion within your library.

  1. Make Access to Digital Something Special: Host a cloud based collection and make it easier for people to find digital content within your database. Hosting materials on a cloud makes it more accessible in real time. It also enhances efficiency in meeting demand  since  now  you  can  proactively  monitor  popular  items  that  need  additional restocking vs ones with limited appeal that can be boosted with a stared feature.
  2. Make the learning experience more social: It is perhaps impossible to run away from the usage of social media to promote value amongst your user base. Don’t wait for library members to search your site for social media updates, invite them in by initiating dialogue,  conversation  and  controversy  on  all  social  media  outlets.  Several  libraries across the country post thought provoking questions or headlines that initiate strong reactions.  From there,  as the conversation ensues,  let  it  be a catalyst for  promoting research and knowledge sharing.
  3.  Prepare  Everyone  for  the  Digital  Future: This  goes  without  saying  but  it  is important that you provide tutorial sessions or workshops that help get all constituents,both young and old computer savvy. For communities with limited access to funding and support,  the library is  the first  point  of  reference for  such training.  Be prepared,  be effective and useful. In all, libraries will always be a special place for people who love the old school feel of crisp  pages  that  deploy  knowledge.  Yet  as  we  move  forward  into  a  new  age  in technology,  the  balance  between  digital  and  print  content  within  libraries  will  be  a constant  battle.  Nevertheless,  libraries  should  embrace  the  expansive  potential  of greater connectivity and engage their constituents in more innovative ways.

 

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