There is value in using the Edge Benchmarks to assess and improve your library. Your Edge results will provide a snapshot of the library's current public technology services along with steps to make improvements. In addition, you will have the tools necessary to work more closely with your local leaders to address community issues. There are three key benefits for participating:
Learn more about these key benefits.
Each category has benchmarks for specific practices. Success on each benchmark is determined by a set of indicators that provide information about the library's progress. By working through the assessment, a library sees, on different levels, an overview of current programs, where services are effective, and where improvements can be made. As a result of the benchmarking activity, Edge provides libraries with a suite of tools as well as training to put strategies into action.
|Community Value||Benchmarks 1 - 3
Libraries provide programs and services that enable people to get value from their use of technology.
|Engaging the Community||Benchmarks 4 - 6
Libraries are a valuable community resource and a strategic partner in helping people and communities improve their quality of life.
|Organizational Management||Benchmarks 7 - 11
Libraries manage resources so that members of the community who need or want access can get it regardless of ability, skill, personal technology, or available time.
Through an easy to use suite of tools, Edge supports libraries in making strategic decisions and identifying areas for improvement. The Edge Toolkit gives libraries a look into their local data, from operations to partnerships and programming, to assess how their community is using the technology and how best practices can be put into place to align future growth and services with community priorities. It also provides useful resources to package and showcase the data to other community leaders.
In 2013, twenty-six Illinois libraries participated in a soft launch of the Edge Initiative! Open the interactive map to see the Illinois libraries who helped with this project.
|Arlington Heights Memorial Library||Itasca Community Library|
|Bensenville Community Public Library District||Lansing Public Library|
|Champaign Public Library||LaSalle Public Library|
|Chicago Public Library (Harold Washington Library Center)||Mahomet Public Library District|
|Des Plaines Public Library||Mascoutah Public Library|
|Elmhurst Public Library||Naperville Public Library (The Nichols Library)|
|Evanston Public Library||Oak Park Public Library|
|Fountaindale Public Library District (Bolingbrook Library)||Plainfield Public Library District|
|Gail Borden Public Library District||Rockford Public Library|
|Glen Carbon Centennial Library||Skokie Public Library|
|Greater West Central Public Library District (Augusta Library)||Sterling Public Library|
|Helen Matthes Library||White Oak Library District (Romeoville Library)|
|Indian Trails Public Library District||Zion-Benton Public Library District|
As per the FY2015 Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grant Requirements under Education and Training, Illinois Public Libraries must have at least one staff member attend an instructional course. The Technology component requires that at least one member of the library staff and at least one board member must attend an informational webinar or in-person session about the Edge Initiative.
Public libraries applying the FY2015 Per Capita grant have the opportunity to satisfy both of these requirements by participating in one of three training sessions provided by the Illinois State Library focusing on the Public Library Per Capita grant application and the EDGE Assessment. State Library staff will provide instruction on the Edge Assessment participation and completion of the Per Capita grant application, due on or before October 15.
By taking part in the EDGE Assessment, your library will gain a better understanding of how public access technology is currently being used and where your services fall in relation to national best. There are several digital literacy tools to choose from to help public libraries. This overview of the EDGE Assessment will provide step by step instructions on how to participate, with an emphasis on how this measurement snapshot can help your library set goals and develop an action plan. In this in-person session, learn why the EDGE was chosen to be a part of the technical requirements in the Illinois State Library 2015 Public Library Per Capita Grant.