What is Edge?
Edge is a management tool that helps libraries align their technology resources to community priorities. Edge guides libraries to set measurable, strategic goals for digital inclusion and to engage government and community leaders in meaningful discussion about technology needs and plans.
Oklahoma public libraries participate in Edge through a license purchased by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Edge assists libraries with strategic planning and community engagement through assessments, resources, recommendations, action plan models, training, and tools for reporting and information distribution, all based on a national set of benchmarks.
Edge provides tangible data to libraries from their assessments and the resources, empowering them to communicate their libraries’ value to their communities.
Edge helps libraries evaluate and improve digital inclusion services in four critical areas: economic opportunity, civic engagement, education, and health.
What is digital inclusion?
Edge users will see the term digital inclusion throughout the Edge process. Digital Inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of affordable, robust broadband internet service, internet-enabled devices, access to digital literacy training, quality technical support, and applications and online content. Learn more about digital inclusion from the Digital Inclusion Primer found in the Toolkits section of your Edge member dashboard.
Why should my library use Edge?
- To better understand how your library promotes digital inclusion
- To identify ways to improve your public access technology and digital literacy services
- To compare your services to other libraries of your size
- To receive tools that help you communicate the value of your library technology services to the community and create support.
“It’s gratifying to see Oklahoma’s smallest libraries benefit from Edge. The benchmarks were designed to provide guidance and recommendations for all public libraries, regardless of their size or assessment score. Tonkawa Public Library scored above average among its peer group…We’re proud of Elda and her staff for embracing Edge and showing how it can make a difference.”
—Susan McVey, State Librarian Emerita
The Edge benchmarks, tools, and web platform were developed and first used by public libraries in 2014. In order to ensure that Edge addresses the evolving role of libraries and the priorities of the communities they serve, the Edge leadership team at the Urban Libraries Council revised the Edge program in 2018.
Highlights of Edge 2.0:
- Updated benchmarks to reflect technology changes, digital inclusiveness, and digital literacy.
- Modernized Assessment expanding from a focus on public access technology to a broader focus on the libraries’ role in digital literacy—helping library users acquire the skills to use library technology.
- New customizable Peer Comparison Reports that allow libraries to compare results to libraries with similar populations or budgets and to libraries in their state, region, and nation to help identify opportunities to better meet their community needs. This feature will become available later in 2019.
- State-of-the-art web platform with expanded resources and tools.
Some things to consider in moving from Edge 1.0 to 2.0:
- Edge assessment scores from Edge 1.0 and 2.0 are not comparable. Your last Edge 1.0 assessment will be migrated to the 2.0 platform, but since the assessment questions have changed, the assessments cannot be compared.
- Your past Edge 1.0 assessment, reports, and data will be available at legacyplatform.libraryedge.org through 2019. You can use all the reports and your action plan there until 1.0 ends.
- If you are just getting started with Edge or it has been a few years since your library did the assessment, taking your next assessment in 2.0 will allow you to use all of the improved and expanded resources and tools.
How do I get started with Edge?
To get started with Edge 2.0, all libraries must register a new account in the Edge 2.0 website, even if you have a current account in the original Edge website. Go to libraryedge.org and register for an Edge 2.0 account or log in if you have previously registered with Edge 2.0.
My library has completed the Edge assessment, now what?
- From the Edge website (Edge 1.0, Edge 2.0) download and review your Assessment Results and Peer Comparison Report (Edge 2.0 peer reports will be coming soon).
- Note benchmarks that your library did well in to share with stakeholders.
- In Edge 1.0, identify benchmarks that you want to work on and review the recommendations that Edge offers. Use the resources Edge provides to learn how to implement the recommendations you are interested in. In Edge 2.0, prioritize areas for improvement and growth by developing SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time bound. Go from abstract to achievable with a well-defined, practical goal.
- Create an Action Plan based on your chosen recommendations. Edge 2.0 guides you to further develop your SMART goals by creating an Action Plan with concrete steps for implementation.
Helpful Edge resources
- Edge online: Find out more about Edge and log in to your account
- Edge phases: Learn more about the four phases of Edge
- Edge benchmarks: National library technology standards in three areas of Community Value, Engaging the Community, and Organizational Management
- Edge 2.0 webinar: Take a tour of Edge 2.0