Slide Show from OLA Super Conference follows:

For the past two years, Toronto Public Library has been leading a team of all sizes of libraries – including First Nation Public Libraries.

innisfil public library | kitchener public library | mattawa public library | naotkamegwanning first nations public library | perth & district union public library | toronto public library | wikwemikong first nation library | windsor public library

They received a $200,000 (OLCF) Ontario Library Capacity grant to study. Funding for this project has been provided by the Government of Ontario. These partner libraries generously provided input during the research and design phases of the project, and the pilot implementation of the Technology Assessment Toolkit in their communities.

To support Ontario public libraries’ ability to deliver technology services more efficiently and with greater impact, Toronto Public Library engaged Nordicity to conduct a study on technology access in public libraries and its outcomes for Ontario Communities. As part of the study, Nordicity developed a Technology Services Assessment Toolkit for libraries to capture and analyze performance and outcome data on library systems’ technology services.

The toolkit has the ability to effectively support data-driven and evidence-based decisions around technology services and it enables libraries to understand and remain responsive to the specific needs of the populations it serves.

Additionally, the toolkit has the potential to position the public library sector as a leader in outcome-based analysis, serving as a leading example of advanced outcome measurement for peers in other jurisdictions, as well as across the culture sector and beyond.

Additional notes:

The Technology Services Assessment Toolkit aims to enable public library systems across Ontario to:

  • Measure the outputs (i.e., availability and usage) and outcomes of their technology services;
  • Identify priorities for technology services based on evidence;
  • Benchmark their technology service levels with other public libraries in Ontario; and,
  • Understand how prepared frontline staff are to support technology services

One of the primary objectives of the research and consultation conducted in the first phase of the project was to determine outcomes that would reflect the range of technology services offered by public libraries across Ontario and how these services benefit Ontarians.

The framework developed is two-tiered. It suggests that digital inclusion and digital literacy are the primary outcomes of the technology services offered by public libraries. These outcomes in turn, enable a range of secondary outcomes. Together, these two primary and four secondary outcomes create a framework to measure and benchmark how technology access in public libraries improves the lives of residence across Ontario while advancing the broader impact of government strategies and programs.

More Ontario public libraries are joining in this initiative in the future!