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Library Technology Plan

Essay by   •  March 16, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,067 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,538 Views

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Technology Plan

For my technology plan I chose to pick a subject that is very close to home for me. I have many fond memories of visiting the San Francisco Public Library as young as being a kindergartener, and having a feeling of sheer awe when I saw all the books, magazines, videos, and all the total vastness of knowledge and research that the library contained in its shelves and archives. It is almost impossible to try to imagine all of the information that is housed in a single library. You would surely be the most knowledgeable person in the world if you could take in just a half of the knowledge a public library the size of the one in San Francisco offers. You could become an expert on any subjects ranging from flying airplanes, to becoming a magician, to being a fitness expert. However as I grew older, and got into high school, I found myself spending a great deal of less time in libraries. One reason for me straying away from libraries was that my high school library was roughly the size of a telephone booth, and probably contained fewer periodicals than our 2400 student population. Another reason was with the boom of the internet. It became all to easy to just do your research "on-line" and forget that there was probably hundreds of books written on any given topic. There are 27 different branches of the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), ranging from the massive four story 38,000 square foot hub that stands in the heart of downtown San Francisco, to the mobile library, which is a trailer that roams the streets of San Francisco letting patrons check and return books on the go. It is obvious that the city of San Francisco has major funding for its library system. For my plan of technology I plan to implement a "Teen Branch" of the SFPL. The Teen Branch will be a center where minors ages 12-18 can come to experience new innovative technology, read, research, learn, and even get help with their homework. All patrons of the library will get a tutorial on all of the technology that will be implemented into the building. This hopefully will spark more youngsters to spend time in their local library thus inducing them into reading and expand their thirst for knowledge. Recently in San Francisco, and many other cities, it has become almost "cool" to do poorly in school, and act unintelligent. My hope is that the Teen Branch will help turn this disturbing trend around, and help make it "cool" to be smart again.

The Teen Center will not need to be some state of the art, sprawling 40,000 square foot building. It needs to only have two basic properties. The first and foremost I feel, is that it be an accessible location. It needs to be a place that is easily accessible by public transportation, and be somewhat in the center of town. Secondly the building must be capable of encompassing some modern technology. Just so happens, the building that I am looking for already exists in the form of the Eureka Valley branch located in downtown San Francisco. There are at least eight different buses that stop within a 5 block radius of the building, and the building is already hooked up with technology such as wireless internet, and a high speed connection to broadband internet. The building is approximately 12,000 square feet, which I feel is enough space to house the collection of teen resources that will be implemented into the Teen Branch.

It is obvious that there is going to be a need for some serious technology implemented for the project to work. I feel that the Teen Branch should be at the forefront of information technology in the SFPL system. The SFPL already has some great technology in use. It has T-3 internet lines, wireless internet, an online graphical user interface, and an advanced integrated library system that services all its branches. Most all people enjoy new and exciting technology. This implementation of new technology will increase the fun factor of the library and will help keep teens coming back, and keep the Teen Center full of its young patrons. Technology that will be an everyday part of the Teen Branch include wireless internet, full PC work stations, a self checkout system, media viewing technology, presentation technology, RFID, and security measures. My plan of technology will only require a short term, three year plan that will get the Teen Branch on its feet and running. Funding is readily available from the SFPL (one of the reasons for the short term planning) and all above named technological advancements will be implemented within 18 months, at a cost of no more that 350,000 dollars.

This Branch as mentioned before has access to WiFi wireless internet. The only issue that arises with Wifi internet is that it is very insecure. This should not be an issue at the Teen Branch because most students will not be dealing with information deemed "sensitive material." There is no additional need for firewalls or security work done to the connection. The main improvement will be the addition of three access points for the wireless connection. The facility already has three access points in place that are good for about 150 feet of coverage each. However their reach is sometimes compromised by bookshelves, doors, and other items about the library. The implementation of these three additional points will ensure that users get connection in the most remote parts of the branch.

PC work stations are often what bring users to a library. These work stations will be especially important to the teen center because most students do not have their own laptops, and many others do not even have a PC at home to access. There are currently 17 PC work stations in the Eureka Valley branch. I plan to more than double that number for the Teen Branch to a total of 35. The PC's will be Dell Gx260 workstations that are powered by Pentium 4 processors running Windows XP. All PC's will run on the existing T-3 internet connection in the building. The software running on the systems will include Microsoft Office 2005, Photoshop, and Norton Antivirus. These programs will run throughout the SFPL network, which was recently updated in early 2005, and be accessible to all work station users, at each branch of the library. Complementing the 35 PC workstations are going to be three HP Laserjet 9500 printers, which will do the printing duties for the library. Three work stations will include HP Scanjet 7650 document flatbed scanners. The migration to the graphical user interface from the automated system that was text based in 2002 eliminated the need for "dumb" terminals of yesterday, saving valuable space for PC workstations.

One of the newest and most exciting technology trends is that of a user self checkout/check in. There will be three 3M Selfcheck



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