August 25, 2016
VOL. 2, ISSUE 8  

Edge welcomes the libraries of Connecticut as official adopters! If your library is eager to start the Edge Assessment and utilize the suite of tools, trainings and strategies that Edge offers, then sign up today! If you're not sure how to get started, contact Edge Support for next steps.


Creating and supporting digital programs and collections to meet and fulfill the needs of a community is the driving force behind 21st century public libraries. According to research conducted by Samantha Becker at the University of Washington's iSchool, 42% of individuals who use library technology say that they search for health and wellness information while 43% of US public libraries create collections of online resources to help patrons find reliable health and wellness resources.

With the increase of customers using the library for health purposes related to medical conditions, procedures, prescription drugs, health insurance, and healthcare providers, Edge users are investing more time and insight into Edge Benchmark 3.4 as it directly aligns with building and improving library health and wellness services.

To learn how you can improve and further build your library's technology health resources, invest and visit and read National Network of Libraries of Medicine: Helping public libraries succeed by Carolyn Martin, Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Pacific Northwest. You can also visit the NNLM website to research resources being offered in your area.


When Edge was initially introduced to Pottsboro Area Public Library (Pottsboro, TX), Director Dianne Connery, then President of the Operating Board, was unsure of how the library could better serve the community through increased technology. But luckily for Pottsboro patrons, the Library and the Operating Board took a chance with Edge in an effort to align their technology services to the needs of the community.

Edge triggered the library to think of ways technology could improve community outcomes. For example, few students in Pottsboro had internet at home. This caused them to spend Sunday afternoons trying to find internet access to finish their homework in time for school the next day.

In response to this need, the library started opening on Sunday afternoons and enhanced their Wi-Fi connection allowing more devices to be connected, and extended the range to allow users to connect from outside of the building. New benches outside of the library allow the entire community to access Wi-Fi 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Students are not the only ones to benefit from Edge. The improvements made to the Wi-Fi and other technology since completing the Edge Assessment have helped the library meet other community priorities as well.

"Where we are going is we want to be seen as an essential service. If we are viewed as fluff, it would be easy to cut from the budget, "said Connery. "But when we are providing people with ways to apply for jobs, eGovernment, education, and much more, we're seen as more important to the community."

As a result of the library's continuous impact on the community, the City Manager of Pottsboro asked the library to consider taking on the responsibility of managing IT for the city.

Click here to learn about the other milestones Pottsboro Area Public Library achieved using Edge.

Would you like to see your library profiled? Send us your story!


Public libraries are emerging as key leaders in closing the summer opportunity gap by moving beyond traditional summer reading to more integrated and intentional summer learning programs that focus on a variety of academic and developmental areas. To help describe the expanding role of public libraries in delivering innovative summer learning programs, the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has developed two new publications for the field.

ULC's latest Leadership Brief, Leadership Brief: Libraries Expanding Summer Opportunities, builds on the findings from the Accelerate Summer strategic partnership between the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) and the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The brief provides models of library summer learning that emerged from the Accelerate Summer research, examples of successful programs, and five action strategies to help libraries adopt a summer learning approach.

ULC also released a new report, Public Libraries and Effective Summer Learning: Opportunities for Assessment, developed through the National Forum on Effective Summer Learning, and supported by funding from IMLS. This report provides a more comprehensive overview of the diverse summer learning opportunities provided by public libraries, learning outcomes they can achieve for participants, and action steps for initiating assessment of their effectiveness. 
Measurement Matters: Using Edge, Project Outcome, and The Impact Survey to Assess
and Improve Community Outcomes
Thursday, September 8, 2016
2:00 - 3:00 pm ET

How do your technology services compare to other libraries? How are your patrons using the technology services at your library? Do your patrons use what they learned from your library's programs and services? If so, how? What are the benefits your community is receiving through access to technology through the library?

Knowledge is power. Collectively, the University of Washington's Impact Survey, the Public Library Association's (PLA) Project Outcome, and the Edge Initiative are powerful, field-tested instruments being used by libraries throughout the United States to make strategic decisions on which programming and services to offer and which technology investments should be made to ensure that the library continues to meet patron needs and community priorities.

This free webinar will educate libraries on these three outcome measurement tools and showcase how libraries are using the data for strategic planning, programming, and communication with local leaders to better serve their communities. Participants will hear from staff at PLA, ULC, the University of Washington iSchool and public libraries using all three products.

Click here to learn more and register today! 
Association for Rural and Small Libraries
2016 Conference
October 27-29
Fargo, ND

Move past the Edge of Normal: Identifying low-cost and no-cost ways to engage with your community and improve your library's public access technology

Thursday, October 27, 2016
11:00 am - 12:00 pm CT 
This interactive session will engage participants in using the Edge Benchmarks to identify low-cost and no-cost ways to take their library "North of Normal" through improvements to their public access technology, community partnerships, and organizational planning.

Visit the ARSL conference website for additional details and updates.

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