Edge Initiative in New York

Edge Invitation; National Sample Libraries

January 16, 2014

Letter of Invitation to the Directors of 58 NYS Public Libraries Selected for the Edge Initiative

Dear Colleague:

Are you familiar with the Edge Initiative?  This exciting, collaborative national initiative, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, provides tools and resources to assist public libraries in assessing and improving their public access technologies, programs and services.  Edge is a management and leadership tool that will help public libraries assess their current technology services and make improvements that will better serve their communities.

I am pleased to report that your library is one of a select group of fifty-eight public libraries in New York State that has been identified by the Edge Initiative Team to participate in the next phase of this important national initiative.  By participating, you’ll have FREE access to all of the tools, resources and support provided by the Edge team.  You will be able to complete the Edge Assessment and then utilize the Edge Toolkitexternal link opens in a new window, which will give you a look into local data, from operations to partnerships and programming, to assessing how your community is benefiting from public technology services.

The Edge Initiative has been in the planning, development and testing phases for three years now.  This phase of the project expands access to vetted Edge tools and resources at no charge to a select group of public libraries in each State, in turn for their participation in building a national peer comparison data set.

What’s Next?

The national launch for this phase of Edge will occur in late January 2014.  The basic timeline is as follows:

  • Beginning January 22 - claim your library’s Edge account at www.libraryedge.orgexternal link opens in a new window.  Simply, click the “Sign Up” button that will be located at the top right corner of the Edge home page.
  • During February/March -a member of the Edge Team and someone from your library system and/or the State Library will follow-up  to see if you need assistance in completing the Assessment.
  • By March 31 - complete the Edge Assessment for your library, which will take approximately two hours.
  • Once the Assessment is completed - your library will have customized access to all of the other Edge tools and resources, including access to training and support for the remainder of 2014 - at no charge.

Beyond playing a critical role in ensuring a statistically valid national sample, I hope that you’ll take this exciting opportunity to participate in the program not only for its added value to your library, but also to contribute to national data on the current state of the library field.

Please see the links below for a brief description of this exciting project.  More information is available on the Edge website at http://www.libraryedge.orgexternal link opens in a new window. If you have questions about these materials, or the project, please contact Amy Heebner, Library Development Specialist, New York State Library.

Cc: Directors of Public Library Systems; Jake Cowan, Senior Program Manager, Edge Initiative, Urban Libraries Council

Last Updated: June 20, 2014 --asm; for questions or comments, contact Amy Heebner