Technology Plan

July 1 2014-June 30, 2017


This document is to be used as a guideline to plan for staffing, services, technology, budgets and communication for July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017.  It is a working document subject to change based on income (revenues) and changes in the library political and social environment.  This document will be reviewed each year.

This technology plan is based on the Board of Trustees approved Mission and Vision Statements which were recommended and reviewed by the staffs of the administrative headquarters and the library branches during meetings held in 2003 and 2004.  As of this plan approval it is believed that the mission and vision statements are still valid.


Mission Statement

Iosco-Arenac District Library includes AuGres Community Library, East Tawas Library, Omer Library, Robert J. Parks Library (in Oscoda), Plainfield Township Library (in Hale), Mary Johnston Memorial Library (in Standish), Tawas City Library, Whittemore Library, and the Administrative Headquarters (in East Tawas).

Our mission is to provide friendly, helpful and knowledgeable service to people of all ages by enriching their quality of life through traditional resources and technology, and to promote the joy of life-long learning.



*Continue and improve mutual cooperation between Iosco-Arenac District Library, government entities, branch library staff and our community.

*Provide and maintain a comprehensive collection in a variety of formats based on patron and individual branch library needs.

*Be proactive and creative in anticipating and responding to community needs for programs and services.

*Pursue and provide current library technology and education, responsive to community and staff needs.

*Provide an interactive and welcoming atmosphere by capitalizing on the advantages of small-community living.



Iosco-Arenac District Library was formed under Michigan Public Act 24 of 1989, and recognized as a District Library in November of 1990. 


The administrative headquarters at 120 W. Westover Street, East Tawas MI 48730, does not operate as a public service library outlet.


As of July 2014, the District provides services to/for the eight Library Branches including the following:

*Revenue Sharing of the District Millage to Units of Government Owning and Operating Library Branches (1/2 of the Actual Amount Received) for Library Operations

*Children’s and Teen Services and Program Coordination

*Funding for Adult Programs

*Collection Maintenance Assistance with Selection and De-selection (Weeding), Marketing of the Collections In-House, Repairs, and Recommendations for Shelving and Display Arrangements

*Consulting and Training (Including Continuing Education)-Includes Funding for Substitutes, Registration Fees, Travel and Lodging to State Conferences (MLA and Rural Library Conference)

*Delivery of Materials (Mel Delivery three days per week, Branch Library Delivery two days per week, Postal delivery for ALA and OCLC)

*Interlibrary Loan (MelCat participant, Valley Library Consortium, OCLC, ALA)-Coordination of Borrowing and Lending of Materials to Fill Borrower Requests (Both Statewide, National and International)

*Ordering, Purchasing, Cataloguing and Processing of Intellectual Property (Books, CDs, Database Subscriptions, Magazines and Local Newspapers, Downloadable Digital Audiobooks and e-Books, etc.)

*Ordering and Purchasing of Equipment Including Computers, Scanners, Printers, Fax Machines and Photocopiers

*Ordering, Purchasing and Delivery of Selected Library and Office Supplies

*Preparation of Grant Applications for Library Programs, Services and Equipment

*Reference Assistance and Referral Where Needed and/or Requested by the Branch Library Staff

*Statistical Recordkeeping Including Annual State Aid Reports

*Monitoring of Popular Media (TV, Radio, Newspapers, Internet) for Author Tours, Book Discussions, Upcoming Publications and Readers Advisory, etc.

*Substitute Staff Allowances (Substitute Staff are District Employees) for Branch Manager Vacations/Sick Leave/Approved Meetings

*Technical Assistance/Maintenance of Computers, Printers, Fax Machines and Photocopiers (Hardware and Software)-Full-time Technical Support Staff

*Library Advocacy and Outreach Including Advertising, Public Speaking, Monitoring Legislation Actions, Forwarding Internet Library News, and Support of 1st Amendment

*District Website (Up-to-date Links, How-To Directions and Local Library Information)

*Purchase E-mail Accounts for Branch Library Managers

*Direct Broadband Internet Connections (Fiber Broadband and T-1+ and Wireless at All Branches) and Diagnostic Connections

*OverDrive Downloadable Audiobook and E-Book Consortium

*Troubleshooting Assistance for Borrowers Using District Computers and District Automation (Via Telephone and the Internet)

*Computerized Item Circulation, Searching, Requesting, Hold Slip Notice Production, Remote Renewals and E-mail Notifications

*Mailed and E-Mailed Notification of Fines and Fees for Overdue and/or Damages to Borrowers

*Tax Form Ordering and Distribution - Support of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (AARP Sponsored)

*Primary Vendor Contact for Supplies, Equipment and Contracted Services (Utilizing State and Cooperative Discount Plans)

*Provide the Opportunity for Scheduled Branch Librarian Meetings at Different District Library Locations

*Act as Liaison to Various Clubs and Organizations (Partnerships Support)


Iosco-Arenac District Library currently employs seven full-time staff, two part-time staff and twelve substitute staff (used by branch libraries).  Custodial services are contracted.


Iosco-Arenac District Library does not manage library branch buildings and local branch library staff.  The District also does not determine library branch hours of operation.  Branch staff, buildings and hours are managed and determined by the local units of government.


The District does not own a building.  The District rents the space used for the administrative offices from the City of East Tawas.


The District employs a Technology Services Coordinator full-time.  An up-to-date job description as of February 2014, is attached to this plan.


An up-to-date inventory including hardware, software and locations of equipment is attached to the Technology Plan.  The inventory will be maintained and updated (at least monthly) by the Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper with assistance by the Technology Coordinator.  Due to security restrictions, copies of the inventory “detail” will not be shared (this includes service agreement numbers, passwords and IP ranges) with the general public.


The District went live with SirsiDynix Horizon Library Automation on July 6, 2005.  Management of the automation profiles and privileges is provided by the Valley Library Consortium (VLC).  The District plans to remain a member of the VLC.  Circulation, cataloguing, borrower registrations, requesting and searching are included in the automation.  Technical support for Horizon is provided by Valley Library Consortium.


The District went live as a participating member of MelCat on January 17, 2006.  The Headquarters staff does all of the DCB work associated with MelCat with daily request forms faxed or e-mailed to library branches.  The District receives delivery service through the statewide delivery system (RIDES) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and delivers to the branch libraries on Monday and Thursday.


District Headquarters full-time staff may be reached by telephone at 989-362-2651, or by e-mail.  All District staff members have written job descriptions available upon request.  All staff descriptions contain roles, duties and responsibilities requiring computer knowledge.  Manager evaluation and staff self evaluation are used to assess technology skills, with “super users” identified for key proficiencies.  Written policies and procedures support technology tasks.


District Headquarters Staff are listed below:

Stephanie Mallak Olson, District Director

John Cargo, Technology Coordinator/Trainer/Technician

Diane Bushman, Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper

Arleen Wood, Community Liaison Librarian

Lynne Bigelow, Children and Teen Services Coordinator

Richard Marx, Interloan/Rotation Clerk

Teresa Cunningham, Acquisitions and Database Processor

Robin Gray, Materials Processing Clerk

Anthony Chmura, Delivery Driver/Clerk


Technology Plan Budget

The budget each year will be established to include plans for the year. 

A Technology Fund will be maintained to allow for designated funds for technology and for telecommunication costs associated with Internet provision for all District Library locations.  The balance of the designated Technology Fund Reserve at the beginning of 2014 is $130,208.31.  

The capital improvement budget for 2014 is $45,000. 

Costs to maintain the contract with Merit Network Inc. to provide broadband Internet services to all District locations have been budgeted and there is a Reserve in place. The Merit Network Fund Balance as of January 1, 2014 is $60,420.60.  The Merit Network Inc. contract expires June 30, 2016. 

Budgets have been established for public relations, continuing education, automation and delivery for 2014.  Budgets for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 will support the Technology Plan.


2014-2017 Goals


Investigate, develop and execute training programs to ensure staff is able to confidently use and demonstrate new technologies.  Provide resources and tools for continuing education.


Use the Web and other marketing tools to increase awareness of District resources and services.


Improve and expand access to Horizon and MelCat On-line Card Catalogues, Borrower Accounts and Cataloguing function.


Provide for and maintain up-to-date hardware and software able to support resources and services needed and desired by the community.


Ensure that all systems are secure, easy to use and maintain, and space saving.


Determine the need for technology instruction and investigate venue to provide training.


Action Plan

The Technology Plan, approved by the Iosco-Arenac District Library Board of Trustees, will be submitted for approval to the Library of Michigan.  Copies of the approved plan will be distributed to District Branch Libraries, White Pine Library Cooperative, Valley Library Consortium, each District staff person, and each Trustee of the District Library Board.


The Technology Plan will be reviewed by the District Board of Trustees each year.  This action will allow for changes to be addressed in current and future budgets and allow for evaluation. 


A Technology Committee will be appointed by the District Board Chairperson each year in February.


A District website page has been developed and maintained with links to other websites for continuing education opportunities, staff and patron self-tutorials, news on technology advances with FAQs, and other sites of interest as determined by staff and patron needs.  The Technology Plan is available on the District Answer Desk webpage.


Hosting of the District Website is currently outsourced and all pages and links are tested and monitored monthly by the District’s Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper on a rotating basis.


The District has purchased a laptop and projector, allowing for multi-media presentation capability, which will be utilized for community outreach and branch library programs.  Additional projectors are available at library locations in AuGres and Oscoda.  The laptop is scheduled for replacement in 2015.


Hardware upgrades in 2014, will include replacing two Headquarters staff computers and replacing five older computers located in branches.  Where space allows and demand supports, the budget will support adding up to four new computers at branch libraries for public access.  New computers will continue to be small form factor CPU’s with flat screens.


Hardware upgrades in 2015, will include replacing one Headquarters staff computer, and the replacement and phase-out of computers and barcode scanners purchased prior to 2008. 


Beginning in late 2014 the District will explore the replacement of the existing telephone system at the Headquarters location including investigating the possibility of it being VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) capable.


Hardware upgrades in 2016, will include the replacement of one Headquarters staff computer and eight branch library computers.  Replacement of Barcode scanning equipment will also be considered, as needed. 


Cabling upgrades will be continued during 2015, 2016 and 2017.  Where deemed advisable by the Technology Coordinator and the District Director the upgrade work will be outsourced.


All Branch Library staff computers are being upgraded to require workstation lockdown and password protection when not attended (anticipated completion by late 2014).


Software upgrades to public access computers in 2015 may include additional children’s programs.  The District will explore standalone computers for children (AWE) at branch library locations where space permits.


The purchase of additional database subscriptions beyond those available in the Mel Database program will be explored beginning in 2014.  The District added several database subscriptions in  2012 and 2013 including ESequals, Sanborn Fire Maps, National Newspapers (Proquest) and Ancestry Library Edition.


The Valley Library Consortium is no longer managing the content filtering as of February 14, 2006.  The District has converted to a different content filtering service (DansGuardian) to remain compliant with Federal Law requirements.  Currently, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires filtering in order to receive Federal funding.  The District has received funding from Library Services and Technology Act grants, Reed Act grants and Reading is Fundamental (RIF) discounts.  The District also benefits from Universal Service Fund (USF) discounts.


All District Library locations are now wireless access sites with Fiber at six locations and T-1+ broadband connections at two locations for all District computers.  Accounts are not required to access the District wireless service and most of the library branches are now 24/7 wireless service providers.  All public and staff computers have installed mapping, office suite, imaging and other application and utility software.  The District is exploring fiber connectivity for the remaining two branch library locations as it becomes available and affordable.


A disaster recovery program has been implemented including offsite storage of back-ups.  All servers are protected against unapproved access using firewalls, non-standard ports, user names and passwords.  Each library branch now uses a network box that covers their security, web caching and filtering.  VPN (Virtual Private Network) is regularly used for secure remote access.  Software on staff computers back up site data locally, and local back-ups are securely backed up to Headquarters.  A new generation of network boxes planned for 2014, will allow staff to more easily collaborate on projects and documentation [in-house cloud-based storage and email].


The District will be taking measures to allow for more centralized management tools to handle the growing number of computers, and to securely link each branch with Headquarters.


At least four times per year, Branch library staff will receive instruction on the use of the District technology, either while attending librarian meetings or on a one-to-one basis.  Branch library staff will be informed when there are other opportunities for continuing education.  The District will investigate those opportunities provided by the White Pine Library Cooperative, the Valley Library Consortium, Michigan Library Association, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services, and other resources.  At least one training opportunity per year will be offered on the use of the Michigan Mel resources.  Alpena Community College Huron Shores Campus, the Iosco Regional Educational Services Agency, and Michigan Works will be contacted to determine if there are opportunities to use their computer labs/classroom space for staff and/or public training. 


With the growth in numbers of computers at several library branch sites there is an opportunity for small group training during non-public hours.  The District will take advantage of this.  Suggested classes will include staff and public training on the use of Publisher software for flyer and brochure production, use of online social marketing and communication (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), computers and digital photography, email basics, and more.  The District will explore the implementation of refundable deposit fee charges for “classes” on computer use. 


At least twice per year, the public will be offered advertised training on using Horizon Information Portal searching and requesting, and on accessing and using their on-line Horizon user accounts.  Open House sessions at each branch library location will be explored.  The District Director will also consider making appointments for small group training on HIP and using the Director’s computer at Headquarters.


Beginning in 2014, the District will contract with a service provider to conduct one-on-one “Tech Tuesdays” at four library locations where people can bring in their equipment and receive help with hardware and software issues.


In early 2015, a needs assessment/awareness study will be done through public and staff surveys to determine what technology training and services are requested by the community. 


In mid-2015, the Technology Coordinator and the District Director will invite High School students to an Open Forum on Technology in District Libraries to find out what they would envision a library of the future would do for them.


Technology-assisted reading skill development will be explored in partnership with other organizations, schools and colleges.


Each year, the District will post and take bids for surplus unused/obsolete equipment.  All computer parts not sold at the surplus sale will be either donated or properly recycled.