The library’s current course of program and infrastructure development follows the 1995-2000 strategic plan. As the Library looks beyond the initial three-year EIN project of network development, it will be useful to see whether a library-developed and coordinated system can move beyond information access and delivery to provide a tool for true interaction and problem solving among community members. The library will make additional electronic information resources available through the EIN, especially resources published by the library through collaboration with local nonprofits. Given the comprehensive, one-big-network approach to building network content, how will the library serve the unique information needs of individual branches and libraries throughout the region?
The library will attempt to answer such questions through a program to evaluate the Electronic Information Network and its usefulness to people of all ages. A three-year project (for which the library is seeking funds) is being developed to evaluate the regional impact of the access to new information on the Internet. The project is not designed to evaluate the technology itself but instead to evaluate the use of the World Wide Web as an interface to information resources. The results of this evaluation will be of interest to library and community information network professionals far beyond the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The results will enable the library to fine tune the plans to better meet community needs.
Reaching out further to non-profits and underserved populations, and building a wider technological base to do it, will require money. The odds are that Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, with a strong record of building strategic local alliances upon carefully laid plans, will continue to find ways–even innovative new ways–to do it.
From the publication Public Libraries, Communities, and Technology: Twelve Case Studies, published by The Council on Library Resources, ©1996. For more information contact
The Council on Library Resources, 1400 16th Street NW,
Suite 715, Washington DC, 20036. Phone (202) 939-3370. Fax (202) 939-3499.