The Library in a Changing World of Information | Updates

The Library will stay abreast of the changing ways that information is packaged and delivered and stories are created and shared. The Library will be a recognized, trusted and relevant resource, ensuring that individuals have access to what they need.

Indicators of Success:

1.)  CLP has developed and implemented cooperative programs, using the eiNetwork and other assets, to enhance seamless library services across Allegheny County and on the web.

What We’re Doing
  • New Library Catalog interface launched in May 2013.
  • Integrated Library Catalog was upgraded to Sierra system in spring 2014.
  • All PCs were replaced in spring 2014 with new and updated technology as part of eiNetwork’s regular leasing program. This new lease cycle includes a greater number of lendable laptops to increase flexibility of space and customer choice.
  • The public wireless network was evaluated for upgrades in fall 2014, leading to replacement of hardware at all CLP branches. Upgrades have been performed at 13 branches and CLP-Main, and all remaining locations will receive updates throughout 2015.
  • New Historical and Genealogical databases were added, enabling county-wide access to historical newsreels, African American heritage and other genealogy research.
  • CLP has facilitated county-wide library access to digital magazines and downloadable music as well as the introduction of streaming video and music.
  • Improvements to self-service printing are being considered and options provided by a copier vendor are being piloted in select locations. Cost implications and logistics will be considered in 2015.
  • CLP has implemented online collaboration tools to guide conversations with county libraries and to foster more agile cooperation.
  • CLP is connecting with city, county, and public organizations to shape new conversations about data-driven decision making and civic participation through open data.  CLP is a key partner on Open Pittsburgh, the region’s Code for America brigade, a host for the Steel City Codefest, and is represented on the advisory board of the Allegheny County Regional Data Center.
  • New system-wide evaluation methods have been implemented for all shared electronic resources.  A committee of library staff from across the county has been examining library databases to ensure the best use of shared funds.
  • CLP is working with eiNetwork to develop a new strategic plan due in Q2 2016.  This document will guide eiN’s role in providing systemwide technology services and establish its value as a catalyst for county innovation.

2.)  The Office of Digital Strategy guides library decisions about effective use and application of technology to improve customer service and access to information as publishing and media channels evolve. Staff regularly review options for new and best e-devices and e-services to ensure that CLP is using current and emerging technologies that complement existing and future formats and services.

What We’re Doing
  • More eBooks are being purchased to meet increasing demand and usage.
  • iPads are being used in teen and preschool programs.
  • my StoryMaker was upgraded.
  • Playaway Views are now available.
  • Director of Digital Strategy and Technology Integration Toby Greenwalt was hired in 2014 following a national search.
  • Current services and procedures are being examined in light of ease of use and overall patron experience.
  • New policies were put into place regarding access to the Library’s digital resources and the Internet. Patrons can now access databases and eCLP if they have fines on their account and no longer require a library card to get on the wireless network.
  • The Technology Patron Experience Focus Area was launched in summer 2014, allowing library staff from across the organization to dive deep into user experience issues surrounding technology.
  • “Let’s Talk Tech” was launched in spring 2014, offering staff training and hands-on experience with bleeding-edge technology.
  • Technology competencies have been folded into annual staff reviews, allowing the organization to build a culture of confidence that will make it easier to embrace new things as they emerge.
  • Plans are in place to revise CLP’s website, intranet, and event manager, with directions in place to revise data collection tools and launch a customer relationship management platform.
  • Current website has been audited for content, and staff have engaged in evaluation process to identify generic user profiles and core tasks undertaken by visitors to
  • Website redesign is under way, and the Library is working with local developers, Bearded, to create a fully responsive, streamlined web interface for the public.  Launch is planned for Q1 2016.
  • IT staff selected a vendor to assist with SharePoint design and information architecture. The rollout will coincide with eiN’s implementation of Office 365.
  • Vendors were selected for event manager and summer reading tools, allowing for easier staff management, and setting up future outcome-tracking efforts.

3.)  All library users have access to flexible technology training options that meet their needs in both informal and formal settings.

What We’re Doing
  • Electronic device assistance previously offered at Gadget Lab programs is now available on a walk-in basis at all library locations.
  • CLP continues to obtain and examine popular technologies so staff can provide hands-on training with a variety of devices.
  • “Book a Librarian” service provides up to an hour of personal assistance in a variety of areas.
  • Basic and advanced computer classes provide hands-on instruction with a range of software.
  • Access to “Atomic Training” database and “Lynda” allow patrons to learn cutting-edge software skills on their home or office computers through thousands of how-to videos covering more than 140 software applications, including products from Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Google and more.
  • “Work Nights” offers personalized consultation services and coworking time. CLP now keeps one branch open till midnight on one night a month in order to better serve entrepreneurs or others who need more flexible scheduling for library time.
  • Based on staffwide technology competency evaluations, the Library will begin offering project-based learning programs geared to developing advanced technology skills.
  • Library programs offer training in coding, game design, and 3D printing through partners including Schell Games, The Additive Project and others.
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