Two-year technology plan approved by PCPL

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Putnam County Public Library continues to look toward the future with the adoption of an updated technology plan this week.

The library board approved the 2015-17 Technology Plan, which outlines the focus of PCPL upgrades for the next two years.

Library Director Grier Carson explained after the meeting while much of the plan focuses on the administrative side of the library, there are a couple of new ideas being implemented in the coming years.

One of the aspects includes continuing to build and upgrade the library's network reliability to make PCPL the central hub of the community. Carson explained the goal is to make "the library the hotspot in Greencastle."

In addition, the plan stresses the importance of ensuring the community can visit the library and get help with 21st century questions.

Carson said the library intends to address these issues by "adding technology training, instruction, support and guidance for all members of the public through an evolving array of classes and help desk services."

The latter part of the plan has already started to come to fruition through the development of technology-based assistance led by the library's technology integrator Michael Acsbok, in the form of instructional courses and technology help desk hours.

The technology plan will soon be available online at for patron review.

Business Operations Manager Lisa Barker provided updates to the board at the October meeting in Carson's absence. She reminded the board of the final community forum scheduled for Nov. 9 at the library at 6 p.m..

The purpose of the forum is to get community input for the five-year strategic plan, which is updated periodically. With each update, the public is invited to learn more about the library's current projects in order to provide input for future projects.

Barker also reported on the library statistics, which overall was positive. She explained while the Young Adults section is seeing a decrease in print books being checked out, there is a steep increase in online book usage.

"This is the swing we keep seeing," Barker explained. "Grier has been very smart about being proactive with the library having an identity crisis."

She added while print usage is also down in some other areas, last month the library saw a 19 percent increase in door count.

"Even though the numbers are down, people are still finding things to do in the library," Barker said, noting Internet usage is up as well.

The circulation department will now be holding books for three days, rather than the previous five-day rotation. Barker said it seemed too many books were being left on hold.

She noted special circumstances would be taken into consideration, but the default hold time will now be reduced.

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