AUSTIN – The Texas State Library and Archives Commission, along with libraries across the state, was recently invited to participate in the Edge Initiative, a management and leadership tool that looks at the digital and technology resources libraries provide to communities. In June Texas became one of the first states to use Edge, which provides powerful new strategies and tools to help libraries advocate for continued and expanded public access technology services.

“We are proud to be one of the first states to apply Edge to assess our libraries’ technology resources,” said Edward Seidenberg, TSLAC’s Interim Director and Librarian. “Communities across Texas rely on their local libraries for essential technology services, and the Edge Initiative will help us identify ways to enhance these services.”

The driving force behind the Edge Initiative is a set of benchmarks that libraries use to assess their current public access technology. The Edge Benchmarks Version 1.0 is available at www.libraryedge.org, and the complete assessment and toolkit will be available to libraries nationwide in January 2014.

Edge empowers Texas library leaders to elevate their strategic planning, shape the story of the library and communicate its value in supporting community goals and initiatives around education, health and economic development.

“Edge is an exciting opportunity for our libraries to take a close look at their technology services and how they benefit the community,” said Deborah Littrell, director of TSLAC’s Library Development and Networking Division. “The participating libraries will receive a suite of tools that are designed to support library leaders in engaging and working with key members of their community.”

Seven state library agencies, including Texas, are participating in the soft launch: California, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

For more information, visit the Edge website at www.libraryedge.org.