Initiative helps libraries get technical

First Posted: 8/7/2013

This week I am happy to share some information about the Edge Coalition. This information is quoted directly from a communication tool provided by the Edge Initiative.

The Robeson County Library System was recently invited to participate in the soft launch of the Edge Initiative this summer to align our digital and technology services with community priorities. Edge provides powerful new strategies and tools to help libraries advocate for public access technology services that benefit their communities.

North Carolina libraries are among the first libraries in the nation to have access to this tool to assess and strengthen the technology services we provide. Our libraries help meet the technology needs and interests of our community members and the edge initiative will help us insure our residents have access to enhanced digital and technology 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 and the complete assessment toolkit will be available to libraries nationwide in January.

Edge empowers 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, economic development and much more.

Libraries provide a unique service that directly improves the well-being of our communities. The tools and training offered through Edge will help librarians engage with local government and community leaders in sharing that value and achieving community priorities.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by the Urban Libraries Council, the Edge Coalition is an unprecedented national coalition of 13 organizations collaborating to help public libraries provide all people with the opportunity to enrich and improve their lives through open access to information, communication and technology services.

Catie Roche is the director of the Robeson County Public Library. You can reach her at She is reading “Jewelweed” by David Rhodes.