Preliminary Budget Allocation for eiN
At the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) board meeting on September 29, 2008, the RAD allocations committee made its preliminary budget recommendations. The recommendation included the following statement about the funding for the Electronic Information Network (eiN).
"Within the budget we are recommending that the $2.4 million grant to operate the electronic information network shift this year from the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) to Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP). These assets are equal partners in the operation of the network that provides common catalogue services to all libraries as well as information technology support. One of the partners must serve as fiscal agent for the grant. For three years the District's Library Committee has worked with the partners on how to move the system forward to meet the needs of all libraries. We concur with the analysis of the Library Committee that Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh should be given this opportunity. We expect CLP to work closely with the EIN board and ACLA members on improving the network."
In the 2009 budget submission to RAD, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) requested to serve as the fiscal agent for the full eiNetwork funding. As the fiscal agent, CLP would step into a leadership position to provide enhanced technology capacity to library users and libraries regardless of their size. It is our understanding, from forums held with libraries earlier this year, that the primary issues of concern for all libraries are 1) governance and representation; 2) technological advancement and 3) cost -- all of which must be considered in the context of libraries providing the best customer service possible to library customers throughout the county and western Pennsylvania. We fully understand the importance for libraries in the county to be a part of making decisions that impact them and for processes to be transparent and open.
CLP takes its stewardship of RAD dollars seriously. If the recommended allocation is passed, CLP will have both the opportunity and the responsibility to lead technology progress in all county libraries. We are committed to working closely with the EIN board and ACLA members to improve services for all.
The first step will be to work with these groups to establish a technology council and work out other governance details. Updates of the planning process will be posted to the District Services Web site monthly or as needed.