Polk Information Technology Plan

Information Technology Plan 2005-2007
March 28, 2005

Purpose and Scope of the Information Technology Plan

Information technology is a critical component in the way the Library interacts with users, assisting them to find the desired information. Libraries need both reliable and innovative systems to ensure that we can continue to provide our user community with the most efficient and effective pathway to information in its various forms and formats. Assessing our information technology infrastructure to determine how technology can help us better assist our user community fulfill their information needs is an integral part of the Library’s strategic and operational processes.

Polk Library has a longstanding, cooperative relationship with the information technology units on campus. We rely on the partnership with the IT units to help us develop and maintain a robust and agile technology environment that allows the Library to best serve the university community. There are specific areas where Library initiatives and IT initiatives complement each other.

Our information technology initiatives are key components of the overall strategic plan for Polk Library. These initiatives complement, expand, and enhance current library collections and services by taking advantage of emerging information technologies and by acquiring, creating, organizing, and disseminating high quality information. The outcomes of these initiatives will allow us to expand the Library's leadership role in the campus’s information environment and will enable the Library to better and more efficiently support the teaching, research, and service missions of the campus.

  • Strategy 1: Plan for and implement needed hardware/software upgrades and purchases
  • Strategy 2: Support professional development activities for Polk Library staff to enhance their IT skills and to enable them to apply new technological skills.
  • Strategy 3: Promote the effective use of technology to further partnerships within the campus community, UW Library System, Voyager Hub group, Wisconsin libraries and the international community.
  • Strategy 4: Maintain and enhance the library systems to heighten library staff productivity in providing quality service to customers.
  • Strategy 5: Support access by customers and staff to electronic information that is available 24/7.
  • Strategy 6: Provide, create and preserve electronic educational, scholarly and administrative content.


Adherence to Standards:

Polk Library, whenever possible, will adhere to the standards and practices noted in the University’s Information Technology Plan in support of curricular and instruction-related technology for faculty and academic departments, staff and students. The Library is also responsible for adhering to national and international standards that govern library services and programs.

Current Technology Environment:

Polk Library recognizes technology as a critical component in the way we interact with users to present programs and to assist them in finding the desired information. It is a reflection of the larger campus environment in which we operate. Information technology has become both a strategic and an operational part of the Library’s organizational structure and its decision-making process. With this in mind, Polk Library has a plurality of technology systems and services that fall into four broad categories: infrastructure, instructional technology, information systems and staff training.

Infrastructure: (See Appendix A for specific Library hardware/software inventory)

A robust infrastructure, coupled with suitable technology tools and broad access, is one key to the effective use of technology. With this in mind, Polk Library will provide students, faculty, and staff with the technology resources they need to meet their information needs. The Library ensures that persons with disabilities have full access to most technology initiatives.

One of the first automated circulation systems in the state was installed at the Polk Library in the mid1970s. Since that time Polk Library has a strong commitment to the integration of technology into its program and services. Polk Library currently has access to technology tools that are provided by the Information Technology units and other off-campus resources.

The Technology Infrastructure at Polk Library includes:

  • Access to the University’s Network Backbone
  • Wireless network access throughout the library
  • Server infrastructure including:
  1. File server for electronic reserves (managed by Academic Computing and Docutek)
  2. Web server for the public library catalog (managed by DoIT at UW Madison)
  3. Application server for the library catalog database (managed by DoIT at UW Madison)
  4. Database server for the library catalog database (managed by DoIT at UW Madison)
  5. File server for interlibrary loan service, ARIEL (managed by Academic Computing)
  6. Hosted shared server for interlibrary loan service, ILLiad (maintained by Atlas Systems in Virginia Beach, Virginia.)
  7. Hosted shared server for MetaLib/SFX (maintained by DoIT at UW Madison).
  8. Network server for Polk Library staff and Media Services (maintained by Academic Computing)
  9. Network server for EZProxy (maintained by Academic Computing)
  • Desktop Support including
  1. Windows and Macintosh computers
  2. Library specific software systems; installation and updates
  3. Training on library software systems

Instructional Technology:

Polk Library has 2 instructional classrooms available for library instruction. First priority of use of the room is given to library instruction. If the room is not being used for library instruction, the room may be reserved in this order of priority: (a) Faculty Course Instruction (session); (b) Library Meetings and Staff Training and (c) University Meetings and Staff Training. Semester-long classes are not scheduled in Polk 202.

Polk 116A: Hands on Lab

The Hands on Lab is used for the majority of library instruction. It seats up to 38 students and includes 19 student computers, 1 instructor computer, a laser printer and a link system that sends contents seen on the instructor’s computer monitor directly to the students’ desktop. An ELMO visual presentation projector is also available which allows for live interactive teaching. Data and overhead projectors are also available.

Polk 202 – Helen Wahoski Room

Polk 202 includes an instructor computer, laser printer and data projector. It can be used for sessions that do not include a large amount of computer instruction. It seats up to 30 students and has wireless access. A cart with 15 wireless access laptops is also available for selected curricular instruction along with an ELMO visual presentation projector for live interactive teaching. This room also has VHS/DVD viewing equipment along with cable television access.

Information Systems:

Until recently, scholarly information existed only in print and other analog formats. With the development of digital information resources, technology has become an essential partner for scholarly research. Accordingly, the Library provides faculty and student access to electronic information resources that include commercially published full-text electronic information.

Desire2Learn (D2L)

Desire2Learn is a web-based course software package. The program can be used to deliver entire courses or to add a Web component to a conventional course. Polk Library’s resources are currently incorporated into the main user page; allowing student and faculty access to electronic reserves, books and journal articles, and direct real-time access to a reference librarian. Polk Library is working with the UWS D2L Integration Committee to explore deeper integration of library resources into on-line courses.

Endeavor Voyager System

Organized into intelligent modules, Endeavor’s Voyager library system includes the web-based public library catalog, acquisitions and serials control, cataloging and authority control, circulation, reporting and systems administration. Polk Library’s public library catalog is provided on a server that hosts 3 other UW campus catalogs in a shared environment that is managed by DoIT on the UW Madison campus. This cooperative arrangement serves as a model for other UW libraries and is currently being considered for implementation.

OCLC programs and services

  • ILLiad

The OCLC ILLiad Resource Sharing Management software (OCLC ILLiad) automates routine interlibrary loan functions. Librarians manage all of Polk
Library’s borrowing, lending and document delivery through a single, Windows-based interface.

  • Connexion

Polk Library uses Connexion to create and edit quality bibliographic and authority records that help users find the materials they need faster. Connexion facilitates sharing of records with the entire OCLC cooperative, which benefits the campus community and patrons of libraries worldwide.

  • WorldCat

WorldCat is a worldwide union catalog created and maintained collectively by more than 9,000 member institutions. 53,548 participating libraries worldwide use and contribute to WorldCat. With nearly 55 million unique records built from the bibliographic and ownership information of contributing libraries, it is the largest and most comprehensive database of its kind.

Sirsi Docutek’s eReserve System

Docutek ERes is a powerful and easy-to-use Electronic Reserves system. Using Docutek ERes, Polk Library can web-enable their course reserves and offer faculty and students round-the-clock access to reserve material online. Our Docutek ERes program currently runs on a server that is hosted by Academic Computing. The electronic reserve program is accessed over 60,000 times per year by students and faculty.

ExLibris MetaLib and SFX services

  • SFX

A UW System endeavor, SFX, which is hosted on a shared server by DoIT on the UW Madison campus, allows Polk Library to link electronic resources. This concept of linking extends beyond the method of just retrieving a full text article. While the delivery of full text information to the desktop offers a key service to researchers, SFX is able to call up additional services that can apply. For example, if full text of an article is not available electronically, the user can seamlessly check the library catalog for print holdings or make an interlibrary loan request.

  • MetaLib

In the cross-database search environment, MetaLib offers a number of options for presenting search results. Another UW System endeavor on a hosted server at the UW Madison campus, the MetaLib interface allows patrons to link to a native search interface where they use the tools provided by information providers to optimize their search experience. These features enable patrons to find information resources easily, to link directly to each of them, and to use a single interface to search several resources simultaneously.

Electronic Resources

Information databases and electronic resources are an integral part of the information collection that we offer the students, staff and faculty of UW Oshkosh. These resources typically allow simultaneous users; they can be searched on or off campus, and often either provides immediate full text or link to other resources that do. In 2004 there were over 600,000 searches or sessions using our electronic resources and databases.

Electronic resources acquired by Polk Library include fulltext databases, digital collections, electronic books and journals along with multimedia

Staff Training

Learning technology skills and acquiring knowledge in appropriate areas in critical for keeping library staff informed and effective in performing their job duties. Polk Library staff field a range of skills from basic UNIX and server-side operations to electronic ordering and accounting, circulation/cataloging systems to database management, web design to web-based resources such as D2L and Kronos along with understanding basic computer operating skills. They must be familiar with the standards and protocols on which these systems operate. The Polk Library staff is required to be familiar with web
design standards, digitization standards, along with ANSI, NISO and MARC standards for maintaining effective and efficient access to electronic resources.

Polk Library strongly encourages library employees to take advantage of the many programs and workshops being offered on campus through the IDEA Lab which acts as a clearinghouse for technology training opportunities. They offer workshops in web page development, presentation software, scanning, multimedia software as well as standard office software products.

For more specialized training in library system software and programs, the Library staff has the opportunity to receive training through several different venues. Classes may be taught by other library staff members, provided by outside trainers, provided in self-paced training opportunities including videotapes or computer-based training, provided by user conferences and also online training over the Internet in web seminars or online classes.

Funding for Information Technology

Polk Library uses several sources of funding for information technology: general program revenue, program revenue, and grants. General program revenue is the main source of funding for the Library and is used to fund the majority of the hardware/software infrastructure. The majority of the Library’s operating budget is committed to ongoing support of the Library’s systems.

Periodicals Budget: Polk Library pays for approximately 40% of its electronic resources and databases from the periodicals budget, a subset of the materials budget. Currently 22% of the periodicals budget is spent on electronic resources.

UW Shared Electronic Collection: Approximately 40% of the library’s electronic resources and databases are paid for by the University of Wisconsin Shared Electronic Collection. Polk Library cooperatively administers a pool of UW System library funds for electronic resources available to all UW libraries.

Other Resources: The last 20% of funded electronic resources are provided to us from other sources such as BadgerLink

Student Technology Fee Grant: (funding which is a 2% tuition surcharge used for technologies that benefit all students) is used to fund no-fee
printing and wireless access for students throughout the library as well as router upgrades and public computer terminal replacement. Printing stations
housed in Reference, EMC and Circulation areas are open and available to patrons at no-charge because of this funding.

Lab Modernization Fund Grant: (funding used to fund departmental and college labs) has been used to fund open access data jacks for library patrons who use laptops and also to upgrade computers in the instructional classrooms of the Library.

Relationship of Polk Library with the UW Oshkosh Information Technology Units

Academic Computing

Polk Library relies on Academic Computing for major hardware maintenance and installation, network support, troubleshooting, consultation and advice. They assist with installation and maintenance of library specific software. Academic Computing specifically assigns a student intern to work with library staff in maintaining the library’s computer systems. The Library provides a secured space where Academic Computing hosts and manages a general access computer lab.

ACUG is the Academic Computing Users Group made up of Faculty representatives from the various University colleges, Faculty Senate, Oshkosh Student Association, Residence Life and the Information Technology Division. Since ACUG’s inception, Polk Library has always had a member that sits on this advisory group.

Media Services

Polk Library traditionally has had a close relationship with Media Services. The two units are located in the same building, and Media Services has two distance education classrooms within the Library’s secured area. A library widget is located on the user page of Desire2Learn.

There are several areas of common interests between the Library and Media Services. Some of there are:

  • Intellectual property, copyright and plagiarism
  • Digitizing content (text, music, video, images)
  • Library D2L integration (UWS committee)
  • Electronic resources for faculty research
  • Repositories for faculty developed materials and sharable content and developing an electronic archive for preserving the scholarly record of UW Oshkosh faculty. (The Library is working with several UWS initiatives are working on this.)
  • Online publishing
  • Digital collections
  • Electronic records management

Current Trends and Future Directions in Library Technology

  • Focus on managing new e-content products
  • Increased portion of library budgets spent on electronic content
  • Application environment that allows library users to search multiple resources simultaneously
  • Need to integrate library resources into courseware and campus portal environments
  • Increased participation in consortial licensing and purchasing
  • Digital collections and content rights management
  • Wireless networking and open data jacks
  • New electronic publishing languages used to create highly structured and flexible documents that use customized tags or definitions (e.g., XML based languages)
  • “Just-in-Time” information delivery to researchers


Polk Library Technology Inventory
Computer Hardware:
PC Workstations (Public)
Compaq Pentium IV
33 – Reference
4 – EMC
5 – Government Documents
3 – Electronic Reserve
4 – Circulation
4 – Misc.
Compaq Pentium III
3 – Misc.
PC Workstations (Staff)
23 Compaq Pentium IV
5 - Compaq Pentium III
HP Deskjets for individual staff
HP LaserJet print stations for faculty &
Electronic Reserves Distance Education
Interlibrary Loan Staff Office
Archives Tech Services
Software currently being utilized:
Email (Eudora, Webmail) (through Academic Computing) Productivity (MS Office) (through Academic Computing)
Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Capture
Secure CRT
PrintKey 2000
Macro Express
Oracle for Windows
Docutek’s Electronic Reserve program
Endeavor Voyager
ARIEL from Infotrieve
OCLC Connexions
ILLiad from Atlas Systems