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Tech Ten eBate Program

Pikes Peak Library District, CO
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Innovation Summary

PPLD provided “eBates” of $50 to staff members who purchased an eligible tech item and completed 10 activities that relate to libraries and technology. This program was funded by unused monies from the 2012 Tuition Reimbursement budget, and was intended to further develop a truly 21st century library staff.

Innovation Leader: Dee Sabol, Community Engagement and Outreach Officer, dsabol@ppld.org

Problem Statement

As society and library service become ever-more reliant on technology, it is critical that library staff keep current on the tech gadgets, software, and services used by our patrons. Encouraging tech literacy among staff is in keeping with PPLD’s dedication to staff development and lifelong learning. By requiring the completion of 10 activities related to libraries and technology, staff was exposed to many of these things. Additionally, the $50 rebate was a great incentive for staff to purchase items such as laptops, smartphones, eReaders, tablets, and software. Familiarity with these devices and programs better equips our staff to help our patrons access library resources available via these technologies. Further enhancing staff knowledge, online technology classes were also eligible for eBates. Printed books will have a place in libraries for the foreseeable future, but the challenge for libraries in general as we move forward is remaining relevant by incorporating ever-evolving technologies into our materials access, outreach, and other services.

Innovation

The planning and implementation of Tech Ten involved contributions from several different departments and work groups. This one-time program was conceived by Leadership Team and was funded out of unused monies from the 2012 Tuition Reimbursement budget. They also crafted a list of items eligible for eBates. The Community Engagement and Outreach Office (CEOO) created an interactive Activity Guide, allowing staff to track their progress through all 10 steps and submit by email upon completion. The activities were: • Subscribe to a library-related RSS feed. • Subscribe to a library-related eNewsletter. • Subscribe to a reading list. • Post a book review to ppld.org. • Watch a PPLD TV production. • Interact with PPLD via social media. (We have many social media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest.) • Read a favorite magazine on Zinio. (Zinio is an electronic magazine subscription service available through our CyberShelf.) • Download eMaterial from CyberShelf. • Get a friend or family member to subscribe to Library Out Loud (our weekly electronic newsletter) or follow us on social media. • Finally, we asked which of these activities was their favorite and which they were unlikely to try again. CEOO coordinated with our Finance Office to create an efficient system for giving eBate information and documentation such as receipts. Checks were issued every-other week, along with other reimbursement checks such as mileage. CEOO maintained a list that ensured staff members would not receive multiple eBates. All pertinent information and a link to the Activity Guide were placed on our Intranet. Staff was directed there through email and at an all staff meeting.

Progress

We consider the program, which concluded on March 31, 2013, to have been very successful. 106 people completed the Activity Guide and provided proper proof of purchase. Feedback has been very positive. Comments from those who completed the program included: • “I am enjoying my new Nook!” • “I enjoyed the activities - Thanks!” • “It took some effort on our part to complete these, but was a great learning experience.” “• What a learning experience! We upgraded our old computer at home with added RAM and it allows us to open programs and to do tasks we weren't able to do.” • “MANY thanks to everyone who created this program. It was very useful. I am much more versed on what is available through PPLD.” These comments and others we received clearly illustrate that the program achieved its intended effect.