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Technology Planning for E-Rate and LSTA, 2010-2013

Technology plan instructions and forms

About Technology Plans

Why Does My Library Need a Technology Plan?

  • Any library requesting E-rate discounts for anything other than basic telephone service must have a technology plan that must be approved before the start of discounted services.
  • ALL services (including such non-basic telecom services as voicemail) appearing on a FCC Form 471 must have also appeared on a corresponding FCC Form 470 AND must be supported by the applicant's technology plan. 
  • In the event of an integrity review, applicants for E-rate funds may be required to demonstrate that their technology plan supports their request for the services they are receiving under the Program. The technology plan should provide sufficient information about the library's service strategy to validate the purpose of the services.
  • Technology assessment and planning is a necessary first step in preparing for Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) technology grants.
  • A technology plan will help you prepare for the acquisition of technologies to support your library's strategic goals.

What Should a Technology Plan Look Like?

The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company has established requirements for the content of your technology plan for E-rate purposes. Your technology plan must meet the following five criteria:

  • The plan must establish clear goals and a realistic strategy for using telecommunications and information technology to improve library services;
  • The plan must have a professional development strategy to ensure that staff know how to use these new technologies to improve library services;
  • The plan must include an assessment of the telecommunication services, hardware, software, and other services that will be needed to improve library services;
  • The plan must provide a sufficient budget to acquire and support the non-discounted elements of the plan: the hardware, software, professional development and other services that will be needed to implement the strategy; and
  • The plan must include an evaluation process that enables the library to monitor progress toward the specified goals and make mid-course corrections in response to new developments and opportunities as they arise.

The plan should document a need for library services that are consistent with the "Summary Description of Needs or Services Requested" in Block 2 of the Form 470. The plan should be consistent with the "Technology Resources" in Block 3 and should support the "Certifications" in Block 5. The plan also should be consistent with similar information blocks in Form 471 and should support the "Certifications" in Forms 471 and 486. Applicants must retain documentation to demonstrate fulfillment of such requirements.

The plan should also include sufficient detail to judge the validity of any LSTA grant requests in relation to the strategies described in the plan.

Additional guidance on technology planning is available from SLD.

When Should I Prepare My Technology Plan?

The plan must be written before you file any Form 470 for services to be received during the period covered by the plan. Therefore your plan must be written by Fall 2009 in order to support Forms 470 filed for services to be received on or after July 1, 2010. However, the plan does not have to be approved at the time of writing. The State Library will require you to submit your plan for approval no later than Friday, March 5, 2010, so that we can approve your plan before July 1, 2010.

Technology Plan Instructions and Forms

Technology Plan Instructions -- A document with specific instructions for preparing your technology plan.

Technology Assessment Form -- Complete and submit with your technology plan.

Guidelines for Developing an Equipment Replacement Policy -- also supports SLD's requirements for E-rate technology plans, but it does not need to be submitted with your E-rate technology plan.

Submission Information

Your 2010-2013 plan and a Technology Assessment Form must be submitted to the State Library for approval by Friday, March 5, 2010.

Mail these documents to:

Technology Planning Unit
Library Development Section
State Library of North Carolina
4640 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4640