The New Milford Public Library was recently invited to participate in the soft launch of the Edge Initiative to align digital and technology services with community priorities.

Edge provides new strategies and tools to help libraries advocate for public access technology to benefit communities.

"We are honored to be among the first to apply this leadership tool to assess and ultimately strengthen the technology services we provide," said Carl DeMilia, library director.

"The library helps meet the technology needs and interests of our community members," he added, "and the Edge Initiative will help us ensure our residents have access to enhanced digital and technology services."

The driving force behind the Edge Initiative is a set of benchmarks libraries use to assess current public access technology.

The Edge Benchmarks Version 1.0 is available at www.libraryedge.org. The complete assessment and toolkit will be available to libraries nationwide in January 2014.

Edge empowers library leaders to elevate strategic planning, shape the story of the library and communicate its value in supporting goals and initiatives around education, health, economic development and more.

"As a result of the benchmarking process, our library will receive tools and training to put strategies into action and impact the community,"DeMilia said. "Libraries provide a unique service that directly improves the well-being of the community, and the tools and training offered through Edge will assist us in sharing this value and achieving community priorities."

Seven state library agencies are participating in the soft launch: California, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.