Blog

1 April 2015 - 12:01pm | by Ginny Mies

Generally, I'm all for mobile apps or computer programs that support literacy. TechSoup for Libraries had a webinar a few months ago, in fact, on ways librarians can incorporate apps and technology into story time.

But when I heard about Clean Reader, the app that scrubs out "profanity" from books and replaces it with alternative words, I was offended. It's not explicit language that makes me grimace, but the fact that this app is a blatant form of censorship.

16 March 2015 - 11:46am | by Ginny Mies

 

"How can I get [insert type of e-resource or content] on my [insert type of mobile device]?"

If your library offers some sort of electronic resource, whether it be e-books, audiobooks, or simply your online catalog, you've probably heard this question before. Perhaps you get more basic, non-library-specific technology questions about mobile devices, like "How do I check my email?" or "Where can I watch a YouTube video?" No matter how large your library is or where it's located, you surely have patrons using mobile devices.

10 March 2015 - 11:31am | by Ginny Mies

I was scanning the ALA Store when a book caught my eye: Technology for Small and One-Person Libraries: A LITA Guide. Given how many of our TechSoup for Libraries members come from small libraries, I thought this book would be a great subject for our very first book review! Is this guide something that belongs on every rural librarian's shelves? Can you get technology tips from a printed book? Will even the tech-savviest of librarians get something out of this book? Yes, yes, … and yes!

A Quick Caveat on Books About Tech

I'm possibly stating the obvious here, but it's important to note that when you buy a book on technology, there is almost always going to be something out-of-date in it. Technology moves so fast that even if the publisher were to continuously release updated versions of the book, it still couldn't keep up.

 Technology for Small and One-Person Libraries was published in 2013, and although the authors do a great job of keeping the descriptions and names of technology general, there is some information that isn't quite current. For example, the social media chapter lists a few platforms and tools to check out, but doesn't include Tumblr, Instagram, or Pinterest, which have become quite popular among libraries.  

24 February 2015 - 10:25am | by Ginny Mies

Could your library use some assistance in staffing? Whether you work at a large city library or a small one- or two-staff-member rural library, volunteers can make a huge difference! But how do you recruit, manage, and engage volunteers? How do you make sure your volunteers keep coming back?

My kids got me a Kindle

5 February 2015 - 12:35pm | by Ginny Mies

$19 Million Saved with TechSoup for Libraries

Yes, you read that correctly: The donation and discount programs through TechSoup for Libraries saved public libraries a total of $19 million in 2014. That's a lot of e-readers, tech instructors, resume reviewers, new hires, flyers, 3D printers … and so on.

4 February 2015 - 10:45am | by Ginny Mies

I first got hooked on genealogy in library school — a reference services course to be exact. We had an assignment where we had to look up information about an ancestor using primary and secondary library resources. After that little taste, I was hooked and started exploring even more of my family's history (and yes, signed up for an Ancestry account).

Genealogy is a great way to learn library resources, but I never really considered how it might be a tool for digital inclusion until I heard about the Burlington (Washington) Public Library's ROOTS program.

16 January 2015 - 12:18pm | by Ginny Mies

Does your library's website need an updated look? Or maybe you're looking to start from scratch and build a whole new website? No matter where you are with your website, you'll find some useful tips from three librarians who talked about their web-building experience with us in our webinar, Library Websites on a Budget: Tips, Tools, and Tales

These three public librarians told us about the tools they used to build their websites and shared their learnings:

webinar presenters

23 December 2014 - 11:43am | by Ginny Mies

Your library probably offers some sort of craft programming, either for kids, teens, adults, or all of the above! Have you ever considered taking crafting online? At the California Library Association's annual conference (also known as CLA), the librarians from the Santa Clara County Library presented on bringing traditional programming online. I had never heard of the term "e-craft," so that portion of the presentation was intriguing.

The idea is that patrons can do craft time at home by using online instruction sheets. This is a great way to involve community members who might be unable to physically get to the library for a craft program.      

22 December 2014 - 10:13am | by Ginny Mies

Incorporating digital elements into story time has been a popular topic this year. There were two sessions on the topic at the California Library Association's annual conference as well as a session on story time apps at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference.

We also had an incredible turnout for our November Every Kid Ready to Read: Tech Tools for Early Literacy webinar.

11 December 2014 - 4:22pm | by Ginny Mies

As library-centric folks, it's pretty much a given that we care about literacy. We know its impact: how it increases earning potential, decreases inequality, and breaks the cycle of poverty.

We also know the sobering statistics around illiteracy. According to UNESCO, there are 740 million illiterate people worldwide. Librarians strive to decrease this number every day though literacy programs for both adults and children.

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