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3D Printers and Library Policy: Cool Technology Needs Rules Too

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When a new and exciting technology comes around, such as a 3D printer, it can be easy to forget about rules and policies. And yet, no matter how cool that 3D printer might make your library look, it's still a piece of public use technology. And public use technology requires clear rules and policies.

Five Things to Look Forward to at 2014 ALA Annual Conference

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The biggest library conference in the world kicks off this week and TechSoup for Libraries (me) will be there! While I'm a bit reluctant to trade my breezy 65 degree weather here in San Francisco for the scorching estimated 105 degree weather in Las Vegas, I'm excited to attend my first ALA Annual Conference. Here's what I'm looking forward to the most:

National Library Week: Why TechSoup Loves the Library

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In honor of National Library Week, we asked TechSoup staff to share why they love their local library. Some shared fond library memories, while others talked about how the library impacts them and their families today.

US Public Libraries and BTOP: A New Report from ALA

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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) created the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP ) to increase broadband access and adoption in the US. State and public libraries have been critical partners in many of these projects. This May 2013 report from American Library Association (ALA) looks at library projects around the country, exploring the impact on communities.

Libraries on the front lines of digital literacy efforts

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An interesting report from the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy’s Digital Literacy Task Force has just been released. Digital Literacy, Libraries, and Public Policy provides an overview of the role of libraries in digital literacy and examines current relevant public policies.

Libraries build digital communities

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Today I'm co-facilitating an ALA session titled, "Libraries Lead Community Digital Inclusion." Along with my colleagues from WebJunction, ICMA, and IMLS, we'll be guiding librarians through activities that utilize IMLS' recently published Building Digital Communities framework. I'll be talking about gathering stakeholders and leaders for digital inclusion work. Here's what I plan to share.

TechSoup at ALA12 in Anaheim

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The TechSoup for Libraries team is in full force at ALA 2012 this year. If you're planning to head to Anaheim, please do try and find us (Sarah Washburn and Stephanie Gerding). We'd love to meet you (or see you again) face to face. Here's where we know we'll be, but expect to see us in sessions and wandering the exhibit hall, too!

Kick it. Benchmarks get more input.

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At a recent ALA MidWinter session on the Edge Initiative, Larra Clark from ALA OITP ended her remarks with, "the benchmarks are meant to be kicked. So kick it." Thus launched a focus group exercise where approximately 50 attendees were asked to provide feedback to a draft set of public access technology benchmarks.

Digital Learning Day: Share Your Activities

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The American Library Association's (ALA) Digital Literacy Taskforce is calling on all libraries to put a social media megaphone to their activities planned for Digital Learning Day, February 1.

Why use benchmarks?

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As TechSoup and the other agencies working on the public access technology benchmark initiative get feedback and refine the benchmarks, the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) is doing a lot of work to document the process.

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