technology training

Nonprofits and Libraries: It's Time to Move Beyond the Pie Chart

Nonprofits and Libraries: It's Time to Move Beyond the Pie Chart

This blog post was originally published on the blog. Whether you're looking for more creative ways to show your circulation data or want to educate your patrons on data visualization, this series can help you get started. You'll be creating awesome visualizations in no time!

Better ways to visualize your data, including bar charts, line charts, scatterplots, and maps

We know nonprofits and libraries gather piles of data, from program outcomes to constituent data to fundraising or advocacy campaign results. And you probably struggle to turn that data into meaningful insights that can improve your work or tell your organization's story.

That's why TechSoup has partnered with Tableau on a new blog series called "Beyond the Pie Chart."

Have you ever

  • Struggled to translate a bunch of boring spreadsheets into a visual format that's easy for your board, funders, or potential donors to understand?
  • Tried to create a report and couldn't find a chart or graph that would clearly illustrate your point?
  • Thought that analyzing your data was complicated or scary?

Then this series is for you!

5 Things You Might Not Know About TechSoup for Libraries

5 Things You Might Not Know About TechSoup for Libraries

Computer cat

We know that you're busy and might not know the full scope of what TechSoup offers libraries. This is why we hold quarterly free webinars that can help you take advantage of everything we do! Join us for the next TechSoup for Libraries - Maximize Your Technology Services with TechSoup webinar on September 22 at 11 a.m. Pacific time.

Here are a few things you'll learn.

1. You can register all of your branches at once.

Does your library have multiple branches, but only your main library is registered? Or maybe you have many locations, and the thought of trying to get every single one of them registered seems totally overwhelming? Guess what? You can register all of your library branches at once with TechSoup's bulk registration process! Here's what John Sarmiento, network engineer for the Peninsula Library System in California, said about bulk registration:

"It was such an easy process for me to get my 30 libraries registered with TechSoup using their bulk import tool. Now all 30 of my libraries can reap the cost saving benefits of acquiring software from TechSoup."

You'll learn more about this at our upcoming webinar, but you can email our client services team if you want to get started right away.

Building a Culture of Technology at Your Library

Building a Culture of Technology at Your Library

Librarian. Library Assistant. Page. Information Specialist. Cataloguer. These are just a handful of some of the job titles you'll find at a library. But what about "Tech Worker"? Pam Saliba and Andrea Cecchetto, branch managers for the Markham Public Library, embarked on a mission to change the way library staff viewed technology and their place in the technology world.

We invited Pam and Andrea to our July webinar to share with other libraries how they got the Markham staff on-board with technology. Andrea and Pam opened up the webinar by asking our attendees whether they think of themselves as technology workers. Interestingly, 67 percent responded that yes, they do see themselves as tech workers.

A Cultural Shift Toward Technology

Markham, located just north of Toronto, is known as Canada's high-tech capital. It's the home of 900 technology companies and their employees. In response to the booming technology industry, the Markham Library started hosting maker and coding events, launched a digital media lab, and purchased 3D printers. But to get the staff on-board with this cultural shift toward technology, the Markham Library had to do some work internally.  

How to Get Started with TechSoup Online Training

How to Get Started with TechSoup Online Training

To access TechSoup's new online course, you'll need to create an account on our training platform.

Here's how you do it.

1. Go to

2. Create a training account. You need to create this new training account the first time you access the training platform, even if you're already a TechSoup member.

On the login page, click Need an account? Register now!

screenshot showing Need an Account? Register now! link

You Asked for It! TechSoup Launches Online Training for Nonprofits and Libraries

You Asked for It! TechSoup Launches Online Training for Nonprofits and Libraries

This post originally appear on the TechSoup blog. Many libraries have already signed up for our free online tech training course - come join the learning party!

Lego people, including Star Wars characters, learning how to train their staff on technology

You told us that you wanted more how-tos and online training options from TechSoup. Your wish is our command.

We're thrilled to announce that TechSoup is launching its very first online course. Learn the basics of implementing and conducting effective tech training in TechSoup's Tech Training for Nonprofit and Library Staff 101.

Do-It-Yourself Troubleshooting for Windows Computers

Do-It-Yourself Troubleshooting for Windows Computers


The troubleshooting tips provided here address basic, often-overlooked problems that do not require you to open your computer's case, handle hardware components, or delve deeper into Windows' inner workings. Remember that your goal here is to solve an existing problem, not create a new one. If you feel uncomfortable performing a certain action, call in someone with more expertise.

Desktop errorWe focus on troubleshooting four common scenarios that occur with Windows-based computers.

  1. The computer won't power up.
  2. The computer powers up, but the monitor is blank.
  3. The computer won't boot from the hard drive.
  4. Windows won't start up properly.

Please bear in mind that these are all generic recommendations. With the huge number of different makes and models of PCs out there, specific troubleshooting steps may vary somewhat. If these steps fail to address the issue you are encountering, you will need to seek advice from a professional or, if your computer is still under warranty, from the manufacturer.

To troubleshoot your computer, follow the steps in each section below in order.

5 Tech Tips I Learned from ALA 2016

5 Tech Tips I Learned from ALA 2016

ALA 2016 logo

If you've ever attended American Library Association's Annual Conference, you'll probably agree with me that it is two things: useful and overwhelming. I generally try to hit as many tech-related sessions as I can with a few author signings thrown in here and there.

But by the time I get home, I look at my massive Google Doc of notes and think, "Wait, what did I learn again?" This year in Orlando, I tried a different technique. As I took notes, I highlighted the key tech tips from the sessions I went to. I've picked out some of my favorites, so if you too are feeling overwhelmed or were not able to go, I hope you find these beneficial to your library's tech goals!

Two Digital Literacy Sites You Need to Know

Two Digital Literacy Sites You Need to Know

Most libraries provide some sort of digital literacy training, from public computer classes to drop-in technology labs to one-on-one help. TechSoup for Libraries' March webinar was all about free digital literacy training resources and tutorials. We invited guests from two organizations that specialize in digital literacy:

  • Scott Allen, program manager for the Public Library Association (PLA) where he oversees
  • Jessica Rich, curriculum coordinator of

Online learning at the library

The most popular digital literacy activity among our webinar attendees was "technical reference questions" with "drop-in assistance" coming in second.

Why Public Libraries Need to Proactively Teach Chromebooks to the Public

Why Public Libraries Need to Proactively Teach Chromebooks to the Public

Ten years ago, I started my current public library job in Takoma Park, Maryland. Soon after I started the job, several Hurricane Katrina refugees arrived at my public library. It's scary to lose your entire city to a hurricane. When you show up in a new city, it's vital that the people you meet welcome you as valued members of their community.

One of these refugees, Desiree, was a wheelchair user. When she asked me for help in obtaining a donated computer, I put her at the front of my list of waiting recipients. When a donated Dell desktop came in, I set it up for her in her apartment and told her to contact me when it wasn't working.

Over the years, I visited her apartment to provide tech support, but I didn't feel the burden of tech support as being heavy – until she obtained a Google Chromebook.

Make Your Library More Mobile-Friendly: Webinar Series

Make Your Library More Mobile-Friendly: Webinar Series

It should come as no surprise that mobile device use in libraries is increasing. Research from the Pew Research Internet Project indicates that 43 percent of American adults now own a tablet or e-reader, and 91 percent of Americans own a cell phone. Of those cell phone owners, 60 percent use their phone to access the Internet.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.