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Mobile Hotspot Lending Finally Gets National Press

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TechSoup for Libraries has been covering how lending out mobile hotspots can provide home broadband to low-income patrons for some time now.

This trend just got national attention when the New York and Chicago Public Libraries got big Knight Foundation grants to try out hotspot lending.

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:

Make Your Library More Mobile-Friendly: Webinar Series

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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.

Libraries Need to Lead the Sharing Economy

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One of my first experiences with the Sharing Economy was in elementary school. I needed a drill and some bits for a dollhouse I was putting together. When I asked my dad for a drill, he proudly announced that it was time I experienced the Berkeley Tool Lending Library. I flashed them my library card and I was out the door, ready to conquer this dollhouse with my new (to me) shared drill.

New Library Spotlight: Minecraft Brings Youth into the Library

Our most recent library spotlight focuses on the Poudre River Public Library District. Librarian Amy Holzworth learned about Minecraft when she saw her teenaged sons and their friends toting laptops and network gear to each other's houses to build virtual worlds in the video game. She was inspired to start a Minecraft program at her library. Learn how she did it in our latest library spotlight.

Tell Everyone: Free Meals for Youth!

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A recent TechSoup webinar on childhood hunger and tools to find free meals surfaced a lot of interest and ideas on how organizations can help fight hunger. (Watch the archive and download resources shared during the webinar.) If you're interested in tools to help youth in your community find free meals this summer, read on.

Can the Reading Rainbow Digital Revamp Boost Literacy?

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This week, my Facebook feed was filled with photos of LeVar Burton. The actor is as famous for helping engage early readers as he is for portraying Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Kunta Kinte in ROOTS.

Move the Reading Conversation Online

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As summer approaches, readers' advisory (RA) programs are ramping up. At PLA 2014, one of the liveliest panel discussions I attended was on reader advisory and social media. 

While you probably already have your services and programming planned out, the librarians had some fantastic ideas on how to move the reading conversation online. 

Why Net Neutrality Matters for Libraries

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On May 15, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to release a proposal to reinstate net neutrality rules. The proposal, written by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, would allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to charge websites for faster services. What does this mean?  Companies can pay money to be in a virtual "fast lane" for sending content, leaving less lucrative websites in the dust. 

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