2 August 2016 - 11:59am | by Ginny Mies

Cedar Rapids coaster

You know your library rocks — but does your community know it? To change perceptions of the library, we need to demonstrate how the library is not only relevant but is also a place for fun and learning. Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration (September 11 – 17, 2016) that showcases the creativity and innovation happening in libraries.

A big component of sharing this creativity is by way of social media. For a recent webinar, we invited Erica Grossman, creative lead in the Innovations Department at Anythink Libraries in Adams County, Colorado, to share some tips for participating in Outside the Lines. Erica was part of the creative team that developed and launched Outside the Lines and is currently on its planning committee.

You can watch the full webinar here, but here are some of the highlights.  

1 August 2016 - 11:15am | by Anna Tschetter

Girls Who Code Club at Mountain View Library

Over the last few years the library world has been buzzing about programming in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and coding, the new digital literacy. For many librarians like myself, who come from a humanities background and are used to planning programming around books and literature, this new digital literacy can seem daunting. Add in the fact that many celebrated STEM and coding programs are backed by large budgets, multi-system libraries, and lots of staff, the idea of putting together a meaningful program at your own library can seem almost impossible!

However, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a big budget and oodles of staff to bring computer science to your community. You just need Girls Who Code.

28 July 2016 - 12:56pm | by TechSoup Announcements

This blog was originally published on TechSoup.org. If you miss the free upgrade offer, you can still request Windows 10 through TechSoup. 

Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends on July 29, 2016. If you want to take advantage of this free upgrade offer, now is the time.

Learn About the Free Upgrade

TechSoup is here to help you understand the best upgrade option for your organization. If you have active Software Assurance, use a Windows version that isn't eligible for Microsoft's free upgrade, or you need Windows 10 Enterprise, read on!

18 July 2016 - 11:58am | by Adam Lui

This post was originally published on the Community Technology Network's (CTN) blog. CTN's mission is to unite organizations and volunteers to transform lives through digital literacy. We thought libraries, especially those that teach digital literacy classes, would find this blog post useful. 

A connected globe

Becoming digitally literate can be a long journey for many learners. It can seem like an impossible one to those who speak limited or no English.

However, thanks to technology, it has never been easier to eliminate this barrier to digital access. Here are five ways you can increase the effectiveness in which you teach digital literacy as a trainer.

14 July 2016 - 12:29pm | by Ginny Mies

 

privacy keyboard

Patron privacy is an ongoing issue in the library world. In the modern library, data collection is a reality, and customer information is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, data collection allows libraries to understand their patrons better and personalize services. On the other hand, collecting and using patron data is a serious challenge to the library profession's ethical commitment to protecting patron privacy. And it gets even more complicated when this data is handled by a third-party vendor, such as an integrated library system or an online catalog.

For our June webinar, we invited two privacy experts to explore these issues and discuss tips and resources.

13 July 2016 - 9:51am | by Ariel Gilbert-Knight

The following blog post recaps a NetSquared Toronto presentation by Sarah Lesh, a front-end web developer at hjc. You can watch her full, in-depth presentation. As coding is becoming a necessary skill for libraries, we thought this blog post might be useful our audience. 

The Internet can be a confusing place, and often Internet concepts, like coding a website, may seem complicated and overwhelming. That's why we invited Sarah Lesh, a front-end web developer at hjc, to explain the basics of coding, specifically HTML, CSS, and Javascript. But first ...

7 July 2016 - 4:24pm | by Ginny Mies

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!

30 June 2016 - 9:44am | by Ariel Gilbert-Knight

Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. Because Microsoft products are some of the most popular among libraries, we thought this article might be useful for requesting and downloading software. 

 

two people looking at Microsoft software on a laptop

The Microsoft Software Donation Program is by far the most popular of TechSoup's many donation programs. Here's a quick guide to getting the most out of your Microsoft donation requests.

1. Maximize the Number of Microsoft Products You Request

First off, you should know that there's a maximum allotment of Microsoft software donations that eligible organizations can request every two years. Your two-year cycle begins with your first Microsoft donation request. After two years, a new cycle begins, and a new allotment is available.

If you aren't sure when your two-year cycle began or how many more donations you can request during the current cycle, there's an easy way to check. Just go to My Microsoft Donation Center. You'll need to log in to your TechSoup account to see it.

Go to My Microsoft Donation Center

 

21 June 2016 - 11:52am | by Ginny Mies

Recent research from the Pew Institute shows that only 59 percent of older adults go online. New technologies can be difficult to learn, and older adults may not understand the benefits of using technology. But libraries can help older adults adopt technology in meaningful ways for communication, lifelong learning, and entertainment.

Small class at St. Mary's Library

TechSoup for Libraries hosted a webinar in May on teaching older adults technology at the library. We invited the following speakers to share tips and tools:

15 June 2016 - 4:15pm | by Ginny Mies

The #PulseOrlandoSyllabus is a list compiled by librarians and teachers of information resources, teaching materials, books and digital materials focusing on the intersections of LGBTQIA community and people of color. The list includes comics, zines, plays, podcasts, LIS resources, scholarly books, and much more compiled within a 60+ page Google doc.

The result showcases what libraries do best: compiling, collecting, and organizing information to benefit communities. You can share it with your community using this easy-to-remember URL: bit.ly/orlandosyllabus.

Creative Commons License

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