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.

13 June 2016 - 10:26am | by Ginny Mies

The cookies are out, the coffee is ready, and people are already starting to file into the lecture you've organized for your library. Just before your speaker starts, you hit Go Live. All of a sudden, people from all over the world are popping into your feed, asking questions and sharing comments on your program. Now your attendance total has tripled, and viewers are sharing your lecture, turning it into an online success!

Live-streamed video is taking off, and it is easier than ever to get on board. You can use live streaming not only to share your programs and lectures but also to give people a virtual tour of your library or share one of your classes. There are so many possibilities! The Wichita Public Library used Facebook Live for a book discussion for Kitchens of the Great Midwest, and the Wilmington Memorial Library used Live to share a program on drones

We tested out a few popular live-streaming platforms to see how they stack up and if they might be right for libraries.

9 June 2016 - 10:48am | by Susan Hope Bard

Calling all children's librarians! We have a series of free webinars on early childhood literacy. Our next live webinar is on Wednesday, June 15 at 11 a.m. Pacific time. This post was originally published on the TechSoup blog.  

two young children using computers at San Jose Public Library

The Early Learning LabFrontiers of Innovation, and New Profit, along with partners Joan Ganz Cooney Center and TechSoup, are working together to build the technology capacity of the early childhood education field.

In partnership with these organizations, TechSoup will be hosting a series of webinars about technology and innovation for early childhood literacy organizations and researchers. If you work with young children at a nonprofit or library, this free webinar series is for you.

8 June 2016 - 1:19pm | by Gary Lutz

In 2014, the Patchogue-Medford Library decided to enhance, expand, and unify our digitization efforts. The result was Digital PML, a digital collection repository that we built from scratch and completely within our library walls.

For many years, we have been committed to digitizing our rare and eclectic local history materials to increase community access and to support genealogical and historical research. This includes our Flickr-based historic photograph collection, Records of Men from Patchogue and Vicinity Who Took Part in the World War, and the many items presented on the website of our Celia M. Hastings Local History Room.

26 May 2016 - 11:48am | by Ginny Mies

Among Americans who visited a library in 2012, one in five attended a class, lecture, or program for adults. Did those visitors enjoy the program? Did they learn something from it? Will they attend another program like that? Or was it not what they expected? Unless you have psychic powers, you won't know what your patrons got out of a program or service unless you ask.

TechSoup for Libraries recently teamed up with the Public Library Association (PLA) on a webinar that gave an overview of outcome measurement from Project Outcome. This new program from PLA provides simple tools for libraries to measure programs across seven common service areas. The webinar also featured a Project Outcome user from a small library. Our webinar speakers were:

  • Samantha Lopez, Project Outcome in Chicago, Illinois
  • Robyn Truslow, Calvert Library in Prince Frederick, Maryland

23 May 2016 - 11:42am | by Ginny Mies

Snap a picture, tag it, post it, and voilà: more people in the library! Is it really that easy? At our April webinar, we invited two librarians to talk about how they use Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo social network. Both of these librarians have used creative and downright funny tactics to bring attention to the great work their libraries are doing. Our guests were

We surveyed our webinar attendees to see if they're using Instagram and what they hope to accomplish with it.

  • 56 percent of attendees reported that their library has an Instagram account
  • 88 percent said they want to promote library services and programs
  • 87 percent want to connect with library users
  • 84 percent said they want to attract new library users

17 May 2016 - 12:15pm | by Ginny Mies

Adobe survey

Creative Cloud for Teams device licensing is a way to have all Creative Cloud apps available to your users on public access computers at an annual subscription price. Adobe Creative Cloud includes Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, and lots of other apps. We would like to know if this product would be interesting to libraries like yours! Answer our brief survey for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Take the Survey

13 May 2016 - 1:58pm | by Ginny Mies

I recently wrote an article for Public Libraries Online on how the Berkeley Public Library (BPL) in California is making coding more accessible to its community through free workshops. The volunteer who is leading these classes is Sameer Siruguri. He is actually a former TechSouper and had reached out to the TechSoup for Libraries team to see if other libraries have done similar programming. 

Tech + Volunteers = Library Success!

Hour of Code at Chattanooga Library

The focus of my story was the coding programs for adults (inspired by the excellent Library Journal piece, How to Talk Code: Digital Literacy). But I thought this was also a wonderful example of how volunteers can help support technology and digital literacy initiatives.

I interviewed Siruguri along with Dan Beringhele, an adult services librarian at the Berkeley Public Library's Central Library, and Anwan Baker, the supervising librarian for adult services. Siruguri had approached the BPL because he was searching for a venue to host a RailsBridge workshop, a weekend event that teaches coding to underserved people. Previously, the Central Library had only offered basic computer classes, and both Beringhele and Baker wanted to see if there was any interest in more advanced programs, like coding.

The three planned an introductory class for adults that covered the basics of HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. The class was so well received that they're planning a follow-up class that is focused specifically on JavaScript.

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