Lending out mobile devices, such as e-readers, tablets, and laptops, is an exciting way to draw in new patrons. But acquiring, caring for, and making devices available for public use may seem challenging and overwhelming. At our September webinar, we invited Stephen Tafoya from the Garfield County Library District in Rifle, Colorado to share his experience with device check-out, including Kindles, iPads, and Google Chromebooks.
In every webinar, we ask our audience a few questions to get an idea of how much they know about a topic and what they're already doing. I was excited to see that many of the attendees had some sort of device-lending program and check out things such as Go Pro cameras, LeapPads, and high-end video editing software.
This post originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. We wanted to share it with the library community as so many of you are designing flyers, websites, and promotional images for programs and events.
Whether you're creating a postcard, flyer, presentation, or fundraising email, a little design know-how goes a long way.
Don't have a graphic designer in-house? No problem. With the recent launch of discounted Adobe Creative Cloud memberships on TechSoup, we have been doing some great webinars and blog posts on graphic design basics and how to use Adobe tools.
Basic Know-How: Graphic Design for Non-Designers
Four Things Non-Designers Should Know About Graphic Design by our Laura Kindsvater is a very plain language intro if you're just getting started, including
- The basics of layout so that the important stuff gets noticed.
- Figuring out which colors to choose.
- Where to find good images.
- Not overloading with too many fonts.
- Finding handy free tools and design templates.
Does the thought of creating a tech plan for your library seem overwhelming? A mysterious process? Something that you've been meaning to do, but just keep putting off? Never fear, the incredible tech planners are here to help! In August, we hosted a webinar called Technology Planning Tips for Small Libraries. Our guests for this webinar were
- Julie Elmore, library director, Oakland City-Columbia Township Public Library (Indiana)
- Travis Montgomery, technology specialist, Liberty Lake Municipal Library (Washington)
If you've never even considered creating a tech plan for your library, or it's been a while, you're not alone. More than a third of our webinar attendees do not have a current technology plan, and 14 percent said they were not sure if they had one or not.
What does digital inclusion mean for libraries? It's the idea that all libraries, even budget-constrained ones, can provide access to current information and communication technologies for their patrons. This could include computers, apps, and current software, plus more exotic things like 3D printers, robotics, toys, programming, and trainings.
Nice idea, but how might small, rural, and other libraries without big budgets get innovative technology and training? Meet the New Mexico Makerstate Initiative.
This post originally appeared on the TechSoup blog as part of our reflection on the 10 year annivesary of Hurricane Katrina. Has your library helped in times of disaster? Tell us about how you supported your community in the comments.
In July, wildfires swept through the Saskatchewan province in Canada, forcing more than 13,000 people to evacuate their homes. The Saskatoon Public Library opened its doors to these evacuees, and staff members stepped up their efforts to help the evacuees communicate with their family and friends. Staffers also let people from outside of Saskatoon check out books from the library and access other services.
"This is what a public library is all about," said Carol Cooler, the director of libraries and CEO at the Saskatoon Public Library in a press statement. "We're a community space; we're here for everyone, and our services and resources are free of charge."
Saskatoon Public Library's support is just one of many examples of public libraries supporting disaster preparedness and relief. Here are a few more public libraries that have helped in times of need.
At this year's American Library Association Annual Conference, I strayed a bit from my usual public library path and attended a session from two academic librarians who work at Columbia University. But like many sessions at ALA, this one shared some useful tips for public librarians, particularly those who work at the reference desk.
Chubing Hong and Tara Das, both government information librarians at Columbia University, discussed how government agencies have used social media to communicate both official and unofficial government information. Hong discussed how the government in China is just starting to embrace social media as a means for communication.
There's so much information out there for librarians on how to use their own social media, but what about how to use other social media for finding and sharing information? And can you use it to answer questions at the reference desk?
At TechSoup, we're all about community organizations coming together to improve the quality of life for citizens. So when I heard about a collaborative project between nonprofits, city agencies, and the local library happening in my own backyard (almost literally!), I knew I had to write about it.
The Visitacion Valley Resource Guide, available in both online and print formats, is a comprehensive guide to local elected officials, employment services, child care, parks and playgrounds, faith-based organizations, public safety, and more for this sometimes under-served San Francisco neighborhood.
Because many residents of Visitacion Valley don't have Internet access at home and/or don't speak English, it can be difficult for them to find local information. The resource guide, available both online and in print, helps connect people to neighborhood information.
If You Have Active Software Assurance, Use It to Get Your Free Upgrade
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