25 August 2015 - 12:11pm | by Ginny Mies

Dog at reference desk

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?

13 August 2015 - 2:07pm | by Ginny Mies

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.

12 August 2015 - 11:06am | by TechSoup Announcements

This post originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. Find out how to upgrade your library's computers to Windows 10 today!  

Windows 10 is here! For many organizations, the upgrade is free. Learn how to upgrade your systems.

If You Have Active Software Assurance, Use It to Get Your Free Upgrade

Windows 10 will be available for download through the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) on August 3, 2015. If you requested a Windows upgrade license through TechSoup after August 3, 2013, you have active Software Assurance for that license, and you'll be able to download the upgrade for free on that date. See our instructions for downloading software from the VLSC.

If you have active Software Assurance, it's important to upgrade through the VLSC rather than through Microsoft's other free upgrade routes. Why? Upgrading through the VLSC is the only way to get Windows 10 Enterprise and keep your Software Assurance benefits like access to e-learning courses. Even if you don't use the Enterprise edition currently, you'll keep your license rights to that edition if you want to upgrade from Pro to Enterprise later on.

10 August 2015 - 1:08pm | by TechSoup Announcements

This post was originally published on the TechSoup blog. Because the contest is open to libraries, we wanted to share it with our creative community. 

'Imagination is more important than knowledge. ... imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.' — Albert Einstein

TechSoup and Adobe have teamed up to bring you a Facebook contest where you can win $1,000 by submitting any and all content your organization has created using Adobe.

How fun is that?

3 August 2015 - 6:50pm | by Ginny Mies

Once upon a time, there was a suburban Chicagoland public library with an enormous dream: to raise enough money for its very own Incredible Hulk statue. And over on the East Coast, a one-room library without running water was dreaming of a more modern building.

Both libraries garnered an incredible amount of support for these dreams, from mentions in popular magazines to shout-outs from celebrities. Oh, and a substantial amount of money too. How did they do it? Through the magic of crowdfunding!

TechSoup for Libraries held a webinar on July 29 on tools, tips, and tried-and-true practices for running a successful library crowdfunding campaign. We invited the librarians from those two crowdfunding campaigns to share their experience:

  • Laura Bartnik, Northlake Public Library District (Illinois) shared how her library used crowdfunding to purchase and promote graphic novels and technology in the library.
  • Mary Anne Antonellis, M.N. Spear Memorial Library (Shutesbury, Massachusetts) used crowdfunding to support a capital campaign to build a new library.

21 July 2015 - 2:43pm | by TechSoup Announcements

Subscribe today for bundled services all year through Boost.

Boost is a new way of engaging with TechSoup — a subscription service that provides a collection of new and unique offers and savings and advance notice of upcoming product offers and specials.

With Boost, you receive a stream of special offers that help us put more of the tech and resources you want in your capable hands for less money over time. You drive — guiding us with wish lists and feedback — and we go out and work to find you what you need and connect you to value-added deals that you simply cannot find easily today. It's all about boosting your success.

14 July 2015 - 1:33pm | by Ginny Mies

On the TechSoup for Libraries blog, we discuss the numerous ways the public library serves its community: as an information hub, a place for activities, a book and DVD repository, and so much more. But we haven't really discussed another important element of the public library: as conservator of local history.

At ALA, the Orange County Library System (OCLS) in Orlando, Florida discussed how it is preserving local history, from the perspective of its community, at a session called "Your Community Memories: Preserving Local Legacies." Donna Bachowski, the reference central manager and Vanessa Neblett, reference central assistant manager, discussed two projects that the library is working on to engage the community in local history.

2 July 2015 - 3:38pm | by Kevin Lo

In Part 1 of this series, we introduced MathAndCoding, a nonprofit that offers teen-led programming classes for children in public libraries in the Silicon Valley area. In part 2, we offer a librarian's perspective as the host for this program.

As the first librarian to host it, Karin Bricker, library manager for youth and outreach services at Mountain View Public Library, had to overcome some initial skepticism. "They [Vineet Kosaraju and Nikhil Cheerla] are certainly capable, well-meaning kids. But they are still kids. So there was some initial back and forth early on in regards to curriculum."  

2 July 2015 - 3:21pm | by Kevin Lo

On a balmy Californian Saturday afternoon, 14 kids, 8 boys and 6 girls, are figuring out the profit and loss of a lemonade stand. There's no real money involved, nor is it a real lemonade stand. And they're doing this using the programming language Java on their laptops.

With lines of code projected on a screen, these children listen intently in a conference room at the Mountain View Public Library, as part of a four-week course on programming. It's free to anyone who wants to attend, regardless of where they live. 

Kids learning how to code at the library

23 June 2015 - 4:35pm | by Ginny Mies

The Mix banners

When I heard way back in 2013 that the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) was building a dedicated teen digital media space, I was thrilled. The city of San Francisco is the home of many technology companies, such as Twitter and Adobe, and many residents work for tech companies in the surrounding Bay Area.

Creative Commons License

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