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The Digital Public Library of America: A Look at the Future of Online Archives and Content

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Dan Cohen

I have to admit that it is kind of hard to describe what the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) does. Fortunately, I had a chance to hear directly from the founding executive director, Dan Cohen, on what DPLA is doing when he spoke last week at the San Francisco Public Library.

How to Build a Better Public Library Website: Three Stories

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Does your library's website need an updated look? Or maybe you're looking to start from scratch and build a whole new website? No matter where you are with your website, you'll find some useful tips from three librarians who talked about their web-building experience with us in our webinar, Library Websites on a Budget: Tips, Tools, and Tales

These three public librarians told us about the tools they used to build their websites and shared their learnings:

webinar presenters

What Are the Strangest Things Libraries Lend? Drones?

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This sounds like the type of open inquiry you'd find on the question and answer website, Quora, but I can't believe the amount of different things libraries now lend. I did a short inventory, and perhaps the strangest things I've heard about recently are the quad-copter drones for loan to students at the University of South Florida Library.

A Quick Guide to Making Online Tutorial Videos

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The demand from patrons in the Sonoma County Library (SCL) system for e-reader assistance was high — and something needed to be done. At the time, I was working as a part-time circulation technician, and I was aware of the need for something that could help people at home, or that nonprofessional staff like myself could direct people to during busier times at the reference desk.

Get E-Crafty: Bringing Creativity Online

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Your library probably offers some sort of craft programming, either for kids, teens, adults, or all of the above! Have you ever considered taking crafting online? At the California Library Association's annual conference (also known as CLA), the librarians from the Santa Clara County Library presented on bringing traditional programming online. I had never heard of the term "e-craft," so that portion of the presentation was intriguing.

The idea is that patrons can do craft time at home by using online instruction sheets. This is a great way to involve community members who might be unable to physically get to the library for a craft program.      

6 Tips for Bringing Tech to Story Time

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Incorporating digital elements into story time has been a popular topic this year. There were two sessions on the topic at the California Library Association's annual conference as well as a session on story time apps at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference.

We also had an incredible turnout for our November Every Kid Ready to Read: Tech Tools for Early Literacy webinar.

Mobile Beacon and the NYPL: Loaning Out the Internet to Thousands of New Yorkers

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We just found out that TechSoup donor partner Mobile Beacon was chosen by the New York Public Library (NYPL) to provide 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspot devices as part of the library's mobile hotspot lending program.

Last summer we covered the big library tech news that mobile hotspot lending is finally getting national press. Libraries across the country have been lending out free Internet access for home use for some time now, but the trend got national attention when the New York and Chicago Public Libraries launched large-scale hotspot lending.

NYPL's program was so successful that the library has massively expanded the program.

Better Readers, BetterWorld: How a Wireless Company Supports Literacy

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As library-centric folks, it's pretty much a given that we care about literacy. We know its impact: how it increases earning potential, decreases inequality, and breaks the cycle of poverty.

We also know the sobering statistics around illiteracy. According to UNESCO, there are 740 million illiterate people worldwide. Librarians strive to decrease this number every day though literacy programs for both adults and children.

Host a Coding Class at Your Library: Resources and Tools

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Did you know? This week is National Computer Science Week! You may have heard about the Hour of Code, a fun event to get students interested in computer science. The Hour of Code can happen at any place (like the library!) at any time.

Hyperlocal and Hyperconnected: New Ways to Publicize Your Library

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I signed up for Nextdoor not really knowing what it was. Advertised as a "private social network for your neighbors," I assumed it was a place where neighbors exchanged tips on local hidden gems or important community updates. Boy, was I wrong. The majority of posts were arguments over petty things, such as the noise level of the city garbage trucks.

When I moved to a different neighborhood, I was on the verge of deleting my account, but an announcement from a neighbor about the local branch library made me think twice. After a little digging, I found out that the neighbor was actually the children's librarian at the Visitacion Valley branch of the San Francisco Public Library system.

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