18 July 2017 - 10:11am | by Brandon Ackroyd

How to Protect Your Children On Their Smartphone

Mobile phones and kids can be a match made in heaven. As librarians, we can be in constant contact with children, and kids can call for help, be entertained, and even be educated using their cellphones. But given that smartphones have data connections, there are inherent risks to kids in using them, from cyberbullying to inappropriate Internet material. It may be helpful to know some best practices to help keep children safe on their mobile phones. The practices in this article come to us courtesy of the U.K- based company TigerMobiles. They're all useful in the U.S. as well.

30 June 2017 - 8:50am | by Phil Shapiro

3D optical illusion

In my opinion, one of the functions of libraries and librarians is to facilitate the sharing of ideas, particularly ideas that can move the world forward. In that spirit, I want to tell everyone about a new free downloadable application named JigSpace. With this Window or Mac desktop app, anyone can create 3D animated presentations called Jigs. Jigs can explain, show, or teach anything in an intuitive and memorable way.

23 June 2017 - 9:51am | by Crystal Schimpf

Public libraries have become hubs for innovation and community engagement. Library programs and services must respond to community needs, changes in technology, and fluctuations in funding. To design them, library workers must listen closely to library users. Libraries are using collaborative, community-driven design processes to generate ideas, build engagement, and solve problems.

During our May webinar we showcased two examples of libraries that have led community-driven design processes. Our guests were Chris Kyauk of the Alameda County Library in Northern Calfornia and Sarah Washburn of Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup.

23 June 2017 - 7:16am | by Megan Keane

Open book

Library Link Roundup is a recurring series in which we'll share articles, blog posts, and resources related to library technology, innovative projects, and other news we think will be of interest to our TechSoup for Libraries readers around the world. Enjoy!

22 June 2017 - 8:39am | by Phil Shapiro

Car Wash

One of my hobbies at my public library job is buying affordable laptops on eBay and fixing them up. I then sell them at the same price I bought them for to people who need a laptop. When I noticed on eBay that a private school in Colorado was selling 10 Chromebooks for $500 (shipping included), I jumped on that deal. The model Chromebook they were selling was just two years old and still very usable.

21 June 2017 - 8:51am | by Sarah Washburn

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Medium.com and is reprinted here by permission of the author and Caravan Studios.

Our team doesn't have answers. What we have is a process, a methodology.

It might seem strange to admit what we don't have. It's our methodology that gives us that confidence.

We believe that knowledgeable and engaged community members have many answers. We use the first phase of our methodology to facilitate discussions that turn those answers into actionable design questions and technology innovations.

We recently had an opportunity to work with experts and interested people at the Indianapolis Public Library to consider how their ideas might fuel a technological tool that connects people to emergency food assistance. As often happens, we were all surprised by what happened next.

6 June 2017 - 11:13am | by Roger Donaldson

Person rolling a boulder up a hill

Ah, the joy of conferences. Whether you attend a large national event or a small state chapter event, you are sure to come back to the library full of ideas. After all, that is the intended goal — seeing what is and isn't working in other libraries. Implementing these ideas back at your library requires getting other workers on board for the change and also requires selling the change to your supervisor. This is part two of our series on identifying and overcoming resistance to technological change at your library. Find part one on overcoming resistance from co-workers here.

26 May 2017 - 11:16am | by Crystal Schimpf

Electronic Frontier Foundation eff.org - Digital Privacy and Security - Library Edition - Bill Budington, Staff Technologist, EFF

25 May 2017 - 6:54am | by Roger Donaldson

A warrior formed from words associated with the concept of resistance

The good news: Your library is finally upgrading to the latest and greatest technology! The bad news: You are in charge of the upgrade and getting your co-workers to accept the change.

In any technological change, there is always the possibility of resistance from the people in your organization. The only way to make our projects successful is to get everyone on board with the change. With no direct authority over your co-workers, this could be the most difficult part of the change. Understanding why people are resistant and the types of resistance will help you overcome opposition and have a successful project.

19 May 2017 - 1:27pm | by Phil Shapiro

Children enjoying using a computer at a library

Sometimes what you yearn and work for happens of its own accord. At my public library job at a small public library in the Washington, D.C., area, I've been yearning for students to use our public computers more for educational uses and less for recreational uses. Admittedly, some of the recreational uses of our computers do fortify the mind. But it sure would be nice for at least some students to be doing their homework on library computers.