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Your Library Can Support Makers Without Having a Makerspace


Some school and public libraries around the world are setting up makerspaces or creative tinkering spaces, but not every library has the space or budget to do so. How can your library support makers without having its own makerspace? There are lots of ways to do it. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Resources for Training Library Staff on Mobile Operating Systems


"How can I get [insert type of e-resource or content] on my [insert type of mobile device]?"

If your library offers some sort of electronic resource, whether it be e-books, audiobooks, or simply your online catalog, you've probably heard this question before. Perhaps you get more basic, non-library-specific technology questions about mobile devices, like "How do I check my email?" or "Where can I watch a YouTube video?" No matter how large your library is or where it's located, you surely have patrons using mobile devices.

Why Is It So Hard to Use E-books from the Library?


I would dearly love to say that e-books from the public library are wondrous things. Come to think of it, I did make that case in my post, Why Public Libraries Are Better than Amazon.

However, recently I had occasion to despair of the library e-book experience when I tried to check out Robin Hastings' book — Making the Most of the Cloud: How to Choose and Implement the Best Services for Your Library — from my local library.

Can You Get Tech Advice from a Print Book?


I was scanning the ALA Store when a book caught my eye: Technology for Small and One-Person Libraries: A LITA Guide. Given how many of our TechSoup for Libraries members come from small libraries, I thought this book would be a great subject for our very first book review! Is this guide something that belongs on every rural librarian's shelves? Can you get technology tips from a printed book? Will even the tech-savviest of librarians get something out of this book? Yes, yes, … and yes!

A Quick Caveat on Books About Tech

I'm possibly stating the obvious here, but it's important to note that when you buy a book on technology, there is almost always going to be something out-of-date in it. Technology moves so fast that even if the publisher were to continuously release updated versions of the book, it still couldn't keep up.

 Technology for Small and One-Person Libraries was published in 2013, and although the authors do a great job of keeping the descriptions and names of technology general, there is some information that isn't quite current. For example, the social media chapter lists a few platforms and tools to check out, but doesn't include Tumblr, Instagram, or Pinterest, which have become quite popular among libraries.  

How to Recruit and Engage Tech Volunteers at Your Library


Could your library use some assistance in staffing? Whether you work at a large city library or a small one- or two-staff-member rural library, volunteers can make a huge difference! But how do you recruit, manage, and engage volunteers? How do you make sure your volunteers keep coming back?

My kids got me a Kindle

Share Files and Collaborate Online with Your Library's Staff with Box


This post was originally published on We're excited to share that eligible public libraries can now request donations of Box, a file-sharing, content management, and collaboration service. You can use Box to share files, such as photos from a recent event, with staff and volunteers. 

TechSoup is proud to announce our newest donor partner, provides organizations with the Box file-sharing, content management, and collaboration service.

See the Donation Program for details about this offer.

Can My Library Use That Image?


This post was originally published on the TechSoup blog. Librarians are naturally sensitive to copyright issues, but sometimes image permissions can be downright confusing. Here are some resources to help you determine which images are okay to use for your library's outreach efforts and marketing materials. 

cat looking at a cat picture on a computer monitor

With so many cute cat photos on the Internet, it's tempting to just grab one and use it on your website. But what are the rules and where can you get good public domain or Creative Commons images to spice up your website?

With the rise of visual social media (like Pinterest and Instagram), a clear trend in digital communications is more images and fewer words — even if you are communicating through your website or an email newsletter.

Top 10 Sources for Free Images for Your Library's Website or Newsletter


This post was originally published on the TechSoup blog. If you use marketing collateral, such as a newsletter, a Facebook page, or fliers for your outreach, you need good images to go along with it. But you also need to make sure that these images are okay to use. So where do you begin? We made a list of 10 free image sources to help you get started in your search. 

photo of red poppies on laptop screen

There are more places than ever to get free images that are entirely OK for you to use for your communications. Here are 10 sources for images you can freely use on your website or other communications channels. The following list is no particular order.

Donated Technology Helps Libraries Save Money and Time


$19 Million Saved with TechSoup for Libraries

Yes, you read that correctly: The donation and discount programs through TechSoup for Libraries saved public libraries a total of $19 million in 2014. That's a lot of e-readers, tech instructors, resume reviewers, new hires, flyers, 3D printers … and so on.

Teens and Seniors Learn New Skills Through Genealogy


Making Roots poster

I first got hooked on genealogy in library school — a reference services course to be exact. We had an assignment where we had to look up information about an ancestor using primary and secondary library resources. After that little taste, I was hooked and started exploring even more of my family's history (and yes, signed up for an Ancestry account).

Genealogy is a great way to learn library resources, but I never really considered how it might be a tool for digital inclusion until I heard about the Burlington (Washington) Public Library's ROOTS program.

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