We had fun participating in today's Iowa Small Libraries Online Conference! The sessions and virtual exhibits were impressive... and no travel was required! During the virtual exhibit times, attendees were encouraged to visit our site, say hello, and ask questions about TechSoup.
Today I read Lee Rainie’s tweet (Director of Pew Internet Project) requesting examples of innovative library services and decided to send him a few highlights from this past year. To me, some of the more innovative library programs do not fall under bleeding edge tech or super cool gadgetry categories, but under smart uses of resources to meet community needs. This past year, many of the innovative programs I heard about were focused on extending the boundaries of the library through partnerships and through reimagining services the library offers.
Thanks to everyone who attended today's "Broadband Basics for Public Libraries" webinar! A special thanks to guest speaker Kieran Hixon. If you missed the webinar, but are interested in learning more about broadband, you'll definitely want to check out the recording and the resources (linked to below).
We have lots of interesting online learning opportunities coming up. Our webinars are always free and include fantastic speakers. Get your questions answered! See our events page for full listings. Leave us a note in the comments if there is a topic you'd like to see offered or a speaker you'd like to recommend. Hope to see you there!
Have you heard about the Edge Initiative? Whether you're a seasoned expert or a recent newbie to the Edge scene, please attend the Edge Update session at MidWinter in Seattle to learn about the new and improved benchmarks, strengthened by feedback from you and your library colleagues.
What's happening with apps in the library world? Many libraries are designing apps to extend access to their own services and others are creating applaudable programming. Libraries are providing online access to previously closed collections, demonstrating how to download ebooks on the go, and integrating apps provided by library database vendors to allow for vetted research from mobile devices.
Back in December, I blogged about Blinn Sheffield and the Independence (KS) Public Library's upcoming Scratch programming class. I plan to check in with Blinn as the class progresses and will post an update then. I also contacted Sherry Knight, the librarian at the Euless (TX) Public Library who inspired Blinn with her post on the PUBYAC listserv about her successful Scratch club. She discussed the overlap with the library's Lego program.
I read a lot of blogs and follow many smart techie types on Twitter. I scan Lifehacker pretty regularly and read tech articles in professional library journals, too. Despite all of these efforts to "keep up", however, I am always plauged by a nagging feeling that there are tools out there that would be so useful to me... if only I knew they existed.
TechSoup is excited to be part of a coalition of library and local government organizations working to develop public access technology benchmarks for public libraries.In support of the Edge Initiative, we've been hosting monthly webinars related to benchmark topics. Here's a review of the webinars delivered in 2012 (including links to recordings of the sessions).