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Five Things to Look Forward to at 2014 ALA Annual Conference


The biggest library conference in the world kicks off this week and TechSoup for Libraries (me) will be there! While I'm a bit reluctant to trade my breezy 65 degree weather here in San Francisco for the scorching estimated 105 degree weather in Las Vegas, I'm excited to attend my first ALA Annual Conference. Here's what I'm looking forward to the most:

Make Your Library More Mobile-Friendly: Webinar Series


It should come as no surprise that mobile device use in libraries is increasing. Research from the Pew Research Internet Project indicates that 43 percent of American adults now own a tablet or e-reader, and 91 percent of Americans own a cell phone. Of those cell phone owners, 60 percent use their phone to access the Internet.

Libraries Need to Lead the Sharing Economy


One of my first experiences with the Sharing Economy was in elementary school. I needed a drill and some bits for a dollhouse I was putting together. When I asked my dad for a drill, he proudly announced that it was time I experienced the Berkeley Tool Lending Library. I flashed them my library card and I was out the door, ready to conquer this dollhouse with my new (to me) shared drill.

New Library Spotlight: Minecraft Brings Youth into the Library

Our most recent library spotlight focuses on the Poudre River Public Library District. Librarian Amy Holzworth learned about Minecraft when she saw her teenaged sons and their friends toting laptops and network gear to each other's houses to build virtual worlds in the video game. She was inspired to start a Minecraft program at her library. Learn how she did it in our latest library spotlight.

Tell Everyone: Free Meals for Youth!


A recent TechSoup webinar on childhood hunger and tools to find free meals surfaced a lot of interest and ideas on how organizations can help fight hunger. (Watch the archive and download resources shared during the webinar.) If you're interested in tools to help youth in your community find free meals this summer, read on.

Can the Reading Rainbow Digital Revamp Boost Literacy?


This week, my Facebook feed was filled with photos of LeVar Burton. The actor is as famous for helping engage early readers as he is for portraying Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Kunta Kinte in ROOTS.

Move the Reading Conversation Online


As summer approaches, readers' advisory (RA) programs are ramping up. At PLA 2014, one of the liveliest panel discussions I attended was on reader advisory and social media. 

While you probably already have your services and programming planned out, the librarians had some fantastic ideas on how to move the reading conversation online. 

Why Net Neutrality Matters for Libraries


On May 15, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to release a proposal to reinstate net neutrality rules. The proposal, written by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, would allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to charge websites for faster services. What does this mean?  Companies can pay money to be in a virtual "fast lane" for sending content, leaving less lucrative websites in the dust. 

Fiscal Year–End Reminder: Place Donation Requests Before June 30


Make sure your library gets all of the hardware or software it needs from TechSoup before our fiscal year ends on Monday, June 30, 2014.

Supporting Job Seekers at Your Library: Webinar Recap


The public library means so much to so many different people: a place to check out the latest fantasy novel, a quiet workspace, or a center for picking up new tech skills. The library can also be a place to find a new job – though your patrons might not know that yet.  

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