If you've ever attended American Library Association's Annual Conference, you'll probably agree with me that it is two things: useful and overwhelming. I generally try to hit as many tech-related sessions as I can with a few author signings thrown in here and there.
But by the time I get home, I look at my massive Google Doc of notes and think, "Wait, what did I learn again?" This year in Orlando, I tried a different technique. As I took notes, I highlighted the key tech tips from the sessions I went to. I've picked out some of my favorites, so if you too are feeling overwhelmed or were not able to go, I hope you find these beneficial to your library's tech goals!
Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. Because Microsoft products are some of the most popular among libraries, we thought this article might be useful for requesting and downloading software.
The Microsoft Software Donation Program is by far the most popular of TechSoup's many donation programs. Here's a quick guide to getting the most out of your Microsoft donation requests.
1. Maximize the Number of Microsoft Products You Request
First off, you should know that there's a maximum allotment of Microsoft software donations that eligible organizations can request every two years. Your two-year cycle begins with your first Microsoft donation request. After two years, a new cycle begins, and a new allotment is available.
If you aren't sure when your two-year cycle began or how many more donations you can request during the current cycle, there's an easy way to check. Just go to My Microsoft Donation Center. You'll need to log in to your TechSoup account to see it.
Recent research from the Pew Institute shows that only 59 percent of older adults go online. New technologies can be difficult to learn, and older adults may not understand the benefits of using technology. But libraries can help older adults adopt technology in meaningful ways for communication, lifelong learning, and entertainment.
TechSoup for Libraries hosted a webinar in May on teaching older adults technology at the library. We invited the following speakers to share tips and tools:
- Kathy Faubion, computer class instructor from the St. Mary's County Library (Maryland)
- Steve Black, founder of TechBoomers
The #PulseOrlandoSyllabus is a list compiled by librarians and teachers of information resources, teaching materials, books and digital materials focusing on the intersections of LGBTQIA community and people of color. The list includes comics, zines, plays, podcasts, LIS resources, scholarly books, and much more compiled within a 60+ page Google doc.
The result showcases what libraries do best: compiling, collecting, and organizing information to benefit communities. You can share it with your community using this easy-to-remember URL: bit.ly/orlandosyllabus.
The cookies are out, the coffee is ready, and people are already starting to file into the lecture you've organized for your library. Just before your speaker starts, you hit Go Live. All of a sudden, people from all over the world are popping into your feed, asking questions and sharing comments on your program. Now your attendance total has tripled, and viewers are sharing your lecture, turning it into an online success!
Live-streamed video is taking off, and it is easier than ever to get on board. You can use live streaming not only to share your programs and lectures but also to give people a virtual tour of your library or share one of your classes. There are so many possibilities! The Wichita Public Library used Facebook Live for a book discussion for Kitchens of the Great Midwest, and the Wilmington Memorial Library used Live to share a program on drones.
We tested out a few popular live-streaming platforms to see how they stack up and if they might be right for libraries.
Calling all children's librarians! We have a series of free webinars on early childhood literacy. Our next live webinar is on Wednesday, June 15 at 11 a.m. Pacific time. This post was originally published on the TechSoup blog.
The Early Learning Lab, Frontiers of Innovation, and New Profit, along with partners Joan Ganz Cooney Center and TechSoup, are working together to build the technology capacity of the early childhood education field.
In partnership with these organizations, TechSoup will be hosting a series of webinars about technology and innovation for early childhood literacy organizations and researchers. If you work with young children at a nonprofit or library, this free webinar series is for you.
In 2014, the Patchogue-Medford Library decided to enhance, expand, and unify our digitization efforts. The result was Digital PML, a digital collection repository that we built from scratch and completely within our library walls.
For many years, we have been committed to digitizing our rare and eclectic local history materials to increase community access and to support genealogical and historical research. This includes our Flickr-based historic photograph collection, Records of Men from Patchogue and Vicinity Who Took Part in the World War, and the many items presented on the website of our Celia M. Hastings Local History Room.
Among Americans who visited a library in 2012, one in five attended a class, lecture, or program for adults. Did those visitors enjoy the program? Did they learn something from it? Will they attend another program like that? Or was it not what they expected? Unless you have psychic powers, you won't know what your patrons got out of a program or service unless you ask.
TechSoup for Libraries recently teamed up with the Public Library Association (PLA) on a webinar that gave an overview of outcome measurement from Project Outcome. This new program from PLA provides simple tools for libraries to measure programs across seven common service areas. The webinar also featured a Project Outcome user from a small library. Our webinar speakers were:
- Samantha Lopez, Project Outcome in Chicago, Illinois
- Robyn Truslow, Calvert Library in Prince Frederick, Maryland
Snap a picture, tag it, post it, and voilà: more people in the library! Is it really that easy? At our April webinar, we invited two librarians to talk about how they use Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo social network. Both of these librarians have used creative and downright funny tactics to bring attention to the great work their libraries are doing. Our guests were
- Ray DeLara, Burlingame Public Library (California)
- Amanda Zuccarelli, Cherry Hill Public Library (New Jersey)
We surveyed our webinar attendees to see if they're using Instagram and what they hope to accomplish with it.
- 56 percent of attendees reported that their library has an Instagram account
- 88 percent said they want to promote library services and programs
- 87 percent want to connect with library users
- 84 percent said they want to attract new library users
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