Libraries today offer much more than books. At many libraries across America, children listen to stories read out loud by librarians, bird lovers attend chapter meetings for the Audubon Society, veterans get together to plan the next event for the Wounded Warrior Project, knitters learn how to master tricky stitches, gamers trade secrets, and aspiring writers hear stories from authors who once sat in the same folding chairs.
The ability to meet, listen to, and interact with people who live down the street or across town makes libraries vital civic centers at a time when community and communal spaces are disappearing.
Managing such an important public service can be difficult, especially if your library hosts multiple events each week and is the meeting place for dozens of community groups. Various software tools exist — from simple online calendars to robust event-management systems — but how do you know which technologies are right for your library?
We talked to a number of library staffers and nonprofit technology experts about the tools available to help you create and manage programs your patrons will appreciate and enjoy. Here's what they had to say.
How can you organize STE(A)M (Science Technology Engineering [Art] Math) programs for teens — and actually have them show up? At our May webinar, Teens and Tech: Creating Successful STEM Programs in Libraries, we invited three librarians to share practical planning tips and programming ideas.
- Heather Booth and Jacquie Christen (Robot Test Kitchen) shared ideas for engaging teen technology programs that any size library can do.
- Amanda Allpress (Shasta Public Libraries) spoke about a successful graphic design workshop for teens that went beyond the technology to also explore creativity and business.
In addition to programming advice and ideas, our speakers shared some of their programs' shortcomings and what they learned from them. If you're looking to try something new when it comes to teen programming, you'll discover some new ideas to put into action.
The nonprofit sector thrives on a community of rich storytelling. Whatever form that storytelling takes, from photo essay to member video, story-driven content is dynamic, shows impact, and can attract new potential donors. Many of these stories, however, are only as good as their delivery strategy or the platforms used to connect them to wider audiences. And that's where live streaming can be useful.
This post was originally published on the TechSoup.org blog. At the Innovative Libraries Online Conference, we got a lot of questions about Microsoft's Software Assurance and the Volume Licensing Service Center. We thought calling out some of the top benefits will be useful for other libraries that have received Microsoft donations through TechSoup.
If your nonprofit or public library received donated Microsoft software through TechSoup, you probably used the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) to get your software. But did you know there are special perks from Microsoft, too?
In case you're not familiar, the VLSC is an online tool for managing Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements, downloading products, and accessing volume license keys. Microsoft includes two years of Software Assurance with all Volume Licensing products it donates through TechSoup.
Software Assurance is a collection of benefits included with Microsoft products requested through TechSoup. Here are five — no, wait, six! — great and unexpected benefits you can take advantage of via this program.
As a maker, I love nimble. Nimble means able to move fast. The state of Delaware was nimble when it was the first to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Today, the state is moving fast to bring making and creativity to its public libraries.
I noticed on Twitter that the person spearheading this is Sarena Fletcher, an administrative librarian for Delaware Division of Libraries. I caught up with Sarena recently to hear her story, recorded in this short audio interview on YouTube.
I loved hearing from Sarena how the Delaware libraries are working in partnership with the Barrel of Makers makerspace to teach Scratch computer programming classes at the libraries. The only other makerspace I know of that's partnering with a public library is the Santa Barbara Makerspace in California.
According to a 2013 ALA survey, almost all U.S. public libraries now offer online and in-person homework assistance?. In rural areas, this service is especially important because the library offers high-speed broadband access that many homes can't afford.
Urban areas have their own challenges that also include lack of Internet access. We decided to have a look at what is working well — and not so well — in the world of library homework help programs.
Pew Research finds that 54 percent of teachers say all or almost all of their students have access at school to the digital tools they need to be academically successful, but just 18 percent say the same is true for their students at home. The Miami Herald recently reported on how critical the Miami Dade libraries are in addressing this need.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.