The Little Mobile Library in the Heart of Refugee Camps

A group of immigrants who have made through police blockades rest at the Gevgelija railway station

One of our particular interests at TechSoup is the refugee crisis. This year we launched an online technology informational resource for NGOs and libraries that serve refugees called Refugee Response. Hoping that you share our interest, we thought you might like to know about the volunteer library-on-wheels humanitarian project in Greece called Education. Community. Hope. Opportunity. (ECHO). People in need eventually need more than food, water, and shelter.

How and Why Oakland Public Library Is Loaning Out Hotspots

Free Hot Spot banners

Over 500 libraries have now requested Mobile Beacon hotspot product donations through TechSoup. After the Oakland Public Library placed a big donation request, we thought we'd call them to find out how it's going with their hotspot lending program. Here's what we found out.

The Lunch Program for Kids at York County Library

Public library offers free summertime meals to low-income school-age children

I had the chance to chat with librarian Beth Franklin at Beaver Creek Arizona Public Library a few weeks ago about how she dreams of expanding her library's services to include free meals for hungry kids in her rural community. Just after that, I came across a piece in the York Dispatch about Martin Library in York City, Pennsylvania, outside of Harrisburg. They have figured out a way to do just that.

What We're Bookmarking This Month: A New Way to Do E-Book Lending and a Superhero Obstacle Course.

What we're bookmarking this month

Library Link Roundup is a recurring series in which we'll share articles, blog posts, and resources related to library technology, innovative projects, and other news we think will be of interest to our TechSoup for Libraries readers around the world. Enjoy!

Lights, Camera, Advocacy to Action: Digital Storytelling for Libraries

How can you tell your library's story in a way that will increase public support? Digital stories can be used for advocacy efforts, from raising awareness to fundraising campaigns to taking political action. Libraries can develop a compelling story using video and can leverage that story to show the impact they have in their communities.

During our April webinar, we identified ways to use digital storytelling for advocacy, as well as good practices for video production and digital storytelling. We were joined by two presenters. Ale Bezdikian from TechSoup shared good practices for video production from TechSoup's Storymakers initiative. Michael Dunn from the Daviess County Public Library (Owensboro, Kentucky) spoke about his library's experience developing a video for library advocacy, as well as his personal experience as a videographer.

Outside the Lines: Shifting Perceptions of Libraries

Outside the Lines is a weeklong international celebration of the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. Whether large or small, academic or public, any library can participate by hosting at least one event or campaign. The goal is to get people thinking — and talking — about libraries in a different way. Libraries are dynamic centers for engagement that help everyone in the community be their best. It's not enough just to tell people how libraries have changed; it's time to show them.

During our June webinar, we heard from Erica Grossman of Anythink Libraries in Adams County, Colorado. We also heard from Megan Glidden and Lune Axelsen of ImagineIF Libraries in Flathead County, Montana. The webinar provided examples of grassroots library marketing, including ways to use social media.

Mobile Phone Safety for Children

How to Protect Your Children On Their Smartphone

Mobile phones and kids can be a match made in heaven. As librarians, we can be in constant contact with children, and kids can call for help, be entertained, and even be educated using their cellphones. But given that smartphones have data connections, there are inherent risks to kids in using them, from cyberbullying to inappropriate Internet material. It may be helpful to know some best practices to help keep children safe on their mobile phones. The practices in this article come to us courtesy of the U.K- based company TigerMobiles. They're all useful in the U.S. as well.

JigSpace: A New Free Application for Making 3D Presentations

3D optical illusion

In my opinion, one of the functions of libraries and librarians is to facilitate the sharing of ideas, particularly ideas that can move the world forward. In that spirit, I want to tell everyone about a new free downloadable application named JigSpace. With this Window or Mac desktop app, anyone can create 3D animated presentations called Jigs. Jigs can explain, show, or teach anything in an intuitive and memorable way.

Libraries as Innovation Hubs: Community-Driven Design

Public libraries have become hubs for innovation and community engagement. Library programs and services must respond to community needs, changes in technology, and fluctuations in funding. To design them, library workers must listen closely to library users. Libraries are using collaborative, community-driven design processes to generate ideas, build engagement, and solve problems.

During our May webinar we showcased two examples of libraries that have led community-driven design processes. Our guests were Chris Kyauk of the Alameda County Library in Northern Calfornia and Sarah Washburn of Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup.

What We're Bookmarking This Month: This Is What a Librarian Looks Like

Open book

Library Link Roundup is a recurring series in which we'll share articles, blog posts, and resources related to library technology, innovative projects, and other news we think will be of interest to our TechSoup for Libraries readers around the world. Enjoy!

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