Submitted by Crystal Schimpf on 28 November 2016 - 2:48pm
Does your library have enough broadband to meet the needs of patrons and staff? Technology use in libraries is at an all-time high. Without enough bandwidth coming into the library, patrons are unable to stay connected, and staff productivity is blocked. How can libraries plan for the future when it comes to broadband? And how can libraries leverage the E-rate program to increase bandwidth and the availability of high-speed Internet?
At our October webinar, we received E-rate advice and practical broadband planning tips from Amber Gregory (Arkansas State Library) and Emily Almond (Georgia Public Library Service).
As Emily said in her presentation: "Broadband is part of what makes libraries a beacon in our society. Our mission is to provide access to everyone, regardless. We can't do that without broadband."
Here are Emily and Amber's tips for increasing the availability of high-speed Internet for your library.
Submitted by TechSoup Announ... on 21 November 2016 - 9:23am
TechSoup is committed to the furtherance of civil society, defined as the organizations and individuals, separate from the worlds of both government and commerce, who undertake the tasks of improving the circumstances of the underserved and creating conditions in which people of goodwill can engage in discourse and find solutions for the many problems that impact the globe.
Recent elections and events across the world have stirred strong emotions and often seemed to highlight differences. No one knows the extent to which rhetoric will be acted on, and this uncertainty creates anxiety for many. In this context, we want to reiterate that TechSoup holds cardinal values around nondiscrimination, diversity, and inclusivity. No matter the context, we will stay true to these values and we will make common cause with others, in this country and across the globe, who share them.
Submitted by Megan Keane on 11 November 2016 - 11:36am
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!
Submitted by Jim Lynch on 10 November 2016 - 2:46pm
We certainly love nonprofits and libraries here at TechSoup. The only thing we like better is when they get together to do extraordinary work. Ready, Set, Connect! (RSC) is a collaboration of Oakland Public Library and the nonprofit Community Technology Network (CTN) in the Bay Area.
Their Ready, Set, Connect! project provides serious technology career training to local teens who then provide digital literacy tutoring at the library. It is an innovative program that both organizations hope can be replicated across the country.
Submitted by Monica Dombrowski on 7 November 2016 - 9:20am
With the boom in tech over the last several years, more and more public librarians are finding themselves thrust into training roles in an attempt to meet community needs. These "accidental trainers" want to equip their patrons with knowledge and skills to successfully navigate the digital age but often lack the time and experience to take the first steps. Gail’s Toolkit, a free resource from the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Illinois, answers this need.
Submitted by Ariel Gilbert-Knight on 2 November 2016 - 8:30am
If you're attending the California Library Association conference in Sacramento this week, we'd love to see you. We'll be at table 527 in the exhibit hall.
Stop by and tell us what your library is up to and how TechSoup for Libraries can help.
Meet the TechSoup Team
Submitted by Jim Lynch on 24 October 2016 - 9:05am
I know there are lots of social media tools beyond Facebook and Twitter that people are using that I should know about. But who has the time? That's why I like TechBoomers. They currently offer over 100 free courses composed of over 1,000 video and article tutorials.
TechBoomers.com is a free educational website that teaches older adults and others with limited computer skills how to use popular websites and apps. That means their courses are simple to digest and understand. It also makes TechBoomers a great resource for library staff and patrons to quickly find out how to use things like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Plus, all their content is Creative Commons licensed, which means you are free to reuse it in your own technology training for patrons or staff!
Submitted by Ginny Mies on 13 October 2016 - 2:07pm
This post originally appeared on TechSoup.org. We're sharing it here because libraries also need to measure their social media activities to understand what is working well and what could be improved. Happy measuring!
When you're new to the world of social media analytics, it can be quite overwhelming not only trying to determine what to measure, but what tool to use. We recently published a recap of our webinar on social media analytics with Laura Solomon, a librarian and social media expert. There was so much covered in that hour that we barely scratched the surface in our recap and didn't have a chance to focus on analytics tools.
Submitted by Phil Shapiro on 5 October 2016 - 10:32am
People come to the library with questions. Sometimes their questions are deflected as not being "ready reference" questions, meaning questions that can be answered by using one or two common reference tools. Is a question less valid if it is not a ready reference question? What would happen if librarians addressed questions by convening members of the community — pooling knowledge to discern and devise answers and solutions? The unanswered questions would have a higher chance of being addressed, which itself would promote more wondering.
Suppose someone came to the library and asked this question: "I don't have money to pay utility bills. In what ways can I make it through the winter in my apartment or house without freezing to death?" That's a valid question, even though it's not your typical public library reference question.
There might not be one tidy answer to this question, but there are many approaches to answering this question. Naturally, all proposed solutions to this situation must place the safety of the community member first.
Submitted by Sarah Benlolo on 4 October 2016 - 10:33am
Our goal for TechSoup for Libraries is to help your library get the technology it needs. Keep reading for a few frequently asked questions about our donation program for libraries.
Q: What is the TechSoup for Libraries product donation program?
A: Our donation program is made possible by the generosity of our donors and their desire to help nonprofits and libraries flourish with the help of technology. These partners help out by donating their wares to you through the TechSoup for Libraries product donation program. The nominal admin fee listed on the product pages represents an amount you will pay to TechSoup to support our own 501(c)(3) nonprofit operation. The other work we do alongside running the donation program is focused on creating a supportive community for libraries to come together and learn, exchange ideas, and get inspired to make each library the best it can be. Get involved today by perusing our lively blog and signing up for our newsletter.