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.
Submitted by Ariel Gilbert-Knight on 19 September 2016 - 3:21pm
This blog post was originally published on the TechSoup.org blog. Whether you're looking for more creative ways to show your circulation data or want to educate your patrons on data visualization, this series can help you get started. You'll be creating awesome visualizations in no time!
We know nonprofits and libraries gather piles of data, from program outcomes to constituent data to fundraising or advocacy campaign results. And you probably struggle to turn that data into meaningful insights that can improve your work or tell your organization's story.
That's why TechSoup has partnered with Tableau on a new blog series called "Beyond the Pie Chart."
Have you ever
- Struggled to translate a bunch of boring spreadsheets into a visual format that's easy for your board, funders, or potential donors to understand?
- Tried to create a report and couldn't find a chart or graph that would clearly illustrate your point?
- Thought that analyzing your data was complicated or scary?
Then this series is for you!
Submitted by Ginny Mies on 19 September 2016 - 2:50pm
Of the tasks that can make you go cross-eyed during your off-desk hours, one might be measuring social media analytics. Often, you have more questions than answers. What should we measure, and which measurements matter the most? What do the experts say? How does that apply to my library, and what can I show my administration or board? How do we even know if our numbers are good ones?
We invited Laura Solomon, author of The Librarian's Nitty-Gritty Guide to Social Media and Library Services Manager at the Ohio Public Library Information Network, to our August webinar. Here's what she said matters most when it comes to social media analytics in public libraries.
Submitted by Ginny Mies on 15 September 2016 - 11:26am
We know that you're busy and might not know the full scope of what TechSoup offers libraries. This is why we hold quarterly free webinars that can help you take advantage of everything we do! Join us for the next TechSoup for Libraries - Maximize Your Technology Services with TechSoup webinar on September 22 at 11 a.m. Pacific time.
Here are a few things you'll learn.
1. You can register all of your branches at once.
Does your library have multiple branches, but only your main library is registered? Or maybe you have many locations, and the thought of trying to get every single one of them registered seems totally overwhelming? Guess what? You can register all of your library branches at once with TechSoup's bulk registration process! Here's what John Sarmiento, network engineer for the Peninsula Library System in California, said about bulk registration:
"It was such an easy process for me to get my 30 libraries registered with TechSoup using their bulk import tool. Now all 30 of my libraries can reap the cost saving benefits of acquiring software from TechSoup."
You'll learn more about this at our upcoming webinar, but you can email our client services team if you want to get started right away.
Submitted by Phil Shapiro on 13 September 2016 - 11:12am
Crowdfunding is changing the world for the better, reducing barriers to entry for writers, innovators and inventors. So when I heard the news about equity crowdfunding becoming legal earlier this year, I couldn't help but wonder, "What role for public libraries?"
The intent of equity crowdfunding is to make it easier for individuals who are not wealthy to purchase shares in new business ventures. Doing so can be risky, and investors can always lose all their invested money. Yet, at the same time, there can be an upside to equity investment — when done wisely and prudently.
Submitted by Ginny Mies on 30 August 2016 - 3:24pm
Librarian. Library Assistant. Page. Information Specialist. Cataloguer. These are just a handful of some of the job titles you'll find at a library. But what about "Tech Worker"? Pam Saliba and Andrea Cecchetto, branch managers for the Markham Public Library, embarked on a mission to change the way library staff viewed technology and their place in the technology world.
We invited Pam and Andrea to our July webinar to share with other libraries how they got the Markham staff on-board with technology. Andrea and Pam opened up the webinar by asking our attendees whether they think of themselves as technology workers. Interestingly, 67 percent responded that yes, they do see themselves as tech workers.
A Cultural Shift Toward Technology
Markham, located just north of Toronto, is known as Canada's high-tech capital. It's the home of 900 technology companies and their employees. In response to the booming technology industry, the Markham Library started hosting maker and coding events, launched a digital media lab, and purchased 3D printers. But to get the staff on-board with this cultural shift toward technology, the Markham Library had to do some work internally.
Submitted by Ariel Gilbert-Knight on 25 August 2016 - 2:46pm
To access TechSoup's new online course, you'll need to create an account on our training platform.
Here's how you do it.
1. Go to https://techsoup.course.tc/.
2. Create a training account. You need to create this new training account the first time you access the training platform, even if you're already a TechSoup member.
On the login page, click Need an account? Register now!
Submitted by Susan Hope Bard on 25 August 2016 - 2:27pm
This post originally appear on the TechSoup blog. Many libraries have already signed up for our free online tech training course - come join the learning party!
You told us that you wanted more how-tos and online training options from TechSoup. Your wish is our command.
We're thrilled to announce that TechSoup is launching its very first online course. Learn the basics of implementing and conducting effective tech training in TechSoup's Tech Training for Nonprofit and Library Staff 101.