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.
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.