7 February 2020 - 5:32am | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Newsbytes

What's new in library tech! Welcome to our monthly collection of fun and hopefully useful news items from our great twitter feed and wherever else we find them.

This month we lead off with an invitation to meet our partner Asana at the PLA Conference. We then dive into news on two important online resources for African American History Month. We swiftly pivot to the first Library 2.0 free mini-conference for 2020 called "Wholehearted Libraries." We then make a hard right to the Missouri banned books bill that promises to send librarians to prison, then a hard left to news on record-breaking loans of digital materials last year. We then coast in on news of the Little Free Library feud and more free online Mexican cookbooks than you can shake a tortilla press at. Hope you read a little Spanish.

Where else can you find such a wild ride of library tech news? Here's your library tech newsbytes for February.

6 February 2020 - 6:51am | by Oleg Kagan

Why Visits to Public Libraries Have Increased So Much

Editor's note: According to a December 2019 Gallup poll, library visits outpaced trips to movies and live sporting events in 2019. In fact, visiting the library remains the most common cultural activity that Americans engage in, by far. Libraries are most frequented by young adults, women, and people from low-income households. Why is this? We turn to Oleg Kagan for answers. This article is republished in partnership with EveryLibrary.org

Fact: Between 1990 and 2014, visits to public libraries grew by a whopping 181 percent. For context, the population of the United States increased by 28 percent during that period. Why have so many more people have been using their libraries in the last two decades? Here's what I think.

10 January 2020 - 6:01am | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Newsbytes

What's new in library tech! Welcome to our monthly collection of fun and hopefully useful news items from our great twitter feed and wherever else we find them.

This month we offer an update about the publisher Macmillan's library e-book throttling for libraries. We also reveal the books that defined the past decade, and also Book Riot author S.F. Whitaker's list of the books that have been repeatedly banned or challenged over the last 15 years. We also tell all that we know so far about the sale of OverDrive to the private equity firm KKR. Then there's news about the new version of PubMed, the free online database in the field of biomedical research, and what's coming up in the LibTech Conference in St. Paul in March.

Where else can you find such a collection of timely library tech news for the new year? Here's your library tech newsbytes for January.

9 January 2020 - 6:33am | by Erica Melko

Cyber Legal Clinics Create Access to Employment

Free legal representation can be hard to access in rural communities, and filing legal documents without representation can be costly and confusing. To improve access to civil legal justice for low-income community members, Wicomico Public Libraries (WPL) partnered with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service to create a cyber legal clinic, called Legal Clinic @ YOUR Library. Participants attend clinics in person at WPL's Downtown branch and connect with Baltimore lawyers remotely using Google Hangouts to receive full civil legal representation free of charge.

8 January 2020 - 5:45am | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Trends for 2020

Welcome to our bold predictions on library tech trends for the coming year. This time we cover the fast-developing trends in privacy, the trend of abandoning late fees, and a new social media app you may not have heard of yet to reach your young Generation Z patrons. We also reveal what is in the works at PLA's DigitalLearn project, Library 2.0, OCLC Research, and what library tech expert David Lee King is looking forward to. We hope you like our library tech trends for 2020!

6 December 2019 - 6:55am | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Newsbytes

What's new in library tech! Welcome to our monthly collection of fun and hopefully useful news items from our great twitter feed and wherever else we find them.

This month we offer news about unique gifts for readers in case you're a bit behind in your gift buying. We also cover some intriguing info on the life cycle of books and how to recycle your discards. Then there's what to consider when converting nonlibrary spaces into public libraries. You've got to love that huge converted Walmart in McAllen, Texas. We feature Literary Hub's selection of 18 of the most striking libraries around the world, the zany Jigsaw Sideways Dictionary, New York Public Library's latest stylish library of things offers, and 12 famous authors writing about the libraries they love.

Where else can you find such a warm-hearted collection of library tech news? Here's your library tech newsbytes for December.

5 December 2019 - 6:32am | by John Chrastka

How the Oakalla Public Library Raised $1,000 in a Week

The Oakalla Public Library (OPL) is unlike most libraries you will encounter. Located in Burnett County, Texas, south of Waco, OPL has been described as "the most un-library, library" by its secretary, Ripleigh Degenhardt. Although the library resides in a community of fewer than 50 people, patrons from all over the county flock to this tiny un-library for books that other libraries have stopped carrying.

4 December 2019 - 7:26am | by Peter Chandler

Lets Build a 3D Printer — Sounds Easy, Doesnt It?

Editor's Note: The employees of the Globe Library in Stokesley, UK, inspired by a local IT enthusiast, were thinking about building a 3D printer from scratch. But they had no money to do it. A Meet and Code grant of Euro 500 allowed them to buy the parts to begin building the printer and involve local youth in the project. Meet and Code is a nonprofit project of TechSoup Europe that introduces children and teens to the world of technology and coding.

Peter Chandler was one of the organizers of the project, which won the Meet and Code Innovation Award in 2018. What follows is an interview between Peter and Meet and Code.

5 November 2019 - 5:46am | by Hannah Vicarage

The Best Games to Help You Learn Coding in 2019

We're told that coding is the saleable skill of the decade and also a pretty sweet pastime if you're into building your own apps or games. But traditional coding courses can be seriously dry (think the Sahara at midday in the dry season).

Luckily, the industry is always looking for ways to bring people into the fold and has developed a range of games that keep the process engaging.

Why do it the boring way when you can link into your Steam, download an app, or load up a website? There's a reason why we begin to learn with toys and games as children, and it's not just because we can't sit still for more than 20 seconds. It's because when something's more fun, it's more motivating. Plain and simple!

So, whether you're a total beginner or looking to level up your current skills, these games will help you skill up while living it up.

30 October 2019 - 4:37am | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Newsbytes

What's new in library tech! Welcome to our monthly collection of fun and hopefully useful news items from our great twitter feed and wherever else we find them.

This month we offer news about the launch of the free GoFundMe Charity service, some non-obvious digital privacy techniques for your patrons from David Pogue, and breaking news on Vancouver Library's new canine library. What is a canine library, anyway? We also cover the latest in the saga of banned Harry Potter books, the food pantry library in Independence, Missouri, and librarian Betsy Kennedy's tips on how you can set one up too. Don't miss our coverage of what a public library ransomware attack looks like and Patrick Sweeney's useful hacks for making the library a comfy home office.

Where else can you find such a motley collection of library tech news? Here's your library tech newsbytes for November.