6 December 2018 - 5:53am | by Jim Lynch

Library Technology

It is so fun to look back over the past year to see how well we predicted the 2018 Library Tech Trends, plus all the unexpected things that popped up during the year. We didn't do too bad. Looking back over 2018, we cover the new DigitalLearn websites, cord cutting, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, translation technology, and the library of things.

4 December 2018 - 6:15am | by Samantha Lopez

PLA's Project Outcome

Editor's Introduction

Samantha Lopez works on the Public Library Association's (PLA's) Project Outcome. Project Outcome is a free online toolkit designed to help public libraries understand and share the impact of essential library services and programs. The toolkit offers simple surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Project Outcome also provides libraries with the resources and training needed to apply their results and confidently advocate for their library's future. We want to raise awareness about this excellent free resource by showing a bit of what it can do.

This article is an excerpt of a larger piece by PLA's expert in measuring library outcomes, Samantha Lopez. It first appeared in PLA's Public Libraries magazine (PDF) and is reprinted here by permission of the author and PLA.

5 November 2018 - 7:02am | by Jim Lynch

A hand pulling a page out of a book

What's new in library tech! Library tech newsbytes is a monthly collection of fun news items from pretty much anywhere we find them. This month we cover the inadvertent experiment in Oregon to privatize public libraries, the proposed federal copyright law that would undermine the Librarian of Congress, some heartening news and practical tips for your youngest and nonreading patrons, and the project to send a library to the moon. Improbable or not, we hope you enjoy our batch of newsbytes this time around!

29 October 2018 - 6:53am | by Sophia Guevara MLIS and MPA - Rebecca Mazur MLS and Ph.D.

Social media icons

This article is to help those in libraryland learn more about social network analysis (SNA). You will see its possible uses within your library among your employees and volunteers, and also among the patrons who attend ongoing programs at your library. Social network analysis is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, and organizations and also computers or other knowledge processing entities. If this sounds technical, it is! But we'll break it down for you in hopes that you'll be interested in SNA and start using it.

26 October 2018 - 6:32am | by Jim Lynch

Pottsboro Library and a librarian riding a bike-powered mobile library cart

A few years ago, we did a profile of the extraordinary Pottsboro Library in rural Texas, which was facing closure but got creative on a shoestring to turn things around. We recently called attention to the story again on Twitter. Volunteer library director Dianne Connery replied that a lot of things have happened since then. Here's the rest of the story of one of the most creative small libraries in the land.

15 October 2018 - 9:11am | by Jim Lynch

A hand pulling a page out of a book

What's new in library tech! Library tech newsbytes is a collection of fun news items from pretty much anywhere we find them. We cover handy things like some new truth-seeking civics apps from the Library of Congress, the ilovelibraries free What's Your Library Worth Calculator, the free tech training resource Gail's Toolkit, now hosted in PLA, the latest on the Amazon vs. public libraries controversy, and TechSoup's own Marnie Webb on open data and how libraries serve as conduits between users and technologies. We hope you enjoy our batch for this month!

1 October 2018 - 9:14am | by Sophia Guevara

Library visual markeitng tools loaded on laptops

In whatever work environment you are in, you gain lessons from your experiences every day. From learning about a new resource to finding an innovative solution to a common problem, lessons learned from personal experiences can be shared with colleagues to help them in their own work and in the service they provide to customers. With that being said, what are some solutions to help you communicate lessons learned or new resources to others? Three tools for you to consider are PowToon, Animaker, and Emaze. This post will focus on the free aspects of each of these tools, all of which also offer paid plans.

28 September 2018 - 5:41am | by Steph Waite

An "I voted" sticker

If you work or volunteer in a library, you may have heard about the report From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018. If you haven't read it, here's the good news: Compared to 2008, more voters think of libraries as hubs for connecting, learning, and skill building. The not-so-good news: Most voters don't understand where library funding comes from, and they are less committed to supporting tax-based library funding than they were a decade ago. See WebJunction's director, Sharon Streams, discuss the report in greater depth during her booth spotlight presentation at ALA 2018.

12 September 2018 - 7:58am | by Harsha Reddy

A person using voice search on a phone

The Internet has significantly expanded the amount of available reference information and has made searching for it more seamless. Librarians nowadays use their expertise to help patrons develop their searching skills and navigate the Internet so they can search for information more efficiently. In order to maximize their technology services to communities, libraries offer both formal and informal education for senior patrons. But most of all, patrons, especially older ones, can benefit from voice search.

11 September 2018 - 11:03am | by Jim Lynch

Library patron using Google Voice Typing

It's a fact. Interacting with our electronic devices by using our voices instead of typing has come of age. Voice recognition technology took a long time to mature, but it has arrived and is easy to use. Mouse and keyboard are still our primary input devices and probably will continue to be for quite a while, but speech recognition and voice input is available on nearly everything now. It's a great accessibility tool for patrons with physical disabilities. Here's a little how-to primer on one of the more universal free services: Google Voice Typing in Google Docs.