29 June 2018 - 11:47am | by Frank Moraes

Kids learning computer-based skills at a library

The sort of life skills we are encouraged to acquire at an early age have varied through the ages. Today's young generation can consider coding to be a basic literacy requirement if they hope to enjoy a meaningful working career. Coding for Kids: How to Get Started is a free resource that is perfect for library STEM programming. It is aimed at giving librarians, parents, and teachers access to a wide range of information and external links that are useful for anyone interested in learning the basics of coding.

27 June 2018 - 10:23am | by Jim Lynch

A copier in a library

Patrons copy or print all kinds of things at the library. Many do not contain sensitive data, but some probably do: birth certificates, ID cards, medical records, or banking information. Modern digital copiers and multifunction printers have hard drives that store data about all the documents they copy, print, scan, or fax. There are things you can do to insure patron privacy in this little-known area of data security risk.

8 June 2018 - 12:03pm | by Jim Lynch

A hand pulling a page out of a book

See what's new in library tech! Library tech newsbytes is a collection of fun news items from pretty much anywhere we find them. We hope you enjoy our batch for this month!

6 June 2018 - 1:22pm | by Jim Lynch

Books and a floral arranegment on a library shelf

United Nations Public Service Day is June 23 every year. It is not one of the big, flashy commemorations, but we think it's one of the underappreciated ones. Public Service Day celebrates the value of public service to the community. It recognizes the work of public servants and encourages young people to pursue careers in the public sector. In my humble opinion, libraries are the classic public service institutions. Another reason to celebrate Public Service Day is that we're just entering a spirited midterm election. I sometimes find it hard to remember that politicians are in public service. Here are some unique ideas for displays and décor for your library and fun resources for your patrons.

4 June 2018 - 12:35pm | by T.J. Lamanna

Library patron using a self-checkout kiosk

Does your library have a self-checkout? It seems like a simple question, but the ramifications are deep. After the Patriot Act was passed, libraries pushed back against government surveillance by purging patron records as soon as an item was returned. But that's only one step in a long and arduous process.

11 May 2018 - 11:56am | by Jim Lynch

Microsoft products being downloaded onto a computer

The Microsoft Donation Program on TechSoup has had some significant changes recently. Microsoft products are a perpetual favorite for public libraries. The good news is that even though the number of donated products has been reduced, the product donations most popular with libraries will still be available. These include the latest versions of Windows 10, Windows Server, Exchange Server, Office Standard, and Office for Mac. The process for requesting your Microsoft donations hasn't changed. Here is what libraries can request from our Microsoft Donation Program.

8 May 2018 - 11:59am | by Marnie Webb

Library patrons relaxing and working while sitting on giant books

In April 2018, I had a chance to talk to Oregon librarians at the annual Oregon Public Library Division dinner, in association with the Oregon Library Association conference. This article is an adapted version of the talk I gave there, which is, in turn, an expanded version of Why Libraries Are the Best Place for Us to Work.

7 May 2018 - 6:51am | by Liz Hickok

A library patron uses virtual reality to pet a leopard in a jungle

Editor's introduction: Last year, TechSoup for Libraries published a profile of Supervising Librarian Liz Hickock and the Sunnyvale Public Library. Sunnyvale, California, is in the heart of Silicon Valley and the home of Apple, Google, Yahoo!, and LinkedIn among many other high-tech companies. We asked Liz to give us an update on emerging trends in library technology from the unique vantage point of Silicon Valley. Here is her view.

7 May 2018 - 6:45am | by T.J. Lamanna

An eye looks out from a field of binary code

Editor's introduction: By July this year, websites that are not encrypted with web addresses that begin with HTTPS will get a "not secure" label in their address bar by the most popular web browser, Google Chrome. Using HTTPS means that your users' web activity is only visible by the people operating your website. Even if someone intercepts your web traffic, it would be scrambled. To encrypt your website, you need to install an SSL certificate, or even better, a TLS certificate on it. Find out more on how your library can upgrade to TLS. Here is a great article on the state of libraries and HTTPS by T.J. Lamanna. This piece was originally published on Medium and is reprinted here by permission of the author.