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.

13 April 2018 - 12:30pm | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Trends 2018

Each year, the LITA Top Technology Trends Committee puts together a great panel of library tech experts who present on the top trends for the ALA Midwinter Conference. Here is what panelists Ida Joiner, Ken Chad, and Bohyun Kim had in their 2018 crystal ball. Don't be surprised if you find AI, drones, social entrepreneurship, and the merging of library and educational technology on your library tech horizon. Here are their emerging trends.

12 April 2018 - 12:34pm | by Phil Shapiro

Hand tearing a page from a book

Library tech newsbytes is a collection of fun news items from social media and pretty much anywhere else. We hope you enjoy our batch for this month!

9 March 2018 - 12:31pm | by Jim Lynch

World Poetry Day - 21 March

World Poetry Day is a United Nations holiday celebrated on March 21 every year. It was officially founded by UNESCO in 1999. Its purpose is to promote the reading, writing, publishing, and teaching of poetry throughout the world. One of the main objectives of the day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities. April is also Academy of American Poets National Poetry Month, which is celebrated in both the U.S. and Canada.

7 March 2018 - 1:58pm | by Phil Shapiro

A teacher points to a data visualization on a screen

Understanding and using metadata is one of most basic literacy skills in the information age. Metadata is information about information. The subject line of an email is metadata. A simple file name for a document is metadata. The contents and index of a book are metadata. It makes me restless when I see my patrons not using metadata effectively. This restlessness is a skill that can be taught. I do that every day at my public library job. You can, too.