15 September 2017 - 1:09pm | by Phil Shapiro

Witch's Broom region of Veil Nebula

People often go to the public library to get things done. For a public library to fulfill its mission, it needs to be a "zone of the possible." What that means is that every question asked in a library must be given the best possible answer — an answer that a community member might not have been able to find without help. Libraries that are firing on all cylinders are anticipating those questions and are assembling answers before the questions show up in living, breathing form.

13 September 2017 - 4:14pm | by Jim Lynch

U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Stephen Hawking in the Blue Room of the White House before a ceremony presenting him and 15 others with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on 12 August 2009

It almost certainly comes as no surprise to those of us working directly with people in nonprofits and libraries that about one in five people have a physical or cognitive disability. Disabled people are the largest minority worldwide. IT devices can be a real help to people with all manner of disabilities, so we thought you might like our roundup of assistive technology resources. We hope you'll find it useful in working with special needs clients and patrons.

11 September 2017 - 11:01am | by Jim Lynch

A group of immigrants who have made through police blockades rest at the Gevgelija railway station

One of our particular interests at TechSoup is the refugee crisis. This year we launched an online technology informational resource for NGOs and libraries that serve refugees called Refugee Response. Hoping that you share our interest, we thought you might like to know about the volunteer library-on-wheels humanitarian project in Greece called Education. Community. Hope. Opportunity. (ECHO). People in need eventually need more than food, water, and shelter.

8 September 2017 - 1:32pm | by Jim Lynch

Free Hot Spot banners

Over 500 libraries have now requested Mobile Beacon hotspot product donations through TechSoup. After the Oakland Public Library placed a big donation request, we thought we'd call them to find out how it's going with their hotspot lending program. Here's what we found out.

18 August 2017 - 1:13pm | by Jim Lynch

Public library offers free summertime meals to low-income school-age children

I had the chance to chat with librarian Beth Franklin at Beaver Creek Arizona Public Library a few weeks ago about how she dreams of expanding her library's services to include free meals for hungry kids in her rural community. Just after that, I came across a piece in the York Dispatch about Martin Library in York City, Pennsylvania, outside of Harrisburg. They have figured out a way to do just that.

16 August 2017 - 11:14am | by Megan Keane

What we're bookmarking this month

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!

15 August 2017 - 6:52am | by Crystal Schimpf

How can you tell your library's story in a way that will increase public support? Digital stories can be used for advocacy efforts, from raising awareness to fundraising campaigns to taking political action. Libraries can develop a compelling story using video and can leverage that story to show the impact they have in their communities.

During our April webinar, we identified ways to use digital storytelling for advocacy, as well as good practices for video production and digital storytelling. We were joined by two presenters. Ale Bezdikian from TechSoup shared good practices for video production from TechSoup's Storymakers initiative. Michael Dunn from the Daviess County Public Library (Owensboro, Kentucky) spoke about his library's experience developing a video for library advocacy, as well as his personal experience as a videographer.

19 July 2017 - 12:25pm | by Crystal Schimpf

Outside the Lines is a weeklong international celebration of the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. Whether large or small, academic or public, any library can participate by hosting at least one event or campaign. The goal is to get people thinking — and talking — about libraries in a different way. Libraries are dynamic centers for engagement that help everyone in the community be their best. It's not enough just to tell people how libraries have changed; it's time to show them.

During our June webinar, we heard from Erica Grossman of Anythink Libraries in Adams County, Colorado. We also heard from Megan Glidden and Lune Axelsen of ImagineIF Libraries in Flathead County, Montana. The webinar provided examples of grassroots library marketing, including ways to use social media.

18 July 2017 - 10:11am | by Brandon Ackroyd

How to Protect Your Children On Their Smartphone

Mobile phones and kids can be a match made in heaven. As librarians, we can be in constant contact with children, and kids can call for help, be entertained, and even be educated using their cellphones. But given that smartphones have data connections, there are inherent risks to kids in using them, from cyberbullying to inappropriate Internet material. It may be helpful to know some best practices to help keep children safe on their mobile phones. The practices in this article come to us courtesy of the U.K- based company TigerMobiles. They're all useful in the U.S. as well.

30 June 2017 - 8:50am | by Phil Shapiro

3D optical illusion

In my opinion, one of the functions of libraries and librarians is to facilitate the sharing of ideas, particularly ideas that can move the world forward. In that spirit, I want to tell everyone about a new free downloadable application named JigSpace. With this Window or Mac desktop app, anyone can create 3D animated presentations called Jigs. Jigs can explain, show, or teach anything in an intuitive and memorable way.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.