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.

23 June 2017 - 9:51am | by Crystal Schimpf

Public libraries have become hubs for innovation and community engagement. Library programs and services must respond to community needs, changes in technology, and fluctuations in funding. To design them, library workers must listen closely to library users. Libraries are using collaborative, community-driven design processes to generate ideas, build engagement, and solve problems.

During our May webinar we showcased two examples of libraries that have led community-driven design processes. Our guests were Chris Kyauk of the Alameda County Library in Northern Calfornia and Sarah Washburn of Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup.

23 June 2017 - 7:16am | by Megan Keane

Open book

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!

22 June 2017 - 8:39am | by Phil Shapiro

Car Wash

One of my hobbies at my public library job is buying affordable laptops on eBay and fixing them up. I then sell them at the same price I bought them for to people who need a laptop. When I noticed on eBay that a private school in Colorado was selling 10 Chromebooks for $500 (shipping included), I jumped on that deal. The model Chromebook they were selling was just two years old and still very usable.

21 June 2017 - 8:51am | by Sarah Washburn

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Medium.com and is reprinted here by permission of the author and Caravan Studios.

Our team doesn't have answers. What we have is a process, a methodology.

It might seem strange to admit what we don't have. It's our methodology that gives us that confidence.

We believe that knowledgeable and engaged community members have many answers. We use the first phase of our methodology to facilitate discussions that turn those answers into actionable design questions and technology innovations.

We recently had an opportunity to work with experts and interested people at the Indianapolis Public Library to consider how their ideas might fuel a technological tool that connects people to emergency food assistance. As often happens, we were all surprised by what happened next.

Creative Commons License

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