6 December 2019 - 6:55am | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Newsbytes

What's new in library tech! Welcome to our monthly collection of fun and hopefully useful news items from our great twitter feed and wherever else we find them.

This month we offer news about unique gifts for readers in case you're a bit behind in your gift buying. We also cover some intriguing info on the life cycle of books and how to recycle your discards. Then there's what to consider when converting nonlibrary spaces into public libraries. You've got to love that huge converted Walmart in McAllen, Texas. We feature Literary Hub's selection of 18 of the most striking libraries around the world, the zany Jigsaw Sideways Dictionary, New York Public Library's latest stylish library of things offers, and 12 famous authors writing about the libraries they love.

Where else can you find such a warm-hearted collection of library tech news? Here's your library tech newsbytes for December.

5 December 2019 - 6:32am | by John Chrastka

How the Oakalla Public Library Raised $1,000 in a Week

The Oakalla Public Library (OPL) is unlike most libraries you will encounter. Located in Burnett County, Texas, south of Waco, OPL has been described as "the most un-library, library" by its secretary, Ripleigh Degenhardt. Although the library resides in a community of fewer than 50 people, patrons from all over the county flock to this tiny un-library for books that other libraries have stopped carrying.

4 December 2019 - 7:26am | by Peter Chandler

Lets Build a 3D Printer — Sounds Easy, Doesnt It?

Editor's Note: The employees of the Globe Library in Stokesley, UK, inspired by a local IT enthusiast, were thinking about building a 3D printer from scratch. But they had no money to do it. A Meet and Code grant of Euro 500 allowed them to buy the parts to begin building the printer and involve local youth in the project. Meet and Code is a nonprofit project of TechSoup Europe that introduces children and teens to the world of technology and coding.

Peter Chandler was one of the organizers of the project, which won the Meet and Code Innovation Award in 2018. What follows is an interview between Peter and Meet and Code.

5 November 2019 - 5:46am | by Hannah Vicarage

The Best Games to Help You Learn Coding in 2019

We're told that coding is the saleable skill of the decade and also a pretty sweet pastime if you're into building your own apps or games. But traditional coding courses can be seriously dry (think the Sahara at midday in the dry season).

Luckily, the industry is always looking for ways to bring people into the fold and has developed a range of games that keep the process engaging.

Why do it the boring way when you can link into your Steam, download an app, or load up a website? There's a reason why we begin to learn with toys and games as children, and it's not just because we can't sit still for more than 20 seconds. It's because when something's more fun, it's more motivating. Plain and simple!

So, whether you're a total beginner or looking to level up your current skills, these games will help you skill up while living it up.

30 October 2019 - 4:37am | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Newsbytes

What's new in library tech! Welcome to our monthly collection of fun and hopefully useful news items from our great twitter feed and wherever else we find them.

This month we offer news about the launch of the free GoFundMe Charity service, some non-obvious digital privacy techniques for your patrons from David Pogue, and breaking news on Vancouver Library's new canine library. What is a canine library, anyway? We also cover the latest in the saga of banned Harry Potter books, the food pantry library in Independence, Missouri, and librarian Betsy Kennedy's tips on how you can set one up too. Don't miss our coverage of what a public library ransomware attack looks like and Patrick Sweeney's useful hacks for making the library a comfy home office.

Where else can you find such a motley collection of library tech news? Here's your library tech newsbytes for November.

25 October 2019 - 9:06am | by Amy Hooper

How Microlearning Can Make Your Training More Effective (and Less Boring)

What Is Microlearning?

Microlearning is an approach to training that emphasizes the delivery of content in bite-sized chunks, taking around 3 to 6 minutes each. This integrates with employees' daily flow much more effectively than hourlong or even daylong training sessions and also helps to target the knowledge that employees really need to learn.

9 October 2019 - 6:32am | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Newsbytes

What's new in library tech! Welcome to our monthly collection of fun and hopefully useful news items from our great twitter feed and wherever else we find them.

This month we offer news on the U.S. senators pushing back on the FCC's plan to cut funding for the Universal Service Fund and the E-Rate Program. We also bring news about Library Journal's best small library in America 2019. It's one in the troubled southern borderlands with Mexico. There's also former ALA president Loida Garcia-Febo's wellness resources for library workers, Wichita Public Library's fancy checkout receipts that tell patrons how much they save by borrowing instead of buying books, David Lee King's library tech predictions on 5G, and what e-books at the library mean for patron privacy.

It's an odd assortment, we know. Nonetheless, here's your library tech newsbytes for October and Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

30 September 2019 - 7:31am | by Amanda Hickman

A Journalist's Guide to Finding the Data You Need — Part Two

Editor's Note: This is part two of our two-part series by graduate journalism teacher, Amanda Hickman of Factful. She researches ways to make contemporary state-of-the-art data processing and storage tools more accessible to investigative reporters. In this second part of the series, she completes her comprehensive roundup of data repositories, research guides, and other online tools that are valuable for reporters, investigators, and now librarians. In part one of the series, she told us about her tips and tricks from her Where to Find Data workshops, plus a list of newsroom data warehouses and newsroom collaborations. Here is the rest of the story.

This post originally appeared in Source, an OpenNews project designed to amplify the impact of journalism by connecting a network of developers, designers, journalists, and editors to collaborate on open technologies. It was originally written for journalists, but we thought the piece so unique and useful to librarians and library workers that we're reposting it on TechSoup for Libraries. Find the original here.

27 September 2019 - 5:12am | by Jim Lynch

PLA's Obamacare Open Enrollment Resources for 2019

Who doesn't need affordable healthcare coverage? Amidst all the debate about it, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is still in operation and still offers subsidized coverage to many in the country. The catch? The annual enrollment period is very short this year, just six weeks, and choosing a plan and enrolling in it is complicated. Open enrollment for 2020 begins November 1, 2019, and runs through December 15, 2019. Library patrons will undoubtedly need help, and the Public Library Association (PLA) has some free resources for you on this.

4 September 2019 - 10:25am | by Jim Lynch

Library Tech Newsbytes

What's new in library tech! Welcome to our monthly collection of fun and hopefully useful news items from our great Twitter feed and wherever else we find them.

This month we offer news on the free third annual library 2.0 virtual conference on emerging library technology, how the 2020 census will affect public libraries, the first IMLS grant for esports (that we know of), Microsoft closing its e-bookstore, Computerworld's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols heralding the end of tablet computers, and the weirdest library of things collection in America. OK. We admit it. We like our library tech news to be useful but a bit on the weird side here at TechSoup for Libraries.