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Healthy Fear, Healthy Habits: Teaching Privacy to Patrons

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Digital peeping toms. That phrase gives you the chills, doesn't it? It scary to think that your activity online can be tracked by corporations, the government, hackers, and other nefarious (and seemingly un-nefarious) entities. But with proper education, Internet users can fight back against these digital creeps.  

Take the ALA's Digital Inclusion Survey and See Your Library's Impact

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Every day, public libraries are on the front lines of digital inclusion. You might not know it, but you are a digital inclusion hero. Your public library is most likely doing the following:

  • Providing free Internet access
  • Teaching computer classes
  • Instructing teens on how to use the Internet safely
  • Helping patrons develop job skills
  • Providing access to health information

Reading and Story Time Apps for Your Library

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A pig playing an iPad piano was the last thing I expected to see at the Association of Small and Rural Libraries (ASRL) annual conference in Tacoma, Washington. Okay, it was just a pig puppet named Bacon, but still! Jeffrey Stoffer, library assistant at the Ak-Chin Indian Community Library in Maricopa, Arizona, showed just how creative one can get in the library with a tablet full o' apps. Luckily for us, Jeffrey shared his entire ARSL presentation (warning: large PDF file). This blog post just covers the reading and story time apps, but Jeffrey also talked about social media, writing, creativity, gaming, and problem solving apps for kids. 

Kid reading on iPad

One thing to note is that Jeffrey's presentation focused on iOS apps. Some of these apps might be available on Android and Windows platforms, or there might be similar types of apps on other platforms.

Is Your Library Using TechSoup Products and Resources for Security?

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Did you attend our Teaching Internet Safety webinar a few months ago? Have you received donated security software from us? Or perhaps you've used some of our helpful online security resources at your library? Tell us how your library is taking practical steps to keep your staff and patrons safe online for a chance to win a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet! 

Tell Your Rural Library's Story

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If you're a small or rural library, you probably have had to find some creative ways to advocate for your library. Storytelling is a powerful way to share the impact you have on your community. Best of all, it can be done digitally through video, social media, images, audio, and more.

TechSoup's own Jim Lynch was featured in The Daily Yonder sharing his expertise on digital storytelling for rural nonprofits, charities, and public libraries. While Jim shares examples from a number of inspiring rural organizations, the one nearest and dearest to our hearts is the Pottsboro Library.

How to Advocate for Your Library Through Storytelling

Your library is making an impact every day. Whether you're helping an adult apply for a job, teaching a teen how to code, or helping a sixth grader complete a research report, you're doing amazing work for your community. But does your community know it?    

New Infographic: Video Production Tips for Your Library

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TechSoup's Storymakers campaign empowers libraries to tell stories, increase visibility, and make an impact on their communities through digital storytelling.

Before you start your video, check out these basic tips about composing a great shot.

Why Public Libraries Are Better Than Amazon

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Smartphone with bookshelf-e-book library concept.Shutterstock

Librarians and patrons know that public libraries have been quietly developing excellent collections of e-books. But free library e-books got a big publicity splash recently when The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) personal technology writer, Geoffrey Fowler, did a comparison of Amazon's $10 per month Kindle Unlimited service and his local library's free e-book lending.

Fowler's WSJ piece is called Why the Public Library Beats Amazon — for Now. Guess what his conclusion is?

Sign-Up Selfies: How Patrons #GetCarded at Escondido Public Library

Librarian Viktor Sjöberg thought up a unique and effective way to encourage members of his community to sign up for library cards: the selfie.

Sjöberg is the digital services librarian at the Escondido Public Library. One of his responsibilities is managing its social media presence, which is where he got the idea for what he has dubbed the "Sign-up Selfie."

"We wanted to do something for National Library Card Sign-up Month, something that was interactive. Since the selfie was a popular phenomenon, we thought it was a good way to get our patrons to interact with us," says Sjöberg.

Accept Mobile Payments at Your Library: The Tools and Resources You Need

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All of the sessions I attended at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) annual conference earlier this month surprised me with how creatively librarians are using technology. One session in particular, "Tablet Slingin' Librarians," shared a number of creative uses for tablets.

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