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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.

A Closer Look at Two Cybersecurity Bills That Affect Libraries

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Last week, I got an email from the ALA urging me to contact my U.S. Senators about protecting privacy (I'm sure many of you received the same message!). The email laid out two pieces of legislation the Senate might consider in September before recessing again for the November elections. I wanted to delve into these bills a little further to see how they impact public libraries and patrons.

Four Public Libraries to Follow on Instagram

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In honor of TechSoup's StoryMakers challenge kicking off in a few weeks, I wanted to help you get inspired by other libraries. Instagram is a great tool for exploring how other libraries tell their story. Yup, I'm telling you to go lurk some other libraries! Here are a few of my new follows:

1. Piscataway Public Library

Piscataway Library

Storymakers 2014 is Coming!

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Libraries and social good organizations can change the world through storytelling. But to do that, their stories need to stand out and be noticed. We want your library to stand out and shine.

Go Mobile with Your Library's Adult Programming

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Got a bunch of mobile devices sitting around at your library, but not sure what to do with them? We've got some ideas for you! In last week's webinar, Adult Library Programs Gone Mobile, we invited librarians Ann Awakuni and Jezmynne Dene to share their ideas and experiences.

Raspberry Pi for Educators and Librarians

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Last week, the UK-based nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundationannounced the latest version of their popular Raspberry Pi computer. Dubbed "Model B+," it's the third model the organization has released to the public since Model A went on sale in 2012.

Welcoming Mobile Devices in Your Library: Webinar Recap

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Is your library prepared to support mobile device-using patrons? The kickoff webinar in our mobile devices in libraries series explored how libraries can welcome mobile device users, starting with creating mobile-friendly library spaces and making sure your staff is well-trained. 

 

Making an Impact with Youth? Tell Us About It!

Over on TechSoup, we're looking for great stories about how our members are using technology to help youth develop lifelong skills. The winning story will get all kinds of TechSoup love AND a free tablet!

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