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TechSoup BoostSubscribe today for bundled services all year through Boost.

Boost is a new way of engaging with TechSoup — a subscription service that provides a collection of new and unique offers and savings and advance notice of upcoming product offers and specials.

With Boost, you receive a stream of special offers that help us put more of the tech and resources you want in your capable hands for less money over time. You drive — guiding us with wish lists and feedback — and we go out and work to find you what you need and connect you to value-added deals that you simply cannot find easily today. It's all about boosting your success.

How the Orange County Library System Digitally Preserves Local History

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On the TechSoup for Libraries blog, we discuss the numerous ways the public library serves its community: as an information hub, a place for activities, a book and DVD repository, and so much more. But we haven't really discussed another important element of the public library: as conservator of local history.

At ALA, the Orange County Library System (OCLS) in Orlando, Florida discussed how it is preserving local history, from the perspective of its community, at a session called "Your Community Memories: Preserving Local Legacies." Donna Bachowski, the reference central manager and Vanessa Neblett, reference central assistant manager, discussed two projects that the library is working on to engage the community in local history.

MathAndCoding Turns the Library Into a Coding Classroom (Part 2)

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In Part 1 of this series, we introduced MathAndCoding, a nonprofit that offers teen-led programming classes for children in public libraries in the Silicon Valley area. In part 2, we offer a librarian's perspective as the host for this program.

As the first librarian to host it, Karin Bricker, library manager for youth and outreach services at Mountain View Public Library, had to overcome some initial skepticism. "They [Vineet Kosaraju and Nikhil Cheerla] are certainly capable, well-meaning kids. But they are still kids. So there was some initial back and forth early on in regards to curriculum."  

Bay Area Teens Share the Love of Coding (Part 1)

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On a balmy Californian Saturday afternoon, 14 kids, 8 boys and 6 girls, are figuring out the profit and loss of a lemonade stand. There's no real money involved, nor is it a real lemonade stand. And they're doing this using the programming language Java on their laptops.

With lines of code projected on a screen, these children listen intently in a conference room at the Mountain View Public Library, as part of a four-week course on programming. It's free to anyone who wants to attend, regardless of where they live. 

Kids learning how to code at the library

The Mix Brings Cutting Edge Tech to San Francisco Teens' Fingertips

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The Mix banners

When I heard way back in 2013 that the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) was building a dedicated teen digital media space, I was thrilled. The city of San Francisco is the home of many technology companies, such as Twitter and Adobe, and many residents work for tech companies in the surrounding Bay Area.

Design, Create, and Inspire with Adobe Creative Cloud

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This post was originally published on the TechSoup blog. At library conferences this past year, we regularly got one question: Are you getting Adobe Creative Cloud soon? Now we can finally give you the answer you want: Yes! Public libraries are eligible for discounted Creative Cloud individual licenses for staff. Your library can use Adobe Creative Cloud to create flyers, make promotional videos, design newsletters, and more. 

TechSoup is proud to announce the newest product in the Adobe donation program: Creative Cloud.

Creative Cloud is the evolution of Creative Suite: a suite of design applications for creating graphics, video, audio, and interactive content for print, the web, and mobile devices. You can use Creative Cloud to tell your story in a variety of media.

TechSoup offers access to 60 percent off the retail rate on the first year of a Complete plan membership for one user. Adobe will then automatically bill you at 40 percent off the retail rate for every year after until you cancel. You can request discounted rates for as many individual memberships as you need, and this offer is available to 501(c)(3) nonprofits and public libraries regardless of their size and budget.

This plan includes the full version of every Adobe Creative Cloud program, full access to its related services, access to Behance ProSite, and 20 GB of cloud storage space. Adobe also provides all updates and upgrades without any additional cost. See the program page for more details about this membership offered through TechSoup.

A Few Good Library Event Tools

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Pyjama party

Libraries today offer much more than books. At many libraries across America, children listen to stories read out loud by librarians, bird lovers attend chapter meetings for the Audubon Society, veterans get together to plan the next event for the Wounded Warrior Project, knitters learn how to master tricky stitches, gamers trade secrets, and aspiring writers hear stories from authors who once sat in the same folding chairs.

The ability to meet, listen to, and interact with people who live down the street or across town makes libraries vital civic centers at a time when community and communal spaces are disappearing.

Managing such an important public service can be difficult, especially if your library hosts multiple events each week and is the meeting place for dozens of community groups. Various software tools exist — from simple online calendars to robust event-management systems — but how do you know which technologies are right for your library?

We talked to a number of library staffers and nonprofit technology experts about the tools available to help you create and manage programs your patrons will appreciate and enjoy. Here's what they had to say.

Think Outside the Box When it Comes to Teen STE(A)M Programs

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How can you organize STE(A)M (Science Technology Engineering [Art] Math) programs for teens — and actually have them show up? At our May webinar, Teens and Tech: Creating Successful STEM Programs in Libraries, we invited three librarians to share practical planning tips and programming ideas.

  • Heather Booth and Jacquie Christen (Robot Test Kitchen) shared ideas for engaging teen technology programs that any size library can do.
  • Amanda Allpress (Shasta Public Libraries) spoke about a successful graphic design workshop for teens that went beyond the technology to also explore creativity and business.

In addition to programming advice and ideas, our speakers shared some of their programs' shortcomings and what they learned from them. If you're looking to try something new when it comes to teen programming, you'll discover some new ideas to put into action.

Your Top 10 Tech Topics

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This post was originally published on the TechSoup blog. As our fiscal year comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on what resonated with our members this year. While some issues, such as Internet security and technology training, might resonate stronger with libraries than say, crowdfunding, we thought you'd find this list interesting. 

Fiscal year end is a time of reflection here at TechSoup. Well … reflection and crunching epic piles of data. We're reviewing what worked well this year and what we can improve for next year. This includes understanding what you, our nonprofit community, found most interesting in 2014–2015.

Here are the top 10 reasons you tuned in to the TechSoup blog this year.

2015's Top 10 Products at TechSoup

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This post originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. Did your library request any of these products this year? Tell us what you got and how you used it in the comments!

Cheerleaders and fans at a high school pep rally

It's time! You've been waiting all fiscal year to find out what the top 10 TechSoup products are for 2015. Are you on #TeamMicrosoft or #TeamSymantec? Get your final bets in now.

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