26 May 2016 - 11:48am | by Ginny Mies

Among Americans who visited a library in 2012, one in five attended a class, lecture, or program for adults. Did those visitors enjoy the program? Did they learn something from it? Will they attend another program like that? Or was it not what they expected? Unless you have psychic powers, you won't know what your patrons got out of a program or service unless you ask.

TechSoup for Libraries recently teamed up with the Public Library Association (PLA) on a webinar that gave an overview of outcome measurement from Project Outcome. This new program from PLA provides simple tools for libraries to measure programs across seven common service areas. The webinar also featured a Project Outcome user from a small library. Our webinar speakers were:

  • Samantha Lopez, Project Outcome in Chicago, Illinois
  • Robyn Truslow, Calvert Library in Prince Frederick, Maryland

23 May 2016 - 11:42am | by Ginny Mies

Snap a picture, tag it, post it, and voilà: more people in the library! Is it really that easy? At our April webinar, we invited two librarians to talk about how they use Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo social network. Both of these librarians have used creative and downright funny tactics to bring attention to the great work their libraries are doing. Our guests were

We surveyed our webinar attendees to see if they're using Instagram and what they hope to accomplish with it.

  • 56 percent of attendees reported that their library has an Instagram account
  • 88 percent said they want to promote library services and programs
  • 87 percent want to connect with library users
  • 84 percent said they want to attract new library users

17 May 2016 - 12:15pm | by Ginny Mies

Adobe survey

Creative Cloud for Teams device licensing is a way to have all Creative Cloud apps available to your users on public access computers at an annual subscription price. Adobe Creative Cloud includes Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, and lots of other apps. We would like to know if this product would be interesting to libraries like yours! Answer our brief survey for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Take the Survey

13 May 2016 - 1:58pm | by Ginny Mies

I recently wrote an article for Public Libraries Online on how the Berkeley Public Library (BPL) in California is making coding more accessible to its community through free workshops. The volunteer who is leading these classes is Sameer Siruguri. He is actually a former TechSouper and had reached out to the TechSoup for Libraries team to see if other libraries have done similar programming. 

Tech + Volunteers = Library Success!

Hour of Code at Chattanooga Library

The focus of my story was the coding programs for adults (inspired by the excellent Library Journal piece, How to Talk Code: Digital Literacy). But I thought this was also a wonderful example of how volunteers can help support technology and digital literacy initiatives.

I interviewed Siruguri along with Dan Beringhele, an adult services librarian at the Berkeley Public Library's Central Library, and Anwan Baker, the supervising librarian for adult services. Siruguri had approached the BPL because he was searching for a venue to host a RailsBridge workshop, a weekend event that teaches coding to underserved people. Previously, the Central Library had only offered basic computer classes, and both Beringhele and Baker wanted to see if there was any interest in more advanced programs, like coding.

The three planned an introductory class for adults that covered the basics of HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. The class was so well received that they're planning a follow-up class that is focused specifically on JavaScript.

12 May 2016 - 12:08pm | by Ginny Mies

Most libraries provide some sort of digital literacy training, from public computer classes to drop-in technology labs to one-on-one help. TechSoup for Libraries' March webinar was all about free digital literacy training resources and tutorials. We invited guests from two organizations that specialize in digital literacy:

  • Scott Allen, program manager for the Public Library Association (PLA) where he oversees DigitalLearn.org
  • Jessica Rich, curriculum coordinator of GCFLearnFree.org

Online learning at the library

The most popular digital literacy activity among our webinar attendees was "technical reference questions" with "drop-in assistance" coming in second.

6 May 2016 - 3:03pm | by TechSoup Announcements

TechSoup's hardware selection is growing! Check out this list of programs, partners, and special hardware offers to help you find all the equipment you need to maximize your library's public access computers and technology services.

Get Connected with Mobile Beacon Hotspots

Mobile Beacon hotspot

6 May 2016 - 12:03pm | by Gary Lutz

In 2000, the Patchogue-Medford Library published a book that told the story of the library's first hundred years. In 2013, the time seemed right to tell that story once more in a new medium: video.

New Technology Brings New Opportunities

With the increasing availability, democratization, and inexpensiveness of high-quality motion picture equipment and with the pervasive popularity of video sharing sites, libraries now have incredible opportunities. Promotion, publicity, and advocacy can now be off the printed page and into a new medium. Having already completed several other short video projects, the library decided to take on a more expansive video project that would tell a full story.

At the centennial of our library, our local history librarian wrote a book for children and their parents about the library's history. The Library Story was printed and published by our library.

In connection with our library's forthcoming expansion back into our original Carnegie Library building, the time seemed right to tell that story once more in another medium.

3 May 2016 - 3:33pm | by TechBoomers

Article source: What is OverDrive for Libraries by TechBoomers.com. On May 18, TechSoup for Libraries is teaming up with TechBoomers' Steve Black for a webinar Digital Skills for OlderAdults: Teaching Technology. We thought we'd give a sneak peek at some of the training TechBoomers provides for libraries, such as this "how-to" article on OverDrive.  

Lots of people like to go out to their local libraries to borrow books and other forms of media, sometimes to learn something new, and other times just to be entertained. But it's not always easy to make it to the library; it may be closed, the weather may be inclement, or some people may generally have difficulty getting around.  Wouldn't it be nice if the library could come to you instead?

It's time for you to meet OverDrive. With OverDrive, you can borrow and enjoy materials from your local library or school's digital collection, including audiobooks, e-books, music tracks, and movies.  And all that you need to access it is a valid library card or student ID.

28 April 2016 - 4:10pm | by Dahna Goldstein

This post originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. We thought our library audience would appreciate grantseeking and funding advice from Dahna Goldstein, the director of philanthropy solutions at Altum. 

young woman making a contemplative face sitting in front of math calculations on a chalkboard

Not all grants are created equal, and some aren't even worth pursuing. One way to decide which grants to pursue is with a net grant calculation. You can then make the case to your executive director for why a particular grant is not worth chasing.

The net grant calculation helps discern the net monetary value a grant will provide to your organization.

22 April 2016 - 1:20pm | by Ginny Mies

This is part of our series on digital storytelling and originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. We also covered this topic in the TechSoup for Libaries/Kixal digital storytelling presentation at PLA 2016. You can find all of the resources, slide deck, and handout for that presentation on this document

Woman taking photograph with tripod

A compelling story makes a video stick with its audience, but if it looks poorly made, nobody's going to watch it. So as you're plotting out your next great digital story, make equipment-planning and budgeting part of the process. No matter your budget or movie-making skills, you can find the right combination of equipment for your nonprofit or public library.

Creative Commons License

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