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13 September 2017 - 4:14pm | by Jim Lynch

U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Stephen Hawking in the Blue Room of the White House before a ceremony presenting him and 15 others with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on 12 August 2009

It almost certainly comes as no surprise to those of us working directly with people in nonprofits and libraries that about one in five people have a physical or cognitive disability. Disabled people are the largest minority worldwide. IT devices can be a real help to people with all manner of disabilities, so we thought you might like our roundup of assistive technology resources. We hope you'll find it useful in working with special needs clients and patrons.

11 September 2017 - 11:01am | by Jim Lynch

A group of immigrants who have made through police blockades rest at the Gevgelija railway station

One of our particular interests at TechSoup is the refugee crisis. This year we launched an online technology informational resource for NGOs and libraries that serve refugees called Refugee Response. Hoping that you share our interest, we thought you might like to know about the volunteer library-on-wheels humanitarian project in Greece called Education. Community. Hope. Opportunity. (ECHO). People in need eventually need more than food, water, and shelter.

8 September 2017 - 1:32pm | by Jim Lynch

Free Hot Spot banners

Over 500 libraries have now requested Mobile Beacon hotspot product donations through TechSoup. After the Oakland Public Library placed a big donation request, we thought we'd call them to find out how it's going with their hotspot lending program. Here's what we found out.

18 August 2017 - 1:13pm | by Jim Lynch

Public library offers free summertime meals to low-income school-age children

I had the chance to chat with librarian Beth Franklin at Beaver Creek Arizona Public Library a few weeks ago about how she dreams of expanding her library's services to include free meals for hungry kids in her rural community. Just after that, I came across a piece in the York Dispatch about Martin Library in York City, Pennsylvania, outside of Harrisburg. They have figured out a way to do just that.

13 April 2017 - 1:28pm | by Jim Lynch

Child using an e-reader

We want to tell everyone about a new guide by MoneySavingPro that came out recently on child Internet safety. The guide includes online safety tips for children less than five years of age all the way up through teenage years.

23 March 2017 - 8:33am | by Jim Lynch

Sunnyvale Public Library exterior

Sunnyvale, California, is pretty much ground zero for high tech in the U.S. and Silicon Valley. The small city is 40 miles south of San Francisco and is the home of companies like Apple, Google, Yahoo!, and LinkedIn. You'll also find aerospace giants like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman and NASA's Ames Research Center. What does a public library do in such a place? The answer may surprise you. Plus, they have discovered a low-cost way to start up a multimedia lab. Meet Sunnyvale Public Library.

10 November 2016 - 2:46pm | by Jim Lynch

Ready Set Connect participants

We certainly love nonprofits and libraries here at TechSoup. The only thing we like better is when they get together to do extraordinary work. Ready, Set, Connect! (RSC) is a collaboration of Oakland Public Library and the nonprofit Community Technology Network (CTN) in the Bay Area.

Their Ready, Set, Connect! project provides serious technology career training to local teens who then provide digital literacy tutoring at the library. It is an innovative program that both organizations hope can be replicated across the country.

24 October 2016 - 9:05am | by Jim Lynch

I know there are lots of social media tools beyond Facebook and Twitter that people are using that I should know about. But who has the time? That's why I like TechBoomers. They currently offer over 100 free courses composed of over 1,000 video and article tutorials.

TechBoomers.com is a free educational website that teaches older adults and others with limited computer skills how to use popular websites and apps. That means their courses are simple to digest and understand. It also makes TechBoomers a great resource for library staff and patrons to quickly find out how to use things like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Plus, all their content is Creative Commons licensed, which means you are free to reuse it in your own technology training for patrons or staff!

1 April 2016 - 10:38am | by Jim Lynch

Champagne glasses clinking in celebration

This post was originally published on the TechSoup blog. Because this ruling directly affects digital inclusion efforts, we thought our library audience would also be interested. 

In The Tech That Will Change 2016, I boldly predicted that this is the year that the digital divide will finally be bridged in the United States.

I based this largely on a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed rule change to expand theUniversal Lifeline Program to include affordable $9.25-a-month home broadband.

Well, the FCC did it! The new rule was passed today, finally making home broadband affordable to nearly everyone.

21 January 2016 - 4:17pm | by Jim Lynch

We thought our library audience might be interested in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and how they impact global philanthropy. The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) has made it a priority to “ensure that the new UN Sustainable Goals recognize the importance of access to information for development, and that libraries are able to play a key role in implementing the goals” (read the full report here).  Throughout 2014, IFLA was active in the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and released a call for action, the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development, urging UN Member States to commit to information access. This post originally appeared on the TechSoup blog

Chart of the 17 goals. 1: No Poverty; 2: No Hunger; 3: Good Health; 4: Quality Education; 5: Gender Equality; etc.

Now that the United Nations Millennium Development Goals have expired and in some ways, have succeeded surprisingly well, the UN has developed a new set of even more ambitious goals. These new UN Sustainable Development Goals are the de facto agenda for global philanthropy, and they have a new dimension: technology targets to enable implementation.

Governments, foundations, and charities learned a good deal from working to implement the previous UN goals. Lack of infrastructure and weak political will in various countries hampered progress. That may be why technology (for example, rapid mobile phone adoption worldwide) may be so important for realizing the new goals. I'll say more about that below.

Creative Commons License

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