Blog

15 August 2017 - 6:52am | by Crystal Schimpf

How can you tell your library's story in a way that will increase public support? Digital stories can be used for advocacy efforts, from raising awareness to fundraising campaigns to taking political action. Libraries can develop a compelling story using video and can leverage that story to show the impact they have in their communities.

During our April webinar, we identified ways to use digital storytelling for advocacy, as well as good practices for video production and digital storytelling. We were joined by two presenters. Ale Bezdikian from TechSoup shared good practices for video production from TechSoup's Storymakers initiative. Michael Dunn from the Daviess County Public Library (Owensboro, Kentucky) spoke about his library's experience developing a video for library advocacy, as well as his personal experience as a videographer.

19 July 2017 - 12:25pm | by Crystal Schimpf

Outside the Lines is a weeklong international celebration of the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. Whether large or small, academic or public, any library can participate by hosting at least one event or campaign. The goal is to get people thinking — and talking — about libraries in a different way. Libraries are dynamic centers for engagement that help everyone in the community be their best. It's not enough just to tell people how libraries have changed; it's time to show them.

During our June webinar, we heard from Erica Grossman of Anythink Libraries in Adams County, Colorado. We also heard from Megan Glidden and Lune Axelsen of ImagineIF Libraries in Flathead County, Montana. The webinar provided examples of grassroots library marketing, including ways to use social media.

23 June 2017 - 9:51am | by Crystal Schimpf

Public libraries have become hubs for innovation and community engagement. Library programs and services must respond to community needs, changes in technology, and fluctuations in funding. To design them, library workers must listen closely to library users. Libraries are using collaborative, community-driven design processes to generate ideas, build engagement, and solve problems.

During our May webinar we showcased two examples of libraries that have led community-driven design processes. Our guests were Chris Kyauk of the Alameda County Library in Northern Calfornia and Sarah Washburn of Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup.

21 April 2017 - 10:22am | by Crystal Schimpf

The Solution: Training and Empowerment

Library services rely heavily on technology, but many libraries face the challenge of staying up to date with technology, especially when it comes to basic information technology (I.T.) concepts. While libraries may have I.T. managers or access to I.T. services, few front-line staff receive training in basic I.T. concepts. Having adequate training can build confidence when managing public access computer and working with patrons.

16 March 2017 - 1:24pm | by Crystal Schimpf

Libraries should be engaged with their local social sector community. Social sector organizations are a critical part of the community because they provide much-needed services. They also make great programming partners and library advocates, and they may be part of your referral network for library patrons. The social sector is also a huge part of the economy, accounting for 10.3 percent of all private sector employment.

16 February 2017 - 12:41pm | by Crystal Schimpf

Making is all the rage in libraries nowadays. But what if you want to fix something that's broken? Repair programs are an opportunity to teach patrons new skills while fixing technology, electronics, clothing, and other household items. Repair programs also help reduce waste by fixing items that would otherwise be thrown away.

28 November 2016 - 2:48pm | by Crystal Schimpf

Broadband sign

Does your library have enough broadband to meet the needs of patrons and staff? Technology use in libraries is at an all-time high. Without enough bandwidth coming into the library, patrons are unable to stay connected, and staff productivity is blocked. How can libraries plan for the future when it comes to broadband? And how can libraries leverage the E-rate program to increase bandwidth and the availability of high-speed Internet?

At our October webinar, we received E-rate advice and practical broadband planning tips from Amber Gregory (Arkansas State Library) and Emily Almond (Georgia Public Library Service).

As Emily said in her presentation: "Broadband is part of what makes libraries a beacon in our society.  Our mission is to provide access to everyone, regardless. We can't do that without broadband."

Here are Emily and Amber's tips for increasing the availability of high-speed Internet for your library.

19 June 2014 - 12:53pm | by Crystal Schimpf

It should come as no surprise that mobile device use in libraries is increasing. Research from the Pew Research Internet Project indicates that 43 percent of American adults now own a tablet or e-reader, and 91 percent of Americans own a cell phone. Of those cell phone owners, 60 percent use their phone to access the Internet.

1 April 2014 - 11:33am | by Crystal Schimpf

The issue of Internet safety is arguably one of the most important skills to address in basic digital literacy instruction. At the same time, it can be a difficult topic to teach for many reasons. We took a deeper look at this topic during our March TechSoup for Libraries webinar, and heard from one library that has successfully been offering Internet safety instruction to the public.

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