Blog

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.

14 June 2013 - 9:44am | by Crystal Schimpf

In this guest technology training series we have been exploring various public library models and sharing tips and success stories from libraries around the country. 

10 May 2013 - 11:49am | by Crystal Schimpf

From 2011-2012 I worked at the Colorado State Library as part of a team to help 50 libraries across the state to develop new and improved technology training programs. 

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