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15 September 2014 - 12:36pm | by Jim Lynch

Smartphone with bookshelf-e-book library concept.Shutterstock

Librarians and patrons know that public libraries have been quietly developing excellent collections of e-books. But free library e-books got a big publicity splash recently when The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) personal technology writer, Geoffrey Fowler, did a comparison of Amazon's $10 per month Kindle Unlimited service and his local library's free e-book lending.

Fowler's WSJ piece is called Why the Public Library Beats Amazon — for Now. Guess what his conclusion is?

28 April 2014 - 11:53am | by Jim Lynch

Move over bookmobiles, there’s a new way to get library services out into the community. I’m calling it a “library in a box”. It was devised by Susan Allen at Worthington Libraries in Ohio. It's not very expensive, and I think it's a genius idea.

It’s not news that libraries have ample digital collections of eBooks, magazines and academic journals, music and much more. Imagine being able to show people all the resources your library can offer, wherever people happen to be hanging out.

14 April 2014 - 10:36am | by Jim Lynch

After the Zion-Benton Illinois Library had some of their expensive laptops stolen and broken, they didn't give up on loaning out laptops to patrons. Instead, they decided to try using sturdier, but less expensive refurbished laptops. Here's how they did it.

31 January 2014 - 2:41pm | by Jim Lynch

The fabled ancient library of Alexandria was one of the great achievements in human history. Its mission was to compile all knowledge in one place. Its greatest fame came when it burned 2,000 years ago.

10 January 2014 - 4:00pm | by Jim Lynch

Information Technology Exchange (ITE), a charity in Belfast, Maine (near Bangor) operates the PCs for Maine program, which provides refurbished computers to schools, nonprofits, and libraries for use as public access stations. What is unusual is not that this low-cost equipment is available to Maine libraries, but that it is becoming popular. How did this happen?

7 January 2014 - 1:49pm | by Jim Lynch

Many libraries have part time or accidental techies taking care of their technology. Is it any wonder that proper technology planning is something we have a hard time getting to? The problem is that it takes some tech planning to come up with a budget for the New Year. Here’s some resources for doing quick tech planning so you’ll have some money to work with in 2014.

9 October 2013 - 5:42pm | by Jim Lynch

Libraries offering free Internet access is nothing new. But the Providence Community Library (RI) is taking an innovative leap by allowing patrons to literally check out free home Internet access for a week.

How does Providence do it? They loan out Mobile Beacon hotspot devices.

24 September 2013 - 7:18am | by Jim Lynch

Inspired by the coming of ultra-fast gigabit broadband Internet to their city this year, the Kansas City Public Library has devised something new for public access computing – lending software over the Internet.

4 September 2013 - 8:01am | by Jim Lynch

Facebook’s new Internet.org initiative is a big news item in NPTech and global digital inclusion news. The program aims to develop very low-cost Internet on mobile phones to bring the 4 billion souls on earth who don't yet have Internet to the information age — or is it?

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