July 2019 Library Tech Newsbytes

A hand pulling a page out of a book

What's new in library tech! Welcome to our monthly collection of fun and hopefully useful news items from our great twitter feed and wherever else we find them.

This month we offer news on the new crowdfunding platform just for libraries courtesy of EveryLibrary, lactation pods for nursing moms in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and the library-sponsored drag prom for LGBTQ+ kids in Arlington, Massachusetts. Also find out about the free Library Extension browser add-on that tells you which books on Amazon are at your local library, 19 oddball secrets of public librarians courtesy of Mental Floss, and David Lee King's library-centric take on the new Pew Research report on mobile technology and home broadband adoption. We hope you enjoy our curious selection of Newsbytes this time around!

The New Crowdfunding Platform Just for Libraries

EveryLibrary Institute has launched a new nonprofit crowdfunding platform for libraries and literacy projects called Fund Libraries. This new free service allows libraries and literacy projects to post projects and seek funding from people interested in donating to something specific that they want to offer their community. The service is designed for public and school libraries, book clubs, new equipment and gear, and digitizing collections.

Projects should have three attributes:

  • A compelling idea
  • Clear benefits for your patrons and community at large
  • Willingness to market the project directly with your community and also work with EveryLibrary Institute to publicize the project

EveryLibrary will publicize your project to its national members. There is no upfront cost to your library to post a crowdfunding project. Three percent of the proceeds go to cover credit card processing, another 3 percent goes to EveryLibrary for advertising costs, and an additional 4 percent also goes to them for staffing costs for running the platform. Find some examples of recent projects.

The New Cedar Falls, Iowa, Library Lactation Pods

KWWL TV in Waterloo, Iowa, reports that the Cedar Falls, Iowa, Library has installed lactation pods for nursing moms. It is a Mamava Pod located in the youth department. It  contains two seats, a fold-up table, and an electric outlet for a pump. For now, nursing mothers will need to ask a youth staff member to unlock it, but very soon any mother will be able to unlock it with the Mamava app or with a code that can be obtained at the youth desk. Here are a couple of photos of the lactation pod.

Arlington, Massachusetts, Public Library's Drag Prom

Robbins Public Library in Arlington, Massachusetts, hosted an unusual cultural event. WBUR reports that this prom season the library hosted a "drag prom" for LGBTQ+ kids who don't fit in at a traditional school dance. The event was held at the Arlington senior center and sponsored by Robbins Library. It was open to both middle and high schoolers. Kids didn't have to dress in drag to come to Drag Prom. For those who wanted to, but didn't feel comfortable leaving the house that way, there was a room at the prom where kids could pick out and change into different clothes.

"There's makeup, shoes, accessories. There's masculine and feminine clothing," said chaperone Katy Kania, who works at the public library in Arlington. "It's mostly for kids that can't leave home dressing the way they would want to. If they feel unsafe either in their family or walking down the street, they can dress up here."

Library Extension Browser Add-on Immediately Shows You Which Amazon Book Is Available at Your Local Library

CNET reports that once the free Library Extension browser add-on for Chrome and Firefox is installed, you activate the extension by selecting your library and any available e-book services. The extension is able to connect with the library catalog and also with Hoopla and OverDrive. You can add multiple libraries to the list.

From there, anytime you browse at an online bookstore like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or Audible for audiobooks, Library Extension will appear with library availability information for any selected book. It's one click then to borrow an e-book or audiobook or get on the waiting list.

19 Secrets of Public Librarians

Mental Floss reports that Librarians earn a mean annual income of $61,500 — about $10,000 higher than the average for all occupations nationwide. Librarians need at least a master's degree in library science, library and information studies, or librarianship to get a job, though.

  • Ninety-nine percent of people seem to love libraries and are happy to fund them with their property taxes.
  • People also love to stuff strange items (like rotting food) in the book drop. It's just a terrible fact of a librarian's job.
  • In 1939, the American Library Association adopted an eight-point Code of Ethics, which still applies today but is not legally binding. Item two is "We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources."

David Lee King's Take on the New Pew Research Report on Mobile Technology and Home Broadband Adoption

Pew Research just came out with new findings on how Americans are now using mobile technology and home broadband. David Lee King has some thoughts on it. Here are some of the findings he finds interesting.

  • 81 percent of U.S. adults own a smartphone.
  • 73 percent of U.S. adults have home broadband.
  • 37 percent of U.S. adults mostly use a smartphone when going online.
  • People younger than 49 go online more with their phones
  • 45 percent of non–broadband users say they don't have broadband at home because their smartphone does everything they need.
  • Smartphone ownership doesn't vary much across economic, racial, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. But home broadband use does.

Of U.S. adults, 17 percent are smartphone-only Internet users. They don't have broadband at home. It was 20 percent in 2018.

The report also says: "Roughly four-in-ten non-adopters report having other options for Internet access outside of their home."

What are David Lee King's library recommendations from this?

  • Library web services need to work well on mobile devices.
  • We need to have a mobile-first mentality when creating web content. Make sure everything we do online looks good on mobile devices.
  • Four in 10 people without broadband at home depend on places like libraries to supply their broadband needs. This means we need the best Wi-Fi in town! And also adequate, comfy charging station areas in our libraries.

Do you have a fun library tech newsbyte? Tell us about it in the comments section below.