guest series

Weathering Technology Challenges

Greetings, librarians and TechSoup readers! My name is Jim Boyd, and I’m a midwestern librarian who, like you, has been in the tech trenches for the last couple years, watching as more and more of our users come into our libraries with more and more gadgets, computer questions and technological needs. I recently had the chance to speak to some of you about that very topic at the 2011 Library Technology Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, in March. I was hosting a presentation called, “When Did I Become Tech Support?: Shepherd in the Rural Digital Wilderness”.

Notes from the experts: assessing technology projects

Harried multi-taskers in small community anchors such as libraries and community centers are doing the bulk of the work to close our digital divide.  But who has time to reflect on the impact of your programs when the toilet is blocked, a teary child is standing at your desk, and every phone call is for you?  Project evaluation can appear to be a luxury of time and resources when it gets heaped on to the to-do lists of the busy people who staff community-based organizations. 

SEO Series Step Three: Pay attention to inbound marketing

In this step, let's discuss strategies that focus on getting your website listed on sites your target audiences are already visiting. Search engines aren’t the only places where your library can be found on the web. There are plenty of blogs, social networking sites, and directories where potential patrons can discover your library and its services. The bonus is these sites will usually link back to your website and the more inbound links you have, the higher the search engines will rank you in their results.

Tips from a Podcaster: T is for Training

Throughout the winter and spring of 2007 and 2008, I developed a wide flung network of professional friendships with trainers from around the country. We used blogs, email, conferences, and this new (to us) service Twitter to share information, resources, materials forming professional and personal bonds with my fellow trainers. Many conferences' casual conversations were always vital to creating the informal learning opportunities that are at the heart of rich conference experiences. I wanted to recreate that conference experience more than once or twice a year.

BTOP Projects at Work: Operational Excellence and Program Flexibility: An Oxymoron?

This weekend we launched our Fast Forward trainings in Rio Rancho, a sizable suburb just north of Albuquerque, NM. Once again, we have over 300 registrants! It seems we are off to a solid start in another community.

Migrating to Koha

Plumas County Library started investigating migrating to Koha because the North Net Cooperative Library System obtained a grant that would pay our migration costs and the first year of support. With support costs on our current system threatening to sink us, I was all in favor of finding a cheaper alternative. The crucial factor was determining if Koha could do everything we needed it to do.

BTOP Projects at Work: Building Successful Intercultural Partnerships

Last week I shared some ideas about how to identify partners likely to help your organization and community development BTOP project succeed. Our efforts to build partnerships with entrepreneurial community development organizations have been fairly straightforward: Encuentro and La Comunidad Habla share many of our organization’s communication norms and practices.  Creating effective partnerships with public libraries has, however, not been as easy to do.

BTOP Projects at Work: Successful Partnerships

Finding the right community development partners can be difficult for non-profit organizations. Sometimes, because resources are scarce, non-profit leaders compete with one another when they should collaborate.  Fortunately, as we launched the Spanish language components of our Small Business Success Series, I could turn to people with whom I had worked successfully over the past decade: Sara Nelson, Founder of La Comunidad Habla, and Andrea Plaza, Founder of Encuentro.  Both these women are bold, visionary, and willing to partner to get their programs built and accomplish their goals.

Creative Commons License

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