PLA's Obamacare Open Enrollment Resources for 2019

PLA's Obamacare Open Enrollment Resources for 2019

Who doesn't need affordable healthcare coverage? Amidst all the debate about it, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is still in operation and still offers subsidized coverage to many in the country. The catch? The annual enrollment period is very short this year, just six weeks, and choosing a plan and enrolling in it is complicated. Open enrollment for 2020 begins November 1, 2019, and runs through December 15, 2019. Library patrons will undoubtedly need help, and the Public Library Association (PLA) has some free resources for you on this.

New Site for Digital Literacy

One of our favorite topics here on the TechSoup for Libraries blog is digital literacy. We love to share best practices, tips and techniques, and resources that can help libraries with the digitial literacy efforts in their communities.  One great new resource that we would like to highlight is

Edge Benchmarks: Community Assessment and Partnerships

I just read Tom Sloan's highly informative Public Libraries magazine piece on the Naperville Public Library (NPL) titled, "What Makes an Award-Winning Public Library Successful." This article is jam-packed with practical tips on how to manage people, data, and create a culture that is nimble and open to change. What's more, the tips Sloan outlines are directly related to the Edge Benchmarks. Read on to find out how, and while you're at it, please take a few minutes to tell us your thoughts about the Edge Beta Benchmarks. We rely on your thoughts and expertise!

Thoughts on the Edge benchmarks from Colorado

Last month in Philadelphia, the Edge Coaltion had plenty of opportunities to learn what librarians and staff from libraries big and small thought about the benchmarks being created to support public access technology.

How do you turn a negative into a positive?

If you've ever been involved in creating something the public sees or uses, you know how setting it free feels: you're vulnerable, you want others to believe in it, to see what you see, you want positive feedback. For me, I want to know what people think. To really know, even if it's negative, because that's important information I can use.

Kick it. Benchmarks get more input.

At a recent ALA MidWinter session on the Edge Initiative, Larra Clark from ALA OITP ended her remarks with, "the benchmarks are meant to be kicked. So kick it." Thus launched a focus group exercise where approximately 50 attendees were asked to provide feedback to a draft set of public access technology benchmarks.

Register now for fall session of PLA’s free public library advocacy education program

Become your library's strongest advocate when you register for the free online Turning the Page 2.0 advocacy training course. This six-week blended learning program is led by professional facilitators who teach valuable advocacy skills and lead you through the creation of a customized Advocacy Work Plan for your library.

Benchmarks, from PLA's perspective

Earlier this year, the Public Library Association joined 12 other organizations to develop public access technology benchmarks. The group is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Urban Libraries Council is serving as the facilitating organization. Members of the group have been working very hard examining the history and roles of benchmarking and thinking about what sort of common, measurable services libraries offer. The purpose of the benchmarks is to develop a tool that libraries can use to quantify their public access services and to give libraries a common language in talking about these services to local decision makers.

PLA's Free Online Advocacy Training

Turning the Page 2.0 is a free public library advocacy training course developed and presented by the Public Library Association (PLA) with generous support from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this six-week, facilitated online course, library staff and supporters learn how to create and tell their library's story, deliver effective presentations, develop a compelling case for support, and build and sustain partnerships along the way.

PLA's Tech Notes

The Public Library Association (PLA) provides free technology related articles, named Tech Notes, that contain informative background information on numerous topics such as open source software, RFID, e-commerce, wireless LANS, metadata, and quite a few more. These seem like a great tool for finding out more about techie topics, and also could be linked to for training purposes.