webinar recap

Make it Count: Social Media Analytics for Public Libraries

Make it Count: Social Media Analytics for Public Libraries

Of the tasks that can make you go cross-eyed during your off-desk hours, one might be measuring social media analytics. Often, you have more questions than answers. What should we measure, and which measurements matter the most? What do the experts say? How does that apply to my library, and what can I show my administration or board? How do we even know if our numbers are good ones?

We invited Laura Solomon, author of The Librarian's Nitty-Gritty Guide to Social Media and Library Services Manager at the Ohio Public Library Information Network, to our August webinar. Here's what she said matters most when it comes to social media analytics in public libraries.

Building a Culture of Technology at Your Library

Building a Culture of Technology at Your Library

Librarian. Library Assistant. Page. Information Specialist. Cataloguer. These are just a handful of some of the job titles you'll find at a library. But what about "Tech Worker"? Pam Saliba and Andrea Cecchetto, branch managers for the Markham Public Library, embarked on a mission to change the way library staff viewed technology and their place in the technology world.

We invited Pam and Andrea to our July webinar to share with other libraries how they got the Markham staff on-board with technology. Andrea and Pam opened up the webinar by asking our attendees whether they think of themselves as technology workers. Interestingly, 67 percent responded that yes, they do see themselves as tech workers.

A Cultural Shift Toward Technology

Markham, located just north of Toronto, is known as Canada's high-tech capital. It's the home of 900 technology companies and their employees. In response to the booming technology industry, the Markham Library started hosting maker and coding events, launched a digital media lab, and purchased 3D printers. But to get the staff on-board with this cultural shift toward technology, the Markham Library had to do some work internally.  

Get Outside the Lines at Your Library with Social Media

Get Outside the Lines at Your Library with Social Media

Cedar Rapids coaster

You know your library rocks — but does your community know it? To change perceptions of the library, we need to demonstrate how the library is not only relevant but is also a place for fun and learning. Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration (September 11 – 17, 2016) that showcases the creativity and innovation happening in libraries.

A big component of sharing this creativity is by way of social media. For a recent webinar, we invited Erica Grossman, creative lead in the Innovations Department at Anythink Libraries in Adams County, Colorado, to share some tips for participating in Outside the Lines. Erica was part of the creative team that developed and launched Outside the Lines and is currently on its planning committee.

You can watch the full webinar here, but here are some of the highlights.  

Expert Tips for Protecting Patron Privacy

Expert Tips for Protecting Patron Privacy

 

privacy keyboard

Patron privacy is an ongoing issue in the library world. In the modern library, data collection is a reality, and customer information is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, data collection allows libraries to understand their patrons better and personalize services. On the other hand, collecting and using patron data is a serious challenge to the library profession's ethical commitment to protecting patron privacy. And it gets even more complicated when this data is handled by a third-party vendor, such as an integrated library system or an online catalog.

For our June webinar, we invited two privacy experts to explore these issues and discuss tips and resources.

Five Questions You Might Have About Measuring Outcomes

Five Questions You Might Have About Measuring Outcomes

Among Americans who visited a library in 2012, one in five attended a class, lecture, or program for adults. Did those visitors enjoy the program? Did they learn something from it? Will they attend another program like that? Or was it not what they expected? Unless you have psychic powers, you won't know what your patrons got out of a program or service unless you ask.

TechSoup for Libraries recently teamed up with the Public Library Association (PLA) on a webinar that gave an overview of outcome measurement from Project Outcome. This new program from PLA provides simple tools for libraries to measure programs across seven common service areas. The webinar also featured a Project Outcome user from a small library. Our webinar speakers were:

  • Samantha Lopez, Project Outcome in Chicago, Illinois
  • Robyn Truslow, Calvert Library in Prince Frederick, Maryland

Shooting for Success: Instagram for Public Libraries

Shooting for Success: Instagram for Public Libraries

Snap a picture, tag it, post it, and voilà: more people in the library! Is it really that easy? At our April webinar, we invited two librarians to talk about how they use Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo social network. Both of these librarians have used creative and downright funny tactics to bring attention to the great work their libraries are doing. Our guests were

We surveyed our webinar attendees to see if they're using Instagram and what they hope to accomplish with it.

  • 56 percent of attendees reported that their library has an Instagram account
  • 88 percent said they want to promote library services and programs
  • 87 percent want to connect with library users
  • 84 percent said they want to attract new library users

The Journey to Digitization: Free Training for Your Library

The Journey to Digitization: Free Training for Your Library

Has your library embarked on a digitization project? Or have you wanted to, but you're unsure where to even start? If so, you're not alone. During our February digitization webinar, we asked hundreds of library attendees about their experiences with digitization:

  • About 30 percent had worked on a digitization project.
  • Forty-one percent answered that they were just getting started.
  • Twenty-three percent said they had not begun any digitization projects at their library.

Digitization can be a daunting project to take on, but there are many benefits to digitizing your special collections. It can expose your library to new audiences, help you build partnerships with other organizations, and showcase your library's collections and services.

At the end of last year, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) released a free self-guided curriculum for public libraries to get started on digitization. TechSoup for Libraries invited Franky Abbott from the DPLA to discuss the curriculum for our February webinar. We also invited Jennifer Birnel from the Montana Memory Project, who helped develop some of the training content, and Sarah Hawkins from the East Central Regional Library, who participated in the trainings.

5 Ideas for Your Library's Pinterest Account

5 Ideas for Your Library's Pinterest Account

Is your Pinterest account in need of a refresh or new ideas? Or perhaps you're just getting started in the Pinterest world and need some (p)inspiration? Lucky for you, we just had Lauren Drittler, assistant director of the Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System (ARVRLS) and Pinterest expert, on our October webinar, Pinterest for Libraries: Building Community Through Social Media.

Under Lauren's supervision, the ARVRLS has 61 boards and 1,600 followers. She was first inspired by the Sacramento Public Library's tremendous Pinterest account (4,400 followers!). She wrote to the Sacramento library and asked for some tips for building up a Pinterest account. Here's how the librarian, Amy Loseth, responded:

"In general, we aspire to be entertaining, engaging, and educational, just like the library itself."

Here are some of the key tips Lauren shared during our webinar:

1. Create Pinterest Boards That Build on Your Existing Library Programs

Lauren showed us the ARVRLS' Play Date and Lego My Lego boards, which are based on the library's current programs. These boards let your program attendees take their projects or learnings home with them along with related craft ideas or more information on a certain subject. Some other ideas might be a craft board, a computer basics board, or a board built around a book club theme.

Two Perspectives on Tech Planning for Small Libraries

Two Perspectives on Tech Planning for Small Libraries

Does the thought of creating a tech plan for your library seem overwhelming? A mysterious process? Something that you've been meaning to do, but just keep putting off? Never fear, the incredible tech planners are here to help! In August, we hosted a webinar called Technology Planning Tips for Small Libraries. Our guests for this webinar were

If you've never even considered creating a tech plan for your library, or it's been a while, you're not alone. More than a third of our webinar attendees do not have a current technology plan, and 14 percent said they were not sure if they had one or not.

Think Outside the Box When it Comes to Teen STE(A)M Programs

Think Outside the Box When it Comes to Teen STE(A)M Programs

How can you organize STE(A)M (Science Technology Engineering [Art] Math) programs for teens — and actually have them show up? At our May webinar, Teens and Tech: Creating Successful STEM Programs in Libraries, we invited three librarians to share practical planning tips and programming ideas.

  • Heather Booth and Jacquie Christen (Robot Test Kitchen) shared ideas for engaging teen technology programs that any size library can do.
  • Amanda Allpress (Shasta Public Libraries) spoke about a successful graphic design workshop for teens that went beyond the technology to also explore creativity and business.

In addition to programming advice and ideas, our speakers shared some of their programs' shortcomings and what they learned from them. If you're looking to try something new when it comes to teen programming, you'll discover some new ideas to put into action.

Creative Commons License

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