11 January 2019 - 6:05am | by Jim Lynch

Library patrons using computers

From 1997 to 2018, the Gates Library Foundation (a program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) invested $1 billion over 21 years in public libraries both domestically and globally. Its investments have ensured that millions of people around the world have better access to digital tools that can help improve their lives. The program has left a powerful legacy, nothing less than bringing digital inclusion to many thousands of public libraries and their patrons around the world. TechSoup is deeply proud to have had the chance to work with the Gates Foundation to empower public libraries everywhere.

9 January 2019 - 7:52am | by Lindsay Bealko

A library patron using digital tools while reading a book

Editor's Introduction: The Gates Foundation Global Libraries Project began in 1997 to empower U.S. libraries and expanded in 2000 to include libraries around the world. The project ended this year. The project goal was to ensure that anyone able to get to a public library could reach the Internet, and thus the opportunities it afforded. The foundation provided grants, public access computers, software, training, and technical support to libraries around the world. The project hosted an information-sharing online community called GL Voices, which officially closed on September 14, 2018.

While working with the Gates Foundation on the Global Libraries project, consultant Lindsay Bealko asked technology staff involved in the project what their favorite resources for staying current on library tech issues were. The following resource list is a compilation of their recommendations. We share it here with permission of Lindsay Bealko and the Gates Foundation.

10 December 2018 - 6:18am | by Jim Lynch

A hand pulling a page out of a book

Here's what's new in library tech this month! Library tech newsbytes is a monthly collection of fun news items from pretty much anywhere we find them. This month we cover the results of the midterm elections for library measures, offer you some free posters, highlight awesome children's libraries including Harry Potter–themed ones, provide info on what to do about patrons wanting to 3D print a working gun, showcase a fun Library of Things offer by New York Public Library, the Ilovelibraries facts about why libraries are more relevant than ever, and Silicon Valley's warnings about kids and screen time. We hope you enjoy our holiday batch of newsbytes this time around!

6 December 2018 - 5:53am | by Jim Lynch

Library Technology

It is so fun to look back over the past year to see how well we predicted the 2018 Library Tech Trends, plus all the unexpected things that popped up during the year. We didn't do too bad. Looking back over 2018, we cover the new DigitalLearn websites, cord cutting, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, translation technology, and the library of things.

4 December 2018 - 6:15am | by Samantha Lopez

PLA's Project Outcome

Editor's Introduction

Samantha Lopez works on the Public Library Association's (PLA's) Project Outcome. Project Outcome is a free online toolkit designed to help public libraries understand and share the impact of essential library services and programs. The toolkit offers simple surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Project Outcome also provides libraries with the resources and training needed to apply their results and confidently advocate for their library's future. We want to raise awareness about this excellent free resource by showing a bit of what it can do.

This article is an excerpt of a larger piece by PLA's expert in measuring library outcomes, Samantha Lopez. It first appeared in PLA's Public Libraries magazine (PDF) and is reprinted here by permission of the author and PLA.

5 November 2018 - 7:02am | by Jim Lynch

A hand pulling a page out of a book

What's new in library tech! Library tech newsbytes is a monthly collection of fun news items from pretty much anywhere we find them. This month we cover the inadvertent experiment in Oregon to privatize public libraries, the proposed federal copyright law that would undermine the Librarian of Congress, some heartening news and practical tips for your youngest and nonreading patrons, and the project to send a library to the moon. Improbable or not, we hope you enjoy our batch of newsbytes this time around!

29 October 2018 - 6:53am | by Sophia Guevara MLIS and MPA - Rebecca Mazur MLS and Ph.D.

Social media icons

This article is to help those in libraryland learn more about social network analysis (SNA). You will see its possible uses within your library among your employees and volunteers, and also among the patrons who attend ongoing programs at your library. Social network analysis is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, and organizations and also computers or other knowledge processing entities. If this sounds technical, it is! But we'll break it down for you in hopes that you'll be interested in SNA and start using it.

26 October 2018 - 6:32am | by Jim Lynch

Pottsboro Library and a librarian riding a bike-powered mobile library cart

A few years ago, we did a profile of the extraordinary Pottsboro Library in rural Texas, which was facing closure but got creative on a shoestring to turn things around. We recently called attention to the story again on Twitter. Volunteer library director Dianne Connery replied that a lot of things have happened since then. Here's the rest of the story of one of the most creative small libraries in the land.

15 October 2018 - 9:11am | by Jim Lynch

A hand pulling a page out of a book

What's new in library tech! Library tech newsbytes is a collection of fun news items from pretty much anywhere we find them. We cover handy things like some new truth-seeking civics apps from the Library of Congress, the ilovelibraries free What's Your Library Worth Calculator, the free tech training resource Gail's Toolkit, now hosted in PLA, the latest on the Amazon vs. public libraries controversy, and TechSoup's own Marnie Webb on open data and how libraries serve as conduits between users and technologies. We hope you enjoy our batch for this month!

1 October 2018 - 9:14am | by Sophia Guevara

Library visual markeitng tools loaded on laptops

In whatever work environment you are in, you gain lessons from your experiences every day. From learning about a new resource to finding an innovative solution to a common problem, lessons learned from personal experiences can be shared with colleagues to help them in their own work and in the service they provide to customers. With that being said, what are some solutions to help you communicate lessons learned or new resources to others? Three tools for you to consider are PowToon, Animaker, and Emaze. This post will focus on the free aspects of each of these tools, all of which also offer paid plans.