Library 2020

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A Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness

A welcoming and respectful attitude is one of the most important things that makes a library accessible to people who are homeless and/or living in poverty.

For practical suggestions on working with library users who are homeless, living in poverty, or suffering from mental illness, watch the video A Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness, presented by Ryan Dowd of Hesed House, a shelter in Aurora, IL.

Get more resources at DPI’s Serving Special Populations > Homelessness and Poverty; note especially Library Service to the Homeless which covers the ethical and legal issues of “poverty profiling” policies that address body odor, detail the use of restrooms, and ban bulky bags.

Also read the article: “A Home to the Homeless,” by Ellyn Ruhlmann, American Libraries, November/December 2014, page 40.
Posted November 12, 2014

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ALA Launches Educational 3D Printing Policy Campaign

The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced the launch of “Progress in the Making,” (pdf) a new educational campaign that will explore the public policy opportunities and challenges of 3D printer adoption by libraries. Today, the association released “Progress in the Making: An Introduction to 3D Printing and Public Policy,” a tip sheet that provides an overview of 3D printing, describes a number of ways libraries are currently using 3D printers, outlines the legal implications of providing the technology, and details ways that libraries can implement simple yet protective 3D printing policies in their own libraries.

Source: ALA News, September 29, 2014

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The Impact Survey is an online survey tool designed specifically for public libraries that want to better understand their communities and how people use their public technology resources and services. Written and validated by research staff at the University of Washington Information School, the Impact Survey is designed to quickly and easily provide busy librarians with useful data on how their patrons use library technology services. The program saves libraries the time and costs associated with writing, programming, analyzing, and reporting an in-house survey. The tool includes:

  • Cut and paste code with a variety of options for linking to the survey.
  • Easy-to-read data-oriented reports detailing survey results in charts and graphs.
  • Advocacy-oriented communication tools showcasing survey results.
  • Downloadable data for libraries that want to do deeper analysis of their survey results.

Know your community. Improve your technology services

Understanding your community is essential to providing patrons with the technology services they need. The Impact Survey asks patrons about how they use library technology services like public computers, wireless networks, online resources, digital literacy training, as well as outcome oriented use in the following areas:

Start benefiting from Impact Survey today

Explore the site to learn more about Impact Survey and how it can help your library, then sign-up for an account to get started. Any library with a website and public access computers can use Impact Survey. Our friendly research assistants will be on hand to help you with technical support at (206) 543-4324, 8:30-4:30 Pacific Time, Mondays-Fridays. The website will walk you through the steps to quickly connect to the survey and start collecting data from your patrons. Depending on how long you make the survey available to patrons, you could have data and reports to share with your stakeholders in as little as two weeks! We are also happy to arrange special webinars or conference calls for state library agencies, state library associations, library consortia, and other regional library groups. Contact us to schedule a presentation for your group.

 Source: University of Washington Information School
Posted October 8, 2014

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Why the Competencies?

This minute and a half youtube video answers the question: “Why do we need competencies and why should I be tested on them?”

5 Ways Your Library Can Use Competencies

David Lee King tells how to KICKSTART the use of competencies for the betterment of library, staff, and services in this low-key 5-minute youtube video sponsored by WebJunction.

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Libraries Help Extend Internet Outside the Library

Imagine being able to walk into a public library and check out a Wi-Fi hot spot as if it were just another book. Although the scale of services in New York City and Chicago is a bit different than in most Wisconsin cities and towns, this idea is not as futuristic as it may initially seem.Soon, patrons in these two major U.S. cities won’t have to imagine it. The public library systems in New York and Chicago won funding from the Knight Foundation to experiment with the idea of hot-spot lending. Both say they hope the move will help them expand Internet access among low-income families. Chicago, like New York, plans to target low-income communities and is focusing on six neighborhood libraries. Patrons there will be able to rent a hot spot for three weeks at a time. If families lack a computer, Chicago also plans to launch a program to loan those in combination with the hot spots.

For the full article read:

Channel Weekly, July 3, 2014
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A Happy Hour for Library Staff Learning

In February 2013, WebJunction hosted a webinar, Self-Directed Achievement: if you give library staff an hour, with Jami Carter and her team from the Tooele City Library in Utah. We have heard from a number of libraries that they have begun to use the Self-Directed Achievement model presented in the webinar to address staff training and development needs and that they are seeing impactful results. This article was written by Susan Green,  branch manager for the Morrison Regional branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, NC. We look forward to hearing from other libraries who are using the model to innovate with staff learning opportunities.

“Personalized. Invaluable. Empowering. These are some of the words used by staff members to describe their experiences with self-directed achievement. These are also words we want community members to use when describing our libraries. It just makes sense. When we are allowed an hour each week to learn the way library users do, we simply become better at knowing and delivering our product. By redirecting roughly 2% of our total staff hours to training, the return on investment is astounding.”

View the webinar, Self-Directed Achievement: if you give library staff an hour.

Posted Friday, June 6, 2014

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Check out the newly-launched: Arrowhead Library System Mobile Makerspace

Source: Monday Memo, June 2, 2014

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62 Free Live Webinars for Librarians in May

The entire list of upcoming webinars covers quite a broad spectrum of topics – it is really worth a quick scroll!

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Hearing Loops Installed at 9 SWLS Libraries

This spring has seen the installation of hearing loops at nine SWLS libraries by way of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Library Services and Technology Act.  The libraries receiving the Supa-T Loop system from Contacta, installed by Lifeline Audio in Platteville, Wisconsin, are: Barneveld Public Library, Dodgeville Public Library, Dwight Parker Public Library in Fennimore, Gays Mills Public Library, Lone Rock Community Library, Mineral Point Public Library, Allen-Dietzman Public Library in Livingston, Prairie du Chien Memorial Library, and Soldiers Grove Public Library.

This system is specifically designed for information desks, reception counters, and drive-through service windows. It is always “on”, so there is no need for patrons to request assistance with using it or to wear any borrowed equipment. The system is configured for a one-to-one conversation involving a library staff person and the hearing aid wearer.

A hearing loop (sometimes called an induction loop or audio loop) emits a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid wearer when the hearing aid is set to the ‘T’ (T-coil) setting. T-coils (telecoils) are tiny additions to hearing aids, which enable the hearing aid to serve as a customized, wireless loudspeaker for the wearer. The listener receives a clear signal without any background noise.

This adaptive technology enhances service to library patrons who are hard of hearing and we are grateful that the grant allowed these libraries to become more friendly to the hearing-impaired. By making it a natural part of the library landscape, we are advocating for persons with hearing loss. By employing this adaptive equipment, we hope to pique community interest in exploring these available technologies, thereby promoting its acceptance and encouraging similar adaptations in other community locations.

Posted May 14, 2014

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RFID – The Sometimes Silly Things No One Tells You

We’re not going to tell you that choosing RFID for your library is a bad idea because it’s definitely not! But we are going to say, go into this experience with a good sense of humor because you may need it! In fact, it’s how your staff work through these quirks that crop up during the conversion process that will tell you volumes about the staff you have in your library.

Shiny Books – Who would have thought that the eye-catching covers that glisten in the light would be a problem? The metallic bits of color interfere with the radio signals. However, with some experimentation…Read the rest at Public Libraries Online

by Melanie A. Lyttle and Shawn D. Walsh
April 1, 2014
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Laws for Using Photos You Take at Your Library
By Bryan Carson

Over the past 2 decades, there has been a substantial increase in the number of programs that libraries sponsor. It seems natural to document events by taking photographs. Pictures can be a powerful way of justifying a programming budget and can also be useful in attracting people to future lectures and programs. However, there are a few legal issues relating to photography that librarians need to be aware of, particularly the rights of privacy and publicity. In some situations, using a photograph of an identifiable person could be a one-way ticket to a lawsuit.

There are many uses of photographs that require signed consent forms. Whether you need permission to utilize photographs you take at library events depends on how they will be used and if the people in the pictures can be identified. If the picture contains identifiable people, you must always ask permission before using it for marketing or promotion….

Read Bryan Carson’s entire article at Information Today

Posted April 10, 2014

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Life After Desk: Implementing the New Service Models

  • Are you wondering how a new service model might work in your library?
  • Do you wish you had more information about what it really takes to transition to these new approaches?
  • Are you in the middle of implementation and looking for practical tips and suggestions from other libraries?
  • Or are you just curious about how library work is changing?

We’ve all heard how progressive libraries are experimenting with new ways to deliver service. Recent years have brought news of shrinking circ desks, roving reference, virtual branches, after-hours lockers, unattended kiosks, information neighborhoods, zone staffing, embedded librarians, and other service innovations.

In this timely webinar, library consultant and futurist Joan Frye Williams brings you up to date on how new service models are performing in a variety of settings. She’ll share lessons learned about how to succeed with these new techniques, including practical advice for:

  • Training and redeploying staff,
  • Revising job descriptions,
  • Rearranging library spaces,
  • Rethinking library collections,
  • Introducing the new model to your community, and
  • Measuring success and productivity.

This one-hour webinar will be of interest to library staff at all levels looking to increase their understanding of what’s working well, what still needs tweaking, and what just might be coming our way in the future.

Posted April 3, 2014
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Net Neutrality

Susan Crawford, a Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law professor and author of the recent book Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Gilded Age (January 2013), is a leading telecommunications policy expert and Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School. She has served as President Barack Obama’s Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy and is a columnist for Bloomberg View.

Net Neutrality Decision  Listen to a discussion on Net Neutrality between Wisconsin Public Radio’s Kathleen Dunn and Susan Crawford which aired on Wednesday 01/22/2014 – 1:00pm

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Tinkers, Printers & Makers, A Makerspace in the Library

Series: Tech Talk with Michael Sauers, Nebraska Library Commission

Interested in creating a Makerspace in your library? Libraries are a much needed and often-used third space, which are ideal for community Makerspaces to collaborate and encourage creativity among all users. This recorded online session includes:

  • what a Makerspace is
  • how libraries of all types create and share Makerspaces with library customers and the community
  • and feedback from users
  • gadgets including Raspberry Pi and LibraryBox
  • hands-on demos and group discussion on the nuts & bolts necessary for Makerspace in the library
  • what products should be found in successful Makerspaces
  • sharing of a successful grant written for a 3D printer
Presenters: Marcia Dority Baker, University of Nebraska College of Law Library, Lincoln; Michael Sauers, Nebraska Library Commission; Gordon Wyant, Bellevue Public Library.
Source: For more information, to register for upcoming NCompass Live events, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live Webpage. October 30, 2013


SWLS is sponsoring this Makerspace Workshop with presenter Shannon Crawford Barniskis
on Friday, May 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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The Future of Libraries (American Libraries Live)

January 9 (12-1 pm)

We’re excited the announce the January episode of AL Live, The Future of Libraries: What’s Your Vision? We’re thrilled to have Innovative Interfaces as a sponsor for this episode. David Lee King will lead our expert panel in an open discussion on the challenges and changes we’ll see in our libraries in the near and distant future.

You can register for this episode, which takes place on Thursday, January 9th from 2-3pm Eastern at Pre-registration is not required to attend. You can also attend by simply going to at the time of the event.


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Making Technology Training a Priority—And a Job Requirement

One librarian’s tale of patience, planning, and persistence and the challenges in training the entire staff of a small library and requiring them to keep their knowledge current.

edge logoKeeping up with constantly changing technology has got to be one of the most difficult parts of library work today. Getting staff members up to speed and keeping them there requires time, attention, planning, money, and training. All of that is even more difficult when it’s piled on top of the everyday work of making a library run. So, how do you find time for the “extra” work on top of the “real” work? Maybe you don’t. Maybe you make the technology training a required part of the “real” work and support it with bite-sized training that fits into staffers’ schedules.

A case study about Edge Benchmark 8: Library has sufficient staff with technology expertise to help patrons achieve their goalsRead the full article.

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Introducing: Your Guide to Getting Started with Broadband

PSCLogoCroppedThis is your chance to explore how you can use the wide range of tools to develop community broadband options, including the PSC’s new Broadband Reference Guide

  • Walk through the different technologies and terms related to broadband
  • Identify strategies to get broadband into your community
  • Learn more about the custom Wisconsin-based resources available for your community

Read more about this interactive webinar coming up on November 19, 1-2:30PM.

RSVP to reserve your spot today!

Name: Public Service Commission Webinar: Tools for Broadband
Date: Nov. 19, 2013
Reservation Time: 1:00 PM—2:30 PM


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