Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Serving 21st Century Patrons 2010 Online Conference Part Three: TechSoup for Libraries

Techsoup was formed to help libraries and nonprofits and to be a one-stop shop for technology needs. It offers free content, events, resources, and donated products, plus discounts on software and technology from companies like Microsoft, Adobe and Symantec. All public libraries and 501 (c ) (3) nonprofits are eligible for the discounts. Refurbished computers are also available.

Techsoup is based on the idea that libraries shouldn’t have to “reinvent the wheel”--someone else may have done it already. Librarians can learn from articles, webinars (all archived later on the web site), and a blog with guest librarians. Recent webinar topics include cloud computing, open source software, and security basics.

Librarians shared some cool technology ideas in the chat for the webinar, including the following:

  1. A technology petting zoo where patrons can “play” and learn about ereaders such as the Kindle, Nook, and Ipad and decide which device if any is best for them (and learn which ones work with the library’s ebooks)
  2. A Docsend station that connects to the copier and lets patron scan and edit their resumes and then save them to a flash drive.
  3. A flash drive bracelet.
  1. QR Codes on the library’s Directions & Hours web page that links to turn-by-turn directions for patrons with mobile phones.
  2. Using Libguide software to create pathfinders on different topics.

--Andrea @Central

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