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TechSoup for Libraries May 2013 Newsletter
Library Spotlights
This May we're feeling edgy! In June The Edge Initiative will reach a milestone in the form of a soft launch with a group of libraries in seven states. Earlier this year, the Edge Coalition completed the Edge Benchmarks Version 1.0, a revision based on feedback we received from the field (thank you!). While the benchmarks are currently available, the ultimate goal is to provide libraries with an easy-to-use online assessment, practical resources, and tools for supporting, improving, and advocating for public access technology.

TechSoup for Libraries has been busy spreading the word about the Edge Initiative. Sarah Washburn guest blogged on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation site, Impatient Optimists, recently and we've been publishing stories showcasing libraries doing impressive work.

Read on for more inspiration...
Library Spotlights: It's May, the Month of YES You May!
It's no secret that we love libraries and take every opportunity to showcase the fantastic work they do. So this month, we've decided to showcase not just one library, but three! Three states, three benchmarks, three success stories full of great advice you can replicate in your library.
Library Spotlights
A Tech Lab for All: How one computer training center teaches patrons and staff alike
Librarian: Nancy Rimassa
Library: Pioneer Library System, Norman, OK
Library Spotlights
Technology Lessons at the Library: One Small Town Learns Together
Librarian: Susan Bryant
Library: Morrill Public Library, Hiawatha, KS
Library Spotlights
A Community Approach to Job Recovery: How New Technologies and Ideas Allow One Library to Help Job Seekers One at a Time
Librarian: Bill Erbes
Library: Bensenville Community Library, Bensenville, IL
TechSoup Product Spotlight: Mobile Beacon's 4G Internet Device and Service
Atomic Training
Does your library have a slow Internet connection or bandwidth constraints? Or would you like to "loan out the Internet" to patrons via mobile hotspots, just like Providence Community Library and Salado Public Library (TX)?

Maybe you want to take training out of the building, but you're not sure how to make it happen. For example, during last week's online health information webinar, we discussed libraries that provide online health information training at community health fairs and events. With a couple of laptops (or tablets) and a mobile broadband device (like Mobile Beacon), you could make it happen anywhere!

This donation program provides libraries, nonprofits, and schools with up to 11 4G devices for connecting computers or WiFi-enabled consumer electronics like smartphones to Mobile Beacon's 4G mobile Internet service. 4G devices can be used at any location within Mobile Beacon’s coverage area. Internet service is not included with this donation, but is available for purchase at the current nonprofit pricing of $120 for 12 months ($10/month paid annually in advance).

Plus: Mobile Beacon is offering up to 25 devices to eligible libraries and nonprofits in states affected by Hurricane Sandy (CT, NJ, NY, RI).

Get 4G Broadband Access for your library through the Mobile Beacon Donation Program. This donation is available to public libraries listed in the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) database or with a valid 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
Stay Connected with TechSoup for Libraries
Want to know what's up with TechSoup for Libraries? Follow us on Twitter (TechSoup4Libs) as we share sweet tech tweets! And check out the TechSoup for Libraries blog to read valuable library technology tips and techniques from libraries providing all types of public technology services. Tell us about your library and what you are doing to provide technology and training so we can share your story.

--Stephanie Gerding, TechSoup for Libraries
You can register more than one branch of the same library system — one for each site — to maximize your donations!

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As always, our webinars are free of charge and archived online.

Our last two were particularly inspiring, so make sure you check out:
Tech on the Spec(trum): Making Libraries More Accessible for Children with Special Needs
Helping People Find Good Health Information Online.

Planning: A Small Library's Strategies for Tech Success
May 15 (11 a.m. PT)

Join us to discuss library technology planning with special guest Alexis Caudell, director of the Mitchell Community Public Library in Indiana — a busy small-town library. Alexis focuses on thinking ahead, pursuing grants, and making people a priority.

This webinar is part of a series exploring the Edge Initiative Benchmarks, specifically Benchmark 7, which says: Libraries integrate public access technology into planning and policies.

Downloading Transactions into QuickBooks
May 9 (11 a.m. PT)

Would you like to make working in QuickBooks much easier? Downloading transactions directly into QuickBooks is the answer.

Support Patron Learning in Small Spaces with Small Budgets
June 12 (11 a.m. PT)

Learn from small and rural libraries that are making training a reality for their patrons, using volunteers, leveraging partnerships, and integrating learning into everyday interactions.

This webinar is hosted in collaboration with TechSoup, WebJunction and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.
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