Upcoming Webinars on School and Copyright Resources

As the 2020-2021 school year gets started, we are hosting two webinars that may be of interest to both public and school library audiences. Registration information can be found below.

Stack of books
Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/lUaaKCUANVI)

Resources for the 2020-2021 School Year: TexShare, TexQuest, and more!

Tuesday, Sept 15 at 2: 00 p.m. Central

Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2890745121447530255

The 2020-2021 school year is shaping up to be uniquely challenging. Some students will be in the classroom, and some will be at home and exploring online learning. Public and school libraries will need to work closely with each other and with families to ensure all students are able to equitably continue their education. During this webinar, we will explore TexShare and TexQuest databases, as well as additional resources, to help assist families both at home and in their classrooms.

We will be hearing from Kyla Hunt, Youth Services Consultant; Laura Tadena, Inclusive Services Consultant; Liz Philippi, School Program Coordinator; and Russlene Waukechon, Networked Information Coordinator.

This webinar will be recorded; however, for maximum benefit, including the ability to ask questions in real time, we strongly encourage you to attend the live session.

Copyright and Creative Commons resources for patrons, students, and library workers

Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 2:00 p.m. Central

Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3252325017821180941

More than ever, libraries need resources for free, including copyrighted images and other online content. In this webinar, we will be exploring resources to help you find information on copyright issues involving remote learning and other services, as well as online repositories of content you can use with patrons and students.

We will also be taking a deep dive into Creative Commons, which allows content creators to create licenses to share their creations with the world while holding on to their copyright. They also provide searching tools for students, teachers and the public to find content to use for free.

In this session, Kyla Hunt, Youth Services Consultant with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and Liz Philippi, TSLAC’s School Program Coordinator, will explore ways to locate Creative Commons licensed materials and to promote their use in your library. Please note that the presenters are not lawyers and cannot provide legal advice.

This webinar will be recorded; however, for maximum benefit, including the ability to ask questions in real time, we strongly encourage you to attend the live session.

Library Technology for Contactless Service

[Interested in learning more about how libraries are ensuring patrons still get their needs met through library technology in the age of COVID-19? Sign up for an interactive discussion facilitated by TSLAC on August 18, 2-3:30 p.m. CDT: “Texas Technology Chat – Library Technology for Contactless Service” (1.5 hr CE credit). Register here.]

Originally, before the pandemic, new contactless technologies such as self-service kiosks and patron print management tools were developed for use in libraries for two main reasons:

  1. Make staff more efficient at their job
  2. Provide extra convenience for patrons

Depending on a library’s size or situation, implementing these features could be seen as merely perks, even unnecessary frills. They were often just nice add-ons, ways to make the library feel more modern and state-of-the-art.

It wasn’t too hard to level criticism at these particular contactless services back then. They could be considered barriers to connection between the library and the community it served. Using them meant patrons had little to no interaction with staff, thought to be the heart of the library. The concern was patrons might lose that personal touch that should go with library services, and the library itself would become more remote and distant. Soulless, automated machines would serve as the face of the library, replacing the crucial community-building work of friendly, caring, and human staff. Beyond the thinking in this regard, there was the added expense and staff training sometimes needed to implement this new technology. And for many, it was seen as an unnecessary reliance on new technology to perform library services that had traditionally been done by hand (and quite well, thank you) for as long as libraries have been around. 


And then the pandemic happened.


We’re seeing now that there is suddenly a new purpose to these contactless technologies: safety! No longer are they nice perks; they’re necessary and potentially life-saving.

One can now add the following reasons to implement:

  1. Prevent close social interaction with staff
  2. Prevent patrons from waiting in line or being forced to gather in small spaces with other patrons
  3. Allow patrons to minimize time in the library as much as possible

Efficiency (reason # 1) is even more important now if libraries are experiencing staff loss or volunteers being let go. With brand new safety measures and pandemic-related services to be performed, staff have less time to handle the basic services of circulation, public access computer management, printing, etc. To list just a few of the added tasks: clean surfaces repeatedly, fill curbside orders, present virtual programs, assist patrons phoning in to make appointments to come into the building, etc., etc.

Photo of library staff behind reference desk wearing face masks.
Photo details

One big change is there often needs to be less public access computers due to spacing requirements, ensuring patrons stay six feet apart. Having less computers means more demand, so a library needs a new system in place, if there wasn’t one already, that sets reservations and enforces time limits  –or needs to include more portable computers like laptops and tablets so patrons can use these devices throughout the space to stay socially distant from one another. 

To sum up: self-service used to mean efficiency and convenience. Now self-service equals safety

Decades ago, with the emergence of computers and networks, libraries had a significant phase of automation to convert their card catalogs to OPACs and ILSs. Now we are entering the Second Age of Automation. It’s not only the catalogs, but every library service that needs to become automated to make it contactless and safe.

To help guide you through this new technological age we’re living in now, Digital Inclusion Consultant Cindy Fisher and I (with the help of our new Continuing Education Support Specialist Tomas Mendez —thanks, Tomas!) have put together a list of products for contactless services.

Icon for Google Doc

Google Doc Link : Library Tech for Contactless Service

We organized them by the following service areas:

  • Circulation
  • Curbside
  • Returns
  • Document management (print, scan, fax, email)
  • Fund transference
  • Public computer use
  • Reference, patron assistance, information/research help
  • Third party virtual programming software (by subject)
  • General building safety

Here are a few of the innovative highlights from the grid that may not have occurred to some:

  • To make curbside more efficient for staff and convenient for patrons, deploy 24/7 smart lockers outside of the library building for patrons to retrieve their holds.
  • If a staff member can’t position themselves next to a patron’s computer nor physically take control of their mouse and keyboard to assist them, screen mirroring software can be employed, even on the staff member’s personal tablet held at least six feet away.
  • For a scenario with the least amount of contact possible within the building, patrons can bring their own device to the library and use an app to not only scan the desired materials for check-out themselves, but even automatically desensitize the RFID labels/detection strips via the same app before exiting. 
  • With the complete loss of in-house programming, employ third-party, resource-rich  online software to help conduct them virtually. This could be for social gaming, crafting, coding, to name a few. There are also services to provide live one-on-one job search coaching and homework tutoring for your patrons at their homes.

If you’d like to discuss the topic of library tech for contactless service further, please join our free interactive discussion webinar on August 18, 2-3:30 p.m. (all library types and sizes welcome!). We hope to see you there!

Financial Literacy Webinar and Resources

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has provided a number of resources to assist consumers in managing and protecting their finances during the pandemic crisis. On July 13, they are offering a free webinar to introduce librarians to the materials that are available. According to an email,

The CFPB is collaborating with the American Library Association (ALA) and the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Financial Literacy Interest Group to bring these resources to you. In this webinar, we will provide you with an overview of these resources, the types of information you will find on the site, and how you can access these resources.

 Date: Monday, July 13, 2020
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm (CDT)
Link: Registerhere

CFPB has been working with libraries to develop materials to assist patrons with financial questions. Check out their Library Resources here:  https://www.consumerfinance.gov/practitioner-resources/library-resources/. There are also free publications and materials about financial education topics that can be ordered to have available for library patrons.   Additionally, on their website they offer social media flyers, public service announcements, web graphics and other tools for outreach. All materials and resources are offered at no cost.

Upcoming Webinar – The Connected Library: Vetting and Partnering with Social Service Providers

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, May 14 at 10 a.m. titled “The Connected Library: Vetting and Partnering with Social Service Providers.”

As we can anticipate the social, financial, and mental health challenges of our patrons to escalate during and following this pandemic, libraries must connect and build relationships with local providers focused on these needs so that we may serve our communities as effectively as possible.

This session will explore why it is imperative that libraries connect with social service providers in their communities, how to cultivate these connections, and tips to make sure the agencies you work with are effective, ethical partners.

Presented by Patrick Lloyd, LMSW, Community Resources Coordinator for the Georgetown Public Library in Georgetown, Texas.

You can register for this webinar here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1560008394915652109

Please join us!

Need Costly Internet Equipment? New changes to E-rate provide libraries more funding

If you’re an accredited public library, there are two categories of funding you can apply for in E-rate, the federal program that pays you significant discounts (up to 90%) for your library’s Internet costs.

Category 1 covers the monthly costs to access the Internet from your provider, plus some special construction charges. It has no budget cap;

Category 2 covers cabling, equipment, licenses, and other services to support broadband at the library. It does have a budget. Here’s a list of all the goodies that you can get discounts on in Category 2:

  • Wireless Access Points/Wireless Controllers
  • Routers
  • Switches
  • Antennas (must be integral to the LAN/WAN)
  • Firewall Equipment
  • Internal Structured Cabling (unless solely dedicated to voice)
  • Caching Servers – (these are the only eligible servers)
  • Racks that house eligible equipment
  • UPS that support eligible equipment
  • Cloud-based functionality of eligible equipment
  • Licenses for eligible equipment (can apply for multi-year license in Year 1 of your contract)
  • Software that supports eligible equipment
  • Limited basic maintenance services for eligible equipment
  • Managed Internal Broadband Services (MIBS) – (see more below)
  • Taxes, surcharges and other similar reasonable charges
  • Shipping charges
  • Training on how to use eligible equipment
  • Installation and configuration (not required to be the equipment vendor)

For the last few years, Category 2 services have had a limited budget for you to use, based on the square footage of the library. The deadline to spend the amount allocated to your library was up in the air, until…

NEWSFLASH: Last week it was announced that Category 2 budgets are extended for the upcoming E-rate funding year (FY 2020) with an added 20% on top of that! And that in 2021, new rules will be implemented, including system wide budgets, a combined multiplier for all libraries, and a floor of $25,000, which is a significant increase from the last few years.

If you want to get potentially HUGE savings on your Internet equipment, cabling, and service, NOW is the time to look into applying for Category 2 of E-rate funding.

Contact Henry Stokes at 512-463-6624 if you need further information.

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9/12 TSLAC Webinar: “Innovative and Inclusive Public Library Programs”

Readers of this blog may recall my posts last year raving about Westbank Community Library’s Free Play programming (part 1 and part 2). That’s just one example of the many innovative and inclusive programs this central Texas library is providing their community. I’ve invited staff members from the library to present a webinar for us to share more info about the great work they’re doing.

Join us on Thursday, September 12, 10 to 11 am (Central) – details below!

Photo of the Westbank Community Library building.

Title:

Innovative and Inclusive Public Library Programs

Description:

In central Texas, Westbank Community Libraries embrace their community, which includes neurodiverse individuals, busy families, and patrons of all ages. The libraries have identified unmet needs within their community and have developed programming that promotes learning, sharing, and discovery. Such programs have flexible hours and encourage intergenerational experiences and sensory exploration. Come join the webinar and hear staff members from the libraries present all about their innovative and inclusive programs.

Presented by Cristen Darcus (Community Librarian), Gloria Perretti (Public Services & PR Librarian), Leah Tatgenhorst (Programs Manager), and Maureen Turner Carey (Public Services & PR Librarian).

When: Thursday, September 12, 2019; 10 AM to 11 AM (Central)

Cost: FREE

CE Credit: 1 Hour

> REGISTER HERE

Hope to see you there!

Free CE and Training This Week – June 24-28

Weekly listing sourced from Wyoming State Library Training Calendar with free training online, and free Texas workshops, updated as new events are added. See what’s happening on the CE calendar. Confirm the date and time when you register, or follow links for archive information. Events listed in Central Time.

Tuesday, June 25 (9-10 am)

Libraries and the 2020 Census (Indiana State Library)

Civic engagement matters! As librarians, our role in the 2020 Census is amplified this time around. In March of 2020, U.S. residents will not only receive traditional paper forms from the Census Bureau, but they will also have the option of online response. Patrons can fill out the census using their home computers, their smartphones, or by stopping by the local library and using a public computer. How can we properly prepare our library communities for this new option? Librarians can learn and review the basic facts about the census; we can provide informed outreach to our library communities; and we can know where to go for assistance outside of our libraries. Tune in to this webinar to find out more!

For more information and to register, visit: http://indianastatelibrary.evanced.info/signup/Calendar?ln=ALL

Tuesday, June 25 (12-1 pm)

Funding Information Network (FIN) Information Session (GrantSpace)

Join Brian Schultz, manager of the Funding Information Network at Foundation Center by Candid, to learn how the Funding Information Network program can help your nonprofit resource center, community foundation, or library support your local nonprofit and small business economy. You’ll learn about the key components of the program package, including Foundation Directory Online, grantseeking training guides, and our upcoming certification modules.

For more information and to register, visit: https://grantspace.org/training/search/format/live/location/online/

Tuesday, June 25 (1:30-2:30 pm)

Tools Every Nonprofit Needs to Simplify Their Life (Firespring)

Every day you learn about a new mobile app or piece of software that will “change your life.” There’s so much coming at you, it sometimes feels like you’re drinking through a fire hose. In this session, we will help you make technology your friend.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.firespring.com/resources/webinars/

Tuesday, June 25 (2-3 pm)

5 Weirdly Easy “Life Hacks” That Will Make Your Fundraising Work MUCH Better (CharityHowTo)

How many times have you learned something new about improving your fundraising, and then suddenly realized, “This is going to take a lot more time than I have!” Here’s some much-needed relief from “Fundraising Is Hard and It Keeps Getting Harder” Syndrome:  5 “tricks” that will make your fundraising tasks just a bit easier and less time-consuming … and more effective. Collected from a 30-year career of hands-on fundraising, these hacks are practical, easy, and they work! They’ll help you start your projects on the right foot, align your thinking and strategy with donor motivations, write stronger copy, stay on target — and raise more money.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.charityhowto.com/nonprofit-live-webinars/free

Wednesday, June 26 (1-2 pm)

DAP Learning Series: Agency Analytics Governance (Digital Gov)

In this webinar, we’ll talk to members of various agencies to find out how analytics programs and tools are governed at that agency. Each agency has its own way of determining which tools are used, methods of implementation, which personnel get access, how deployment and support are handled, and where responsibilities lie.

For more information and to register, visit: https://digital.gov/events/

Wednesday, June 26 (1-2 pm)

How to Have Critical Conversations (GovLoop)

It’s impossible to avoid difficult conversations at work. How many times have you run into a conflict with a colleague? In a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor? Working as a team with your peers? Or even publicly questioned? Join this webinar to learn from our expert how to have these sometimes-painful conversations.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.govloop.com/training/

Thursday, June 27 (2-3 pm)

Check It Out! New Books for Ages 0-18 (State Library of Iowa)

Join us on the last Thursday of each month for a review of brand new titles published for ages 0-18. You’ll hear short booktalks of new titles (and new entries in ongoing series) from major and Indie publishers and get ideas on how to keep up with the endless tide of what’s new in kidlit and young adult literature.

For more information and to register, visit: https://bit.ly/2WttAmQ

Thursday, June 27 (2-3 pm)

Success with Multicultural Newcomers and English Learners (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)

Through their longitudinal studies and work with hundreds of schools, Margarita Calderón and Shawn Slakk, authors of the book Success with Multicultural Newcomers and English Learners: Proven Practices for School Leadership Teams, have found the best way to teach vocabulary, discourse, basic reading comprehension, and text-based writing integrated with content areas and texts. The authors will share how not only ESL teachers, but also all core content teachers in a school can easily integrate vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing into every subject. Establishing a whole-school climate for Newcomers and all students entails training all teachers, counselors, coaches, staff and administrators in the school.

For more information and to register, visit: http://www.ascd.org/professional-development/webinars.aspx

Upcoming TSLAC Webinar: Get the Lib Tech Lowdown on May 9th

TSLAC’s own Liz Philippi and Henry Stokes had the pleasure and privilege to attend several recent technology conferences: the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Convention and the South by Southwest (SXSW) Education and Interactive festivals.

logos for three technoloyg conferences

They can’t wait to share all the amazing things they learned that are relevant for schools and libraries. Join them on May 9th at 2-3:30 PM central for a free webinar presentation and help yourself stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest in emerging technologies!

Webinar: Get the Lib Tech Lowdown: Conference Reports from 2019 TCEA, SXSWEdu, and SXSW Interactive

Time: Thu, May 9, 2019 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM CDT
CE Credit: 1.5 Hours

Registration link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7049506005693332481

Photo of a man with Augmented Reality glasses
See you there!

HHH: Video Games & Esports

Logo for Henry's High-Tech Highlights

Hello! Henry here. I’m happy to highlight a new high-tech hot topic. It’s historically been a hobby, but now it’s headlong become a hardcore habit, heavily hitting the right buttons on people’s hearts. Today I’m talking about…

Video Games & Esports


NEWSFLASH!

Two weeks ago, Google announced it was getting into the gaming business with its own platform called Stadia to come out this year:

Logo for Google Stadia

A week later, Apple announced it was launching its own gaming platform this year called Apple Arcade (along with other new services such as a credit card and streaming TV channel).

Logo for Apple Arcade

What’s so special about these two tech giants’ gaming platforms? Typically video games require special hardware called consoles, but Google and Apple are each promising their platforms will remove the need for players to buy separate consoles and will instead put games on what people already own – their phones, tablets, laptops, computers, and TVs.

Google Stadia will actually run through the Google Chrome browser, which will stream the games live over your broadband. It will be integrated both with Google’s voice assistant so you can get help from the AI during challenging parts of the game you’re playing, and with YouTube (owned by Google) so you can easily share out a live stream of your gameplay.

Meanwhile, Apple Arcade will be an app that will run on Apple devices. It will be like a Netflix of games – an all-you-can-play service via a single subscription.

Details are still slim about both platforms, especially Google’s – but we do know Stadia will require an Internet connection, which means no playing offline. As for what internet speeds you’ll need to support Stadia, Google recommends 25 megabits per second – the same speed that Netflix has suggested to watch their streaming content. Most of the libraries in Texas don’t even reach this 25 Mbps download requirement for all patrons sharing their network WiFi bandwidth.

So why should I care?

What impact will two of the biggest industry names in the world entering the gaming market have on our communities and our libraries? What does gaming have to do with libraries anyway?

A lot actually. Both games and libraries are more connected than you might think. As ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries points out:

  • Both promote interest-driven learning and self-directed discovery.
  • Both help improve social skills. ALA writes, “Equally important, libraries as public gathering spaces can capitalize on the benefits of co-play, helping to improve players’ social skills by encouraging play together, in small groups, or large classes. The social setting of the library may also encourage users to be reflective in their play, building awareness, asking questions, and processing what is being learned through play.”
  • Both support digital literacy. Games help and encourage people to learn how systems (like interfaces and computers) work. These are crucial, next generation job skills, and libraries being in the business of assisting their communities with workforce development are wise to take notice.

For these reasons and many others, libraries – even here in Texas – have recently started offering esports programming.

Esports?

The Future Today Institute (FTI) publishes an annual report on emerging technology trends, and for the first time in 2019, they’ve included esports – competitive digital gaming with all the trappings of traditional sports. They write that, “advancements in both gaming technology and streaming capabilities have led to an astronomical rise in its popularity and perceived legitimacy in recent years.” And they predict it’s primed to continue as a major cultural phenomenon. According to a market report by Newzoo, global esports revenues have reached $906 million in 2018, a year-on-year growth of +38%. The ridiculously popular game Fortnite is a big reason for this. Viewership of esports tournaments may soon rival those for the NFL. FTI points out esports results in a more engaged audience because it’s so accessible – the skills needed to compete are more attainable than classic athletic sports, “closing the gulf between fans and competitors.

Screenshot from Simpsons episode featuring esports

What does the rise of esports mean for libraries?

I’m glad you asked! There’s a lot to explore here.

I’ve actually asked someone who successfully runs an esports program for their public library to conduct a free webinar for us on the topic of esports and libraries next month on April 25th . Hope you’ll join me! Here are the details and the link to register below:

Title: Get in the Game: Esports and Libraries

When: Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM CDT

Description:
Have you heard of esports but want to learn more? Ever wonder if esports could be featured in libraries? Interested in reaching and engaging more patrons through gaming and esports? Are you intrigued by a program offering which attracts a broad cross section of patrons of different ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic standing? Let’s take an in-depth look at esports and its community and discuss ways to build more games-related programming in libraries. Join our webinar with Tristan Wheeler (Outreach and Programming Services, Cleveland Public Library in Ohio) for an introduction to the Cleveland Public Library GAMING & ESPORTS event series. Discover how the world of libraries meets all things gaming and learn why a program like this is important to his library and could be for yours!

CE Credit: 1.5 hours

Register now for this free webinar from TSLAC!

Let’s play with the idea! See you April 25.

Credo Micro-Trainings

We’re pleased to a announce a new set of micro-trainings from Credo. In 20 minutes you can expand your e-resources skill set.

These trainings focus on one of Credo’s new features: Real Time Reference and using Credo’s expansive collection of LibGuides.

Monday, April 22nd – 10am Central
Finding Current & Controversial topics in Credo- 20 Minutes
Find fact based information on current global issues with Credo’s
Real Time Reference content – Available to all Texshare members.

Tuesday, April 23rd – 2pm Central
Credo & LibGuides integration– 20 Minutes
See how to embed and add content to your LibGuides and take a 
tour of Credo’s remade LibGuides