Category Archives: Reference Tools

5 Reasons You Should Have Ask-a-Librarian on Every Page of Your Website


To get the most value out of your library’s services and provide patrons with the highest level of service, it is important to make it as easy as possible for your patrons to connect with those services

The best way to connect patrons with your Ask-a-Librarian service is to have Ask-a-Librarian tabs, links or buttons on every page of your library’s website. Here are five ways that implementing such a strategy with your online reference will benefit your users:

1. All successful advertisers know that the key to getting a message across is through repetition and consistent branding. When your patrons interact with a consistent layout from page to page and see Ask-a-Librarian on every page, you have created the best possible ongoing marketing campaign for your service, with an important added bonus: It’s free.

2. While we can predict some user behavior, we never really know when and where on a website patrons are going to need assistance. A patron may be on a page where the information seems to be straight-forward to librarians, but to an uninitiated patron the information may leave questions. Likewise, a patron may be on one page but thinking ahead to another problem or the next step in his or her research process. Having Ask-a-Librarian immediately available from wherever the patron may be on the library’s website ensures that he or she will be able to connect to help when needed.

3. If a patron is interacting with the library’s website, encounters a problem, and then has to recall where to go to find the Ask-a-Librarian service, the library has not succeeded in making the most of the service’s primary benefit to users – the ability to connect them instantly with a library professional who can solve their problem.

4. Consistent placement of the Ask-a-Librarian tab on your library’s webpages makes marketing the service via social media or flyers much easier. When the Ask-a-Librarian tab is on every page of your library website, there is no need to place an easily forgotten URL (or URLs) on your marketing materials – simply state that the Ask-a-Librarian service is available from every page on the library website and where it is located (“look for our Ask-a-Librarian tab in the upper left-hand corner of any page on the library site”).

5. Each Ask-a-Librarian query that comes from a specific page can help you improve the overall content and design of that page. When you have an Ask-a-Librarian chat box on every page, and you are tracking which pages queries come in from, this gives you the great benefit of an ongoing focus group indirectly telling you what works and what doesn’t work on every page of your library’s site.

Responding quickly to queries will help you provide the top-notch customer service that will keep your library patrons satisfied and returning for more business. To make sure your patrons submit those queries whenever they need help on your library’s site, you should have ask-a-librarian tabs on every page.

 

Mosio for Libraries
Patron Support Simplified
http://mosio.com/libraries

Virtual reference from your Facebook page via the Facebook mobile and iPad apps with Mosio for Libraries

How to set up your library’s Facebook Page to launch your Mosio for Libraries widget inside of Facebook Mobile and iPad Apps.

^Yes, it’s a mouthful, but bear with us, this is pretty cool.

Mosio recently launched a Facebook App enabling you to add your chat/email/text messaging widget to your Facebook Pages. The app is getting a lot of excitement from our customers and naturally we got a request from a library asking us about making it work in Facebook mobile (the app or mobile web). Creating a Facebook App doesn’t automatically mean it will be an app in Facebook Mobile. Well we found a way to make it work and we’re going to show you how, right now. In fact, to do this you’re not even using the Mosio Facebook App, you’ll see the how/why in a second.

What you’ll need:
1) Mosio for Libraries
2) Bitly or another url shortening service
3) A Facebook Page

Step 1: Launch your Mosio widget from the tab or button on your website’s page and copy the url inside the widget.
mosio_facebook_mobile_widget

 

Step 2: Paste the url into the Paste a Link Here field (look for the puffer fish if you’re using Bitly)
After you do this, you can create a custom url name after bit.ly/YOURCUSTOMNAMEHERE. “askaquestion” was taken, so we used hyphens for the same effect.
bitly_paste_a_link

 

Step 3: Find a place (or places) in your Facebook Page to paste the link
We pasted ours in the Description/About sections, but you can also upload a photo and paste the url in the description of a photo. The screen shots below show it on iPhone, iPad and also the photo we uploaded of an Ask a Question button.

mosio_facebook_mobile2 mosio_facebook_ipad1 mosio_facebook_askaq_button_facebookapp

 

Step 4: That’s it! When someone clicks on the link it will open inside the Facebook Mobile or iPad App.
If a patron is accessing your library’s Facebook Page from the web via a smartphone or tablet it will open up in a new browser window.

mosio_facebook_mobile3 mosio_facebook_ipad2

If you’re a Mosio customer and you need any assistance, you can use our support widgets to get you the help you need. If you’re a library looking to support patrons from all channels (Online Chat, Text Messaging, Email and Facebook) through a simple, web-based dashboard, please consider Mosio for Libraries. We have plans for all sized libraries.

Have a wonderful day!

The Mosio Team

Mosio for Libraries
Patron Support Simplified
http://mosio.com/libraries

Library News: Library system vital to community, Public Libraries Outnumber McDonald’s, Behold, Every One of the 17,000 Libraries in the U.S. Mapped

It seems like there’s a McDonald’s or Starbucks on every corner. They’re a sign of dependability. You might be surprised to know that there are actually more public libraries in the United States than individual stores of either of the mega chains. There are approximately 17,000 public libraries, while McDonald’s has approximately 14,000 stores and Starbucks has 11,000.

Public Libraries Outnumber McDonald’s

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If you want to get a visual of what that looks like, you can view all the public libraries in America mapped out here.

Behold, Every One of the 17,000 Libraries in the U.S. Mapped

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Seattle Public Libraries are reaching out to patrons in a creative new way, with their Books on Bikes program. Librarians will be bicycling to various outdoor events this year with small trailers that function as mobile libraries. The innovative outreach goes a step further by including mobile wifi connections that allow the librarians to demonstrate e-books and other digital technology the library has to offer. It’s a marriage of high tech and lo tech.

Seattle Public Library Puts Books on Bikes

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Here are some more library news items we found interesting.

Library Enhances Digital Library

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Devon libraries’ self-help mental health scheme

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OUR VIEW: Library system vital to community

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App puts Pima County Public Library on your smartphone, tablet

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Rockford Public Library sees boom in digital borrowing

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At Your Library: Empowering people to change their lives

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The Future of Libraries: Short on Books, Long on Tech

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Digital library to lighten the load in Ridgewood schools

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New app launched to help library users in Gloucestershire

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Ottawa library first in Canada to offer Google Chromebooks

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The house of treasures: your library

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Books on wheels: Mobile library, a hit

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ALA 2013: The Library of 2020 Will Be…

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New One Card Six Libraries service a major success

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Sunnyvale: County’s first library vending machine serves books at the push of a button

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Little Free Library – A good thing that’s in a small package

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Box serves as portable library in Brooklyn

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Sacramento Public Library named one of top 3 in North America

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Red telephone boxes in Essex to become ‘mini libraries’

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Libraries Check Out E-Sales

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Kitchener library launches mobile app for smartphones and tablet computers

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Rockford library adds magazines to its digital lineup

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Library News: Libraries invest to keep up with demands, New technology increases efficiency at library, World’s Tiniest Library Pops Up In New York City

About 76 percent of public libraries across the country already are offering e-books, and about 39 percent of all libraries nationwide offer e-readers.

We know libraries provide access to information, but how often do you think about libraries as information creators? American Libraries Magazine shows us how libraries have always been content creators, and how they can use social media to harness and focus their content creation to get attention. Videos, podcasts and blog posts are all discussed as ways for libraries to further reach out to the public.

Libraries as Content Creators

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Last year, the Snell Library at Northeastern launched the Digital Media Commons, which offers students high tech digital tools including 3D-modeling, animation and game designing software. In the wake of the success of the Digital Media Commons, the library is announcing the next phase of the project. The first floor of the library will be converted into a new modern technology focused workspace which will include new studio space and 3D printing.

Northeastern to expand library’s cutting-​​edge Digital Media Commons

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Here are more stories of library innovation and technology.

Libraries invest to keep up with demands

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E-books present new chapter for libraries, publishers to solve

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Libraries, not just for bookworms

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Little libraries’ provide big boost for local readers

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Garwood Library brings e-books to patrons

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What does a school library look like in the digital age?

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World’s Tiniest Library Pops Up In New York City

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Making Room for Innovation

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Lehigh County students can now get eBooks through school libraries

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Library to Launch e-Reader Lending Service

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Northeastern to expand library’s cutting-​​edge Digital Media Commons

Read MoreNew technology increases efficiency at library

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Walker Memorial Library digitizes old images

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West Caldwell Public Library now bringing enhanced digital services to its patrons

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Libraries add 3-D copiers to allow readers to design, create

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Paperless public libraries switch to digital

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Library launches digital audiobook service

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Santa Maria Library has new phone for hearing impaired

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World’s 1st green Library for kids has opened

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In the Digital Age, What Becomes of the Library?

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Evanston Public Library participates in initiative to improve technology service

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Study Shows Library Branches Popular, Serve Different Needs

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Public Library marks new milestone with 500K library cardholders

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El Cerrito Library boosters seek increase in open hours

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

25 Great Text Messaging Acronyms You May or May Not Need to Know for Your Text-a-Librarian Service

Do you speak text?

Mosio_TextSpeak_Translator

Your patrons speak many languages, and you can’t learn them all. But one thing you can do to improve service to your patrons is familiarize yourself with some of the more common terms and phrases in their languages of preference. If your patron is text-savvy enough to be texting his or her librarian, then one of his or her languages of preference is chat and chances are he or she is up on the latest text messaging acronyms.

A great way to enhance chat service for your patrons and maximize your efficient use of time is to become familiar with some of the most common and helpful text messaging acronyms. Speaking your users’ languages, especially in online communications, will help them feel more comfortable and give that personal touch so they don’t feel like they are talking to a robot.

There are thousands of text messaging acronyms, but we want to stick to the ones that can be used in a professional environment and that are not too obscure. These are the ones your users will likely be using, and these are the ones that you should be using as well. You will want to tailor your chat acronym use to each session, gauging each individual user’s chat acronym expertise level by the acronyms that he or she uses him- or herself.

Here is a list of 25 text messaging acronyms which you can add to your arsenal of reference tools.

AAP – Always a pleasure
BIF – Before I forget
BRB – Be right back
BTW – By the way
EOM – End of message
F2F – Face to face
GL – Good luck
HAND – Have a nice day
IANAL – I am not a lawyer
IMA – I might add
IMO – In my opinion
IOW – In other words
ISWYM – I see what you mean
JIC – Just in case
OIC – Oh, I see
OTOH – On the other hand
PD – Public domain
SOW – Speaking of which
THX – Thanks
TTBOMK – To the best of my knowledge
TYVM – Thank you very much
WB – Welcome back
WRT – With regard to
WTG – Way to go!
YW – You’re welcome

The patron texting a question is typically expecting a quick response and librarians need to be prepared to answer text-a-librarian questions promptly. Lots of chat acronyms, such as ROFL and L8R, are designed for close friends. Your users may employ such acronyms, but you will want to restrict your use to the more professional ones such as those in the list above.

And if your patron sends you a puzzling collection of letters and you have no idea what they mean, Mosio’s text speak translator will give you the help you need with its 800+ text messaging acronym definitions.

Moose Jaw Public Library’s Text a Librarian Service – Great Video Coverage (Canada)

This video popped up in our alerts and we thought it was so great we had to pass it along.

Great job Moose Jaw Public Library in getting up and running and EXCELLENT work getting some news coverage!

 

moosejaw

Library NewsByte: The library is home to not only books, Library launches free mobile app, Vending machines latest library offering from Northland

Members of the public making good use of the Family Mobile Library during its stop at Reayrt y Chrink, Port Erin

Maureen Sullivan, President of the ALA, writes on the Huffington Post about the new Pew study showing that the vast majority of parents place a high value libraries. She discusses what libraries have to offer children and parents, from tangible resources to intangible experiences, such as instilling a love of reading and providing a safe community environment.

Libraries Offer Children Resources Not Available at Home

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One of the intangible items libraries offer to all patrons, is the experience of browsing. This editorial talks about the personal experience of browsing at the library.

Libraries offer more than books – it’s a personal experience

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In this difficult economy, people are finding the library can be an essential resource in finding a job. The Spencer Daily Reporter talks specifically about the ways the Spencer Public Library is helping patrons in their job search. They include access to computers and the internet and books on cover letters, resumes, and job searching. Additionally, the library website has links to skill building resources.

How the library Can Help You to Find a Job!

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Read more about the ways libraries are helping people in these other news items.

The library is home to not only books

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Clive library to launch new online catalog

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Library makes changes

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Parents Value Libraries’ Digital Technologies and Programs, Pew Research Shows

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The New York Public Library Discusses eBook Pilot Projects

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Get the library app

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Even in Digital Age, Libraries Still Considered Crucial to Youth Development by Most U.S. Parents

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College Libraries Transition to High Tech Learning Centers

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Libraries; maintaining a role in the digital world

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Mobile service helping those who can’t get to local library

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B-BP Looking to Shore Up Library Programs, Enhance Technology

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Little Free Library is a great, big idea in little, tiny space

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Shorewood-Troy Library Now Offers Home Delivery Service

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Vending machines latest library offering from Northland

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Magazines go digital at Garfield County Libraries

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More people using libraries with book loans up 3% in 2012

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3D Printing Comes to Sunnyvale Library

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New Rochelle Library is not bed-bug infested

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New Library Program to Try Out Tablets & E-Readers Starts at 10 a.m.

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Library launches free mobile app

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Libraries unite to bump up size of catalog

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The bookmobile gets the digital treatment

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Virtual Reference – When to Collaborate

wepromise

The spirit of sharing and cooperation is perfectly at home in the Library world. The most traditional form of collaboration is Interlibrary Loan, but libraries have also found some more unique ways to collaborate, including through shared virtual reference services. There are several things to keep in mind when establishing collaboration on virtual reference service. Consider your goals.

Think about subject matter. Partnering with libraries with similar focus and clientele will ensure a consistency of service, but searching for libraries with a different focus could broaden the type of reference queries you can answer through virtual reference. Think about your patron base. Who are they and what type of questions are they most likely to ask?

Think about location. Local libraries may ensure ease in the collaboration process, but reaching out to libraries in other regions can increase the hours of availability for your virtual reference services. Collaboration between Universities from different time zones could mean available reference service in the wee hours of the morning, when students might be finishing up that paper, but the library isn’t open.

When entering into collaboration you want to make sure that all institutions are on the same page. Everyone should be willing to commit roughly the same amount of effort and time. No one institution should be unduly burdened. Once your virtual reference collaboration is off and running you’ll want to keep careful statistics. Keep record of when the queries are coming in, who is answering them, and the basic subject matter. Use these numbers to continue ensuring that the workload is evenly distributed, and to think about areas where you might need to broaden your individual collection and services.

Collaboration doesn’t make sense for every library. Your individual institution will need to decide what is right for them. However, it is worth investigating and thinking about how it can improve your virtual references services and the customer experience. After all, it’s all about the patron.

 

Library Newsbyte: George W. Bush Library Opens to Public, Pew: Parents Love the Library, With Tiny Libraries – Bringing Free Literature to the Streets

Carlsbad libraries work to meet new demands, technology

Carlsbad libraries work to meet new demands, technology

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Many libraries offer adaptive technologies to assist patrons with various disabilities. The Fort Frances library is trying to reach out to the community to let them know about the availability of technologies to assist the visually impaired, which have been in place since the library opened. They include the Topaz magnifier, which magnifies text up to 16X; Ruby, a handled magnifying device similar to Topaz; and SARA, which converts text to speech.

Adaptive technology equipment at library helps vision-impaired

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The Pew Internet and Life Project found that 90% of parents surveyed think that libraries are important for their children, while 80% go further and say they are “very important.” Parents appreciate libraries because of the resources that they provide, and for how they encourage children to be readers.

Pew: Parents Love the Library

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Read more about library services in these other news stories.

Value in the Library

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Groundbreaking Online Library Intrigues Educators

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Evanston Public Library creates new smartphone app

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Kindles add to library’s offerings in technology

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George W. Bush Library Opens to Public

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Libraries have the clout, respect to be leaders in parent engagement: Margaret Bernstein

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Rome library improves Wi-Fi

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New library technology at Schneider Elementary helps students enjoy reading

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British Library’s online harvest will paint ‘rich and vivid picture’ of life in the UK

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Local libraries offer free online magazines

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Library starts lending e-books

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With Tiny Libraries, Bringing Free Literature to the Streets

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Library doubles number of public computers

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Hudson, Litchfield, Lyndeborough libraries embrace open-source software

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Program brings tiny libraries to Bloomington

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One-day survey shows how Washington libraries are used

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County library system offering ebooks

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Digital Bookmobile in the Tri-Cities

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Library takes aim at grownups

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Buhl Public Library Now Offers Audiobooks, eBooks

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New library in Pasco is for whole community

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Houston Public Library serves patrons in all walks of life

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Library News: Digital public library with vast archive opens, ‘Libraries’ come in all shapes and sizes these days, US Presidential Libraries Contribute to Research, Education

Children read at the Centre de Lecture et d'Animation Culturelle (CLAC) in Byblos. [Photo courtesy of CLAC Byblos]

Library director hope smart phone app will help slow declining circulation

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Sacramento library adds 3-D copier to its bag of tricks

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Digital public library with vast archive opens

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Library Usage Increases

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Holyoke to promote child literacy by creating ‘mini-libraries’ at police substations, stocking cruisers with books

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‘Libraries’ come in all shapes and sizes these days

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York County Libraries to release mobile app, YCL Mobile

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lsley Library provides digital local newspaper collections

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Libraries are vital to the community

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Study: People still see value of libraries

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Baylor Central Libraries buys almanac signed by Ben Franklin

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Aztec Library expands technology with free tech classes, smartphone app

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Library continues expanding collection

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Cambridge libraries go beyond the bookmobile

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Library releases app for phones

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Libraries set to provide free wi-fi

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Libraries still relevant today

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US Presidential Libraries Contribute to Research, Education

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Public libraries in Lebanon: a novel phenomenon

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Siouxland libraries strive to be more than just book places

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Public Library Extends Helping Hands for Computer Literacy

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National Library of Scotland to hire ‘Wikipedian’

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George Demko: Library is as relevant as ever in electronic age

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Libraries are a tech and reading hub

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Saving America for posterity at the Library of Congress

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.