4 Your Mission is a blog from Mobile Beacon that helps you – a nonprofit – achieve your mission by bringing you up-to-date info and tips that you can really use.
Tech Term of the Week
Electronic Resources Management (ERM)
Systems developed to assist librarians in the control of licensed third-party resources published electronically (databases, e-books, e-journals, etc.), including license management, renewal, legal use, access management, and collection development.
Article By: Larry Britt, Computer & Social Media Coordinator at The RI Family Literacy Initiative.
The RI Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI) is a 16-year-old-adult education agency and we primarily serve immigrants – approximately 250 a year. We offer an educational continuum from beginner English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to Career and College Transitions preparation. We partner with many libraries, work sites and community agencies where we offer our classes. Over the past year we’ve advanced technology initiatives that we hope will build a cohesive, integrated solution to address our students’ digital literacy needs.
We thoroughly appreciated this year’s ALA Midwinter Conference and all it had to offer. We especially enjoyed meeting many of our library partners face to face, hearing about the digital challenges they face and their hopes to overcome them.
The Library Hotspot lending program was first piloted by New York Public Library (NYPL) over the spring 2014 using 100 Wi-Fi modems with unlimited 4G data plans provided through Mobile Beacon. The catalyst for the pilot began after a survey of patrons revealed that 55 percent of those utilizing free Internet and computers in NYPL’s branches did not have broadband access at home. When household income dropped below $25,000, that percentage increased to 65 percent.
Did you know 70% of children in the Kansas City School District do not have Internet access at home?
That’s one statistic the Kansas City Public Library is working hard to change. They have launched the Digital Inclusion Coalition – regional nonprofit, government and businesses leaders whose goal is to increase Internet connectivity and digital literacy in Kansas City. As the central community organizer, the Kansas City Public Library brought the group together this fall for the first time, hosting their kickoff at the Kansas City Digital Inclusion Summit sponsored by, among others, Google Fiber.
This month is Connected Educator Month (CEM) which supports President Obama’s education initiative called ConnectED. It is designed to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries within five years.
Most of us think of technology in the classroom as a relatively recent event. In fact, it’s been an ever-evolving reality for over a century. Take a look at how technology in schools has changed over time.
Data is the new coin of the realm. Learn how to stretch your budget!
Real time access to information enables nonprofits to more effectively advance their mission in a rapid response world. But anytime/anywhere access comes with a price, which can vary significantly. How do you choose the right data plan among all the options out there? Start with the numbers.
Being able to work anytime/anywhere can greatly expand your reach, but it requires mobile Internet access. There are many connectivity tools available to keep you connected to the data and online resources you need outside the office. What’s the best option for you? That depends on what you’re using it for.
Problem: College Unbound is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to providing a pathway to an accredited bachelor’s degree with partnering colleges and universities. The program is targeted to those who began a degree program but were unable to finish, often adults who are full-time workers, full-time students and full-time parents. Though College Unbound is dedicated to educating one student at a time in out-of-the-classroom settings, many of their students did not have the necessary access to computers or Internet to complete their coursework.
The Providence Housing Authority (PHA) not only provides safe, affordable housing, its mission includes addressing residents’ economic needs and offering a bridge to a better future. But one-fifth of their residents don’t have Internet access at home – a key tool in finding and applying for jobs, signing up for an affordable healthcare plan, and continuing education.
Recently we gave you our top tips for going mobile. Today we’re sharing some of our favorite sites that can help bring those tips to life for you. Feel free to click away and see how these work on your smartphone or tablet!
We’ve talked about how important mobile sites are and why responsive design is a great option. To help you get started, we’d like to share some tips on creating a good mobile web site. Ready to take the plunge? Keep these guidelines in mind:
One of the things we love most about our jobs is knowing that we’re helping other nonprofit organizations fulfill some truly worthwhile missions. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some that are especially close to our hearts.
In January, we shared some statisticson the explosive use of mobile devices and how important responsive design has become for mobile commerce. Now we’d like to share why mobile sites have gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for nonprofits.