Introducing the Niche Academy Side Slider

Sometimes you want to go out and sit down at the pizza restaurant.  Other times you want it delivered so you can eat it wearing pajamas while you watch reruns on TV.

At Niche Academy, we wanted to help libraries offer their patrons and staff similar options. Using Niche Academy, Libraries can create their own stand-alone academies. These academies can be a learning destination where patrons and staff can go to understand library resources, programs, policies, staff tools, etc.  Libraries also now have the option to present users with Niche Academy tutorials without ever leaving the comfort of their library website.

Academy Champions Q&A: Suffolk Public Library

If you haven’t seen the Suffolk Public Library website, you should take a look: http://www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com.

The first time I saw their site, I was immediately impressed. The design is visually appealing and doesn’t overwhelm the visitor with information.  It was clearly organized around how patrons would identify themselves and questions patrons would come to the website to ask.

Niche Academy, in the Beginning... a Founder's Backstory

It was the summer of 1983 in Los Angeles California that I attended my first ALA Annual Conference.  

I remember having the time of my life.  My older sister and I scurried through the exhibitor hall getting pens, plush toys, chocolates, and other paraphernalia that the silly vendors were crazy enough to give away for free.  I was 4 years old at the time and was just beginning my life in the library industry.

Unexpected Gardens in San Francisco - #ALAAC15

Beautiful San Francisco

It was a great time of year to be in San Francisco. The sea mist in the morning is cool and refreshing. The afternoons are pleasantly warm and sunny. It makes for a welcome change of pace from 100+ daily temperatures around my home here in Utah.

Academy Champions Q&A: Brett Lechtenberg, Personal Safety Expert

A lot of people live in very real fear for their personal safety.

That fear disrupts their happiness and productivity in dramatic ways. For many years now, Brett Lechtenberg has been improving that reality for a lot of people.

We were delighted when Brett decided to expand the reach of his training programs by making them available online. Because he's making a real difference in the world, we're proud to name Brett Lechtenberg as our first Academy Champion.

Reader's Advisory: Library Facebook Posts That Don't Suck

Most libraries have a Facebook page these days. It’s the thing to do.

Having surveyed a fair sample of those pages, though, I think many libraries feel a bit disillusioned with the outcome. When they take a hard look at their view numbers and likes, it often seems like nobody is paying attention. Full many a library Facebook post is born to blush unseen. Furthermore, posting regularly is a significant time investment for thin-stretched staff resources.

The Short History of Online Courses

This might be appropriately called “A Personal History of Online Learning” since it traces my own engagement with education online. I think my own anecdotes trace enough of the broader trends in the space, though, to warrant the title above. This post traces 5 successive phases in the evolution of online learning.

Top 7 Things Online Courses Can Learn from Top Gear

What do the North Pole, Japan’s high-speed train, and practical jokes all have in common? 

5 Reasons to Send Your Kids to College


This is the companion post to my earlier “5 reasons NOT to send your kids to college”. It’s organized around a set of data points that point to a different basic decision than my earlier post. Call me fickle, but I see it building on, more than contradicting the observations in that earlier post. Here are the top 5 reasons I probably will still send my kids to college.

Facebook For Libraries: How to Create a Quick and Appealing Post

I’ve been doing a lot of web demos for libraries around the country lately.

As I'm showing people options for promoting library resources, I’ve noticed that a solid majority of the libraries I talk to have a Facebook page and they’re making an effort to post regularly. I’ve also noticed a lot of uncertainty about how to use Facebook for libraries effectively. Posting as an organization, not just an individual requires a slightly different approach.

Here are 4 simple tips that will help you spark interest, be relevant, be genuine, and reach your audience. 

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