4 Ways To Make Your Patrons Happier

All too often I hear people say, “I didn’t know xyz resource was available from the library.”  Then, inevitably a little while later I hear, “How does it work?”  Or worse, “I couldn’t figure it out, so I gave up.”  

The other day I was talking with a good friend.  He was telling me about how his high-functioning autistic son is a voracious reader.  Wanting to provide a constructive outlet, he would regularly buy eBooks for his son on Amazon and he was lamenting to me how much it was costing him.  I asked him why he didn’t simply use his local library. He told me his son preferred to read eBooks on his iPad, not regular books.  I then went on to tell him that his library most likely had eBooks.  We looked up his library and sure enough, they have OverDrive and Axis360.  He can now not only provide enough books for his son, but he can do it for free.

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.

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.

Changing Career Tracks? You're Not Alone.

Learning to write software was tough for me.

I had been an English major because I loved literature, but I turned to programming because it offered better career possibilities. To learn programming, I bought books and searched the Internet for free instructional materials, and I found and completed a couple of certification programs that were particularly helpful.

I was lucky to have a good friend that was (is) a gifted software developer and was willing to mentor me, and I was also lucky to have a technical writing job that was closely related to programming. Most of my self teaching happened outside of regular working hours and the learning curve was steep and long. Even after getting my first programming job, I lived for years with a near constant urgency to compensate for my lack of formal training. I thought for a long time that my situation was fairly unique. It's not.

5 Reasons NOT to Send Your Kids to College

I could write a companion post to this one with 5 reasons TO send your kids to college, but this post feels more compelling right now. It starts a conversation that needs to be had.

So, with that being said, let's dive in to my 5 reasons NOT to send your kids to college.

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