Thursday Threads: New and Interesting from ALA Exhibits

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I’m just home from the American Library Association meeting in San Francisco, so this week’s threads are just a brief view of new and interesting things I found on the exhibit floor.

NOTE! Funding for my current position at LYRASIS ran out at the end of June, so I am looking for new opportunities and challenges for my skills. Check out my resume/c.v. and please let me know of job opportunities in library technology, open source, and/or community engagement.

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Book-Donations-Processing-as-a-Service


I didn’t get to talk to anyone at this booth, but I was interested in the concept. I remember donations processing being such a hassle — analyze each book for its value, deciding whether it is part of your collection policy, determining where to sell it, manage the sale, and so forth. American Book Drive seems to offer such a service. Right now their service is limited to California. I wonder if it will expand, or if there are similar service providers in other areas of the countries.

Free Driver’s Ed Resources for Libraries

This exhibitor had a good origin story. A family coming to the U.S. had a difficult time getting their drivers licenses, so they created an online resource for all 50 states that covers the details. They’ve had success with the business side of their service, so they decided to give it away to libraries for free.

Free Online Obituaries Service from Orange County Library

With newspapers charging more for printing obituaries, important community details are no longer being printed. The Epoch Project from the Orange County (FL) Library System provides a simple service with text and media to capture this cultural heritage information. Funded initially by an IMLS grant [PDF], they are now in the process of rounding up partners in each state to be ambassadors to bring the service to other libraries around the country.