Smartphone Firsts: including a holographic display

Move over Star Trek! Who knew that a smartphone with a glasses-free holographic display is slated to be released this fall?  The Red Hydrogen One is one such a phone: it will offer modular attachments for shooting videos, stills and holographic content. 


Each new trailblazing technology can make what we already have seem so mundane. In that vein, here’s a little smartphone history quiz.

Smartphone firsts:
a. What year was the 1st smartphone released? (Clue: It was called the IBM Simon Personal Communicator.)
b. What year was the 1st smartphone released that had a camera? (Clue: Both Nokia and Sanyo released them in the same year.)
c. What year was the 1st Apple iPhone released?
d. What year was the 1st 4V holographic phone released? (Clue: The Red Hydrogen One.)



Answers: a. 1994, b. 2002, c. 2007 and d. 2018

WORK DESTINATION - Where do your residents commute for work?

For grant applications, I was looking for data that showed where residents in our community commute for work. I live in Green County, but there are a lot more grant opportunities in Dane County so I set off to find data to answer this question:

How many New Glarus (Green County) residents work in Dane County?

It turns out that the Census Bureau provides this information via their OnTheMap tool: Here are 10 steps I used to find the answer:




  1. Enter Geographic Area (e.g. New Glarus).
  2. Select Type of Area (e.g. County Subdivision = New Glarus village (Green, WI)). For definitions of geographic areas, see the United States Census Bureau Geographic Areas Reference Manual:
  3. Select Perform Analysis on Selection Area.
  4. Select Home/Work Area = “Home”.
  5. Select Analysis Type = “Destination” and select Destination Type = “County Subdivision". Be sure to check out the “Inflow/Outflow” analysis type too!
  6. Select Year (e.g. 2015).
  7. Select Job Type (e.g. Primary Jobs).
  8. Select GO!
  9. Select Number of Results = “All”.
  10. Select Detailed Report and export to your desired format.

I then repeated this search for the Town of New Glarus. Give it a try, and then check out some of the other Data Tools and Apps provided by the US Census Bureau:

(Solved) SCLS Help Desk Portal - Your connection is not secure when using Firefox

Here at SCLS we are working to make all of our sites secure by implementing SSL certificates.  This includes our beloved SCLS Help Desk Portal.  We secured the portal with a self-signed certificate.  This type of certificate is very common and all SCLS supported browsers can handle it except for Firefox.  The good news is that we have a fix for you.  Please see below!

Here is the portal in Google Chrome



Here's what you get when you go to the portal in Firefox:


Here is the fix!

  1. Click Advanced
  2. Click Add Exception...
  3. Click Confirm Security Exception
  4. Now you're back at the portal!

Google My Business

GoogleMyBusinessHow do people find information about your library? I bet you think a lot about what you put on your website, but have you thought about the accuracy of information when people try to look up your library from a mobile device and Google steps in with results?

I find that I often rely on the Google listing for a business, rather than navigating to the business' website and trying to find information there (especially for hours, address, directions, phone number, and reviews).

Google My Business is a free listing service created by Google in 2014, and your library most likely already has a GMB page. It's an excellent idea to 1) claim it if you haven't already, and 2) verify/update the information on it. Information that administrators can add/edit includes library hours, description of your library, map pin/location, URL, phone number, organization type, and photographs. The built-in analytics can give you a good idea of how patrons found the listing, and what actions they took (did they call you? did they click over to your website?).

This Computers In Libraries article, "How to Create a Google My Business Page" covers why and how to take control of your Google My Business page and is definitely worth a read! 

Classic Shell Ends Development

The Classic Shell Windows Start Menu is an invaluable tool for those who prefer newer releases of Windows to appear like Windows 7.  The developer, Ivo Beltchev, has discontinued development of Classic Shell due to Microsoft's aggressive Windows 10 update schedule.  When Microsoft releases major Spring/Fall updates for Windows 10, the Classic Shell software usually requires changes to its code to continue working.  The developer has made his source code available at SourceForge, but there is no guarantee the open source community will keep it functional.  This will affect SCLS-supported Windows 10 computers.  More information will appear on the SCLS Technology News blog soon.

People Counter Kits are available

I don't see anyone to count!
SCLS has two people counter kits available for any member library to use. These kits can be kept for 14 days are intended for in-library use only.

Kit 1 is a Bi-directional people counter kit – this is an easy to use basic people counter kit that will provide a count of how many people entered and exited your library. Two counters are included with this kit that also contains.

2 Transmitters
2 Receivers with displays
1 Magnet for resetting the counter
1 Instruction guide
Extra Command Strips

Kit 2 is a USB people counter kit – this is a more advanced people counter. Rather than a display to see how many people entered and exited the library it downloads data to a flash drive that connects to a laptop where you can see how many people passed by the counter every hour. This would be beneficial if you are interested in seeing trends as to what day of the week and during what time of the day the library gets the most traffic. This counter doesn’t indicate which direction people traveled so you will have to divide the total by two to get an accurate count. Two counters are included with this kit that also contains.

2 Transmitters
2 Receivers
1 laptop with people counter software and a power cable
1 Magnet for turning on the counter
1 USB cable
1 Instruction guide


Libby App Or OverDrive App

I've been on the road recently doing OverDrive training at a couple of libraries (and with my Dad) - thank you for having me out Brodhead and LaValle. One question that came up was about the Libby and OverDrive apps. Do you need both?

LibbyOverDriveThe answer? Maybe - as you can see on this screenshot of my iPhone, I have both. And, they're right next to my other two favorite book apps - LibraryThing and Litsy.

For a new user of Wisconsin's Digital Library, Libby is the way to go. It's so easy to set up and start using. At the training, library staff easily downloaded and starting using Libby. More features are being added regularly. For example, if you're a Kindle user you can now send books to your Kindle from Libby.

Do you have to switch from OverDrive App to Libby? No, you can use both at the same time - I do. For patrons who have been using Wisconsin's Digital Library for a while, they may have a Wish List (like me) or recommended titles and want to see the list. These options are not available on Libby yet. To access your settings, wishlist, rated titles, or recommendations, you'll want to use the OverDrive app or the web version of Wisconsin's Digital Library. As far as I know, there are no plans to discontinue the OverDrive app. If that changes, I'll be sure to let you know.

If you have a Kindle Fire, the OverDrive app is available in the Amazon app store. Libby is not. The OverDrive app opens up the ePub format titles to Kindle Fire users.

And, if you're a SYNC YA program listener, you'll need to use the OverDrive app or the OverDrive Media Console on your computer to download the weekly titles.

Happy reading and listening!


General Data Protection Regulation law - what?

Europe's General Data Protection Regulation law goes into effect May 25, 2018.  The definition from Wikipedia is "The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA.

This law has been seven years in the making and, in light of other recent news about data privacy infringement, seems to be very timely.  If companies and websites that you may use have a global presence (like Google), you are probably seeing an increase in "required" information bits about how that company or website is protecting your privacy and/or changes you should make to your account to increase the protection of your personal data.  

Here's a link to an article in The Guardian (UK) that I was reading in my last copy of American Libraries Direct.

And an article from The New York Times May 6, 2018 

Enjoy! Heidi O.

ID for Cables

Earlier this year while assembling the Virtual Reality kits, I came across a problem with them: Too many cables.  At first I had used a small label maker to identify the cable but found they could be torn off easily and didn't look very nice.  After a quick Amazon search I found some cable IDs and knew that it would be the perfect solution.  The set I purchased can be found here.

They are slim plastic tubes to put around the cable to ID them either by color, number, or text.  The identifiers come in different colors so you can easily see them and where they go.  They also come with the inserts so you can display inside what the cable is for.   One piece of the VR kit showing the cable IDs

These aren't just for VR kits though.  They can be used with PC cables, TVs, projectors, or gaming consoles.  How many times have you gone to unplug one of the 10 black cables you thought was the right one and it ended up being the fish tank or the whole network?  This is a cheap and simple solution to those minor situations.  (Plus the colors make the cables look pretty :) )

Word's Disappearing Ribbon Trick

Have you ever been using Word and wished for more vertical space? Or maybe, like what happened here and at one other library where all that was showing up in the Word window was the menu bar and the user was wondering: Where's the ribbon?

This post will help you answer these questions. In Word there is an option to hide the ribbon or unhide the ribbon by using Ctrl F1. This keyboard command works for both Word 2010 (if you have Windows 8) and Word 2013 (if you have Windows 10).

If you prefer using the mouse then the location of the clickable caret (looks like an upside down V) varies depending on which version of Word you have.

For Word 2010

In the upper right-hand corner of a Word window, directly to the left of the question mark inside a blue circle is the caret you click on to either hide the ribbon or show the ribbon. If it is hidden then the caret points down and if the ribbon is visible then the caret points up.



For Word 2013

In the upper right-hand corner of a Word window, directly to the right of the word "Editing" is the caret you click on to hide the ribbon.


If it is hidden to show it again you need to click on the icon directly to the right of the question mark in the upper right-hand corner.


It will show you three options: Auto-hide Ribbon, Show Tabs and Show Tabs and Commands. In order to show the ribbon again you will need to click on the Show Tabs and Commands option.