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Using Google to find a book by its color

GoogleImageYellowMonkey Have you ever run into this situation?

A patron (or maybe even you)...

  • is looking for a book
  • can't remember the title of the book
  • can remember what the book is about (generally) and what color the cover was

Turns out that Google Image search can be handy way to find books by various image attributes.  You can filter the image search by color, for example.  Here's a search I did for "Children's book monkey" where I filtered by yellow -- turns out there are monkey books besides Curious George that have a yellow cover.  Cool!

Check out this great post from SearchReSearch that covers the details (and has a lovely screenshot).

Looking up the relatives

AncestryLibrary Ever wanted to do research on your relatives?  (and I'm talking genealogy research on your ancestors... not looking up your wayward cousin in Wisconsin's Circuit Court Access database--- though that can be fun, too!)

Jean will be hosting an AncestryLibrary webinar on June 30 at 10am.  The description reads:

Have you seen the Ancestry ads on TV? Or seen the Who Do You Think You Are show on NBC? Researching family history is very popular, and you have access to one of the most powerful family history databases available – AncestryLibrary. Coincidentally, AncestryLibrary is one of the most heavily used of SCLS databases. Join Jean Anderson, SCLS CE Coordinator, for this program (the first of two) and explore the variety of resources available within AncestryLibrary.

This should be a great overview of one of my favorite online resources!  If you'd like to learn more (either for yourself or to help your patrons with their genealogy research), sign up here.

BadgerLearn

Badgerglasses You may already have seen mentions of BadgerLearn in Online Update with links to the BadgerLearn site and to an introductory video tutorial.

But have you been there yet?

If not, take a minute right now and have a quick peek. It'll just take a minute, I swear!

Already there are 44 items in the "E-books and E-reader Devices" category  (including PDF guides and videos)!   And there are 144 items in the "Databases and Information Portals" category (including the archived BadgerLunch training sessions)!  Sweeeeeeeet.  Our little badger is very excited to take a look at some of these.

There is also a search box in the upper right corner if you are looking for something specific (try a search for "Nook" -- and just look at all those results!).  The project is just starting out, so the content offerings should be growing. 

You can request an account so that you may log in, rate or comment on items, and get recommendations.  Libraries can also share materials with the project and staff can volunteer to help.

Won't it be great to have easy access to shared training materials instead of having to re-invent the wheel?

If you do have more than a minute (say, 5 minutes and 16 seconds...), the Introduction to BadgerLearn video is a great overview of the project.

Use Alt + F9 to Find and Replace URLs in Word

Last week I was working along merrily in Microsoft Word, using Find and Replace to change URLs in a document, until I realized that I was only changing the link's text... not the URL the link would go to when clicked. In Word, a link's text and its destination URL have to be changed separately if you are using Find and Replace!

Screen shot showing mismatched link text and destination URL

I was worried I was going to have to start over and change each URL by hand, so I Googled up a solution: Alt + F9 is the keystroke to show Field Codes, including destination URLs. After hitting Alt + F9, the destination URL for each link was editable through Find and Replace.

Screen shot after Alt + F9, showing the destination URL for the link

Several Find and Replaces later, I hit Alt + F9 to toggle back to having the destination URLs hidden, and moused over my links to double-check that each link's text matched its destination. Success!

Screen shot showing that the link text and destination URL match

Next-Gen Wifi Avaliable Coming Soon!

Are you tired of Public IP? Does the thought of rebooting your wireless server send you into a panic? Well I've got some good news for you. SCLS will soon provide our members with a next generation wireless option. Now as you know, all cool new tech stuff have fancy code names but I can't think of one. Help me name this new wifi service by position your idea in the comments.

This new system is AWESOME! It has a ton of new features, will be unbelievably reliable, and will lead us into the next generation of wireless services! Here are three really cool NEW features:Wifi1

  • Wireless for library staff with laptops(full resources to network printers, file shares, etc) 
  • Awesome reporting!  Want to see how many apple devices connected this year?  No problem!
  • Reliable. The equipment is located at SCLS so your down time will be very minimal.

What equipment do you need? Well that's a good question! You will NOT need a wireless server. I repeat, your wireless server will go away. You will need to purchase new wireless access points and the cost is not finalized. When we have exact numbers, we will let you know.

When is this really neat new service going to be ready? Fitchburg is our first site and it is already up and running. As soon as we get the back office stuff figured out you will be able to get this service. My best guess right now is September/October.

Ok, I'm super excited and want to know more! It's great that you are so excited and I will get more info out as soon as I can.  If you have 
questions please feel free to call or email me.

All about CAPTCHAs

More stupid captchasphoto © 2010 Chris Foley | more info (via: Wylio)

Have you ever wondered about those crazy sets of letters and numbers that some websites prompt you to enter when you fill out a form?

That's a CAPTCHA, and MakeUseOf.com has written a lovely article covering everything you might want to know about CAPTCHAs but were afraid to ask. I learned some fascinating things that I didn't even know I wanted to know!

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/wanted-captchas-afraid-technology-explained/

Having fun with PDFs

  PDF-XChange-Viewer-Pro Sometimes I want to make cosmetic changes to a PDF document I've downloaded. Usually it's a manual that I want to make notes or highlights on before I pass it along to someone else. I use a free program called PDF-XChange Viewer to make these changes. It makes it easy to highlight or strike through text. It also lets you add text to a form, which is nice if you print out forms and fill them in by hand. Adding arrows, stamps and sticky notes is easy too. Deleting any mistakes youv'e made along the way is as simple as a right click and delete.

PDF-XChange Viewer does require administrative level privileges to install, so you will need to contact the Help Desk if you want it on a  SCLS supported staff PC.

A few tidbits

I am reminded...

Day 266 - Embarrassedphoto © 2009 Ken Wilcox | more info (via: Wylio)

Yesterday's post included a link to an article reviewing some of the most popular URL shorteners.  Unfortunately, the site hosting the article was dishing out some nasties this morning as identified today by the antivirus software used on SCLS PCs and also by Google  (neither of these flagged the site yesterday when I was composing my post, and the site appears to be cleaned up again and Google is no longer reporting it as malicious).  

Other than being very embarrassed about linking to a site that was clearly having some issues this morning, I am also reminded of some things by this:

  1. USE ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
  2. Sometimes even links where you know where you're going may be harmful
  3. Always be cautious when navigating the internet
  4. Consider other actions/products that may help to identify harmful websites:

Shorter URLs

What's a URL?

A URL ("Uniform Resource Locator") is an address of a file or other resource on the Web.  Sometimes, like www.scls.info, they're nice and short.  Other times they might look more like this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=4610+South+Biltmore+Lane,+Madison,+WI&aq=0&sll=43.421009,-77.475586&sspn=22.643772,39.506836&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=4610+S+Biltmore+Ln,+Madison,+Wisconsin+53718&ll=43.147356,-89.293098&spn=0.005558,0.009645&t=h&z=17

Why would you shorten a URL?

  1. You want to disguise the underlying URL.  Maybe you're up to no good and you want your victims to click on it and be whisked away to a page that will infect their PC with viruses.  OR... maybe you just want a simpler URL that's easier to type
  2. You want a URL with fewer characters.  Again, this may be to simplify it for typing and sharing.  OR, as is common these days, it may be because you want to tweet or text it and you have limitations on the number of characters you may use.

How can you easily shorten a URL for sharing?

bit.ly

There are many commercial services that will shorten URLs for you.  You paste the long URL into a box on their site, click a button to shorten it, and the service spits out a shorter URL that you can use. What happens behind the scenes is that the short URL they provide actually redirects to the longer URL you submitted.

(Note: the original link was toTripWire Magazine, but their site appears to be dishing out "nasties" so I have removed the link.  Very sorry about that -- a bad choice on my part!)  REVISED:  Take a look at this Lifehacker article about choosing a "speedy and reliable" URL shortener:  http://lifehacker.com/5496415/all-url-shorteners-are-not-equal-pick-a-speedy-and-reliable-one 

And here's a list of some unusual ("cool"?) URL shorteners from MakeUseOf.com: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/6-cool-url-shorteners-twist/

Some URL shortening services provide toolbar buttons to make this process even easier. And some services allow you to create an account to keep track of URLs you have shortened and see how many times these shortened URLs are clicked on.

Be cautious about shortened URLs

Because shortened URLs take you somewhere else, it's important to use some caution and common sense.  Take a look at the TechBits post "Sneaky little URLs" for more information.

Thanks for Sue at Reedsburg for suggesting this topic!