Office 365 login change

MessageYou may have noticed recently when you log into Office 365 for email that a prompt with the message “We have a new sign-in experience! Try it now” appears. Sometime late last month Microsoft added this “update”. From what I can see nothing changes other than the login screen, rather than having your user name and password on the same screen you select your user name then another window appears to type in your password. If you don’t like the new look you can revert back…for now. At the login screen click “Go back to the old one” in the bottom right corner. I have a feeling that eventually everyone will be migrated over and you won’t have a choice to go back any longer.

I switched to the updated login on one of the accounts I check on a regular basis that is programed to auto log in a couple weeks ago and I didn’t have to do anything different. I switched this morning on my regular account and I don’t really notice any difference other than the picture that looks like sunny California is gone. I also feel like I’m a better person than I was yesterday too, but that could just be a coincidence.

New login with option to go back    Password


Mouse Settings Now Accessible on Public PCs

We received a request to grant patrons access to the mouse settings on public computers.  The settings can now be accessed on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 computers by opening the Accessibility folder on the Desktop.  On Windows 7 computers, you will go to the Desktop and open the Ease of Access folder.

The speed of the mouse pointer can be changed after selecting the Pointer Options tab.  This could be useful to people who have difficulty controlling the mouse at its default speed.

Pointer Speed

Another nice feature is the ability to change the primary button configuration of the mouse.  Many left-handers prefer to use the right mouse button for selecting and dragging.  This can be changed on the Buttons tab.

Primary Button

PCs with the MyPC reservation system reboot automatically at the end of a patron session.  The mouse settings will revert back to the default configuration after the restart.  On catalog PCs and full internet stations without MyPC, the settings will only revert back if the patron initiated a reboot or logoff at the end of his/her session.

Printing in Landscape Mode

    It's not often that I need to print a webpage in landscape mode. I found the other day that I needed to however because the site had a lot of information that became squished and hard to read in standard portrait mode.  I wasn't sure if users knew this was possible within web pages and not just reserved for Microsoft Office Documents.  Each browser is capable of this and the steps slightly vary between them.

Google Chrome:   Printing in Chrome

    At the print preview screen:  

        Select the drop down box next to Layout and select Landscape.


    At the print preview screen:

        Select Landscape within the top menu bar.

Internet Explorer:   

    At the print preview screen:

        Select the icon with the sideways paper for Landscape.

Microsoft Edge:   

    At the print preview screen:

        Select the drop down box next to Orientation and select Landscape.

What is IoT?


You may have heard a lot about IoT in the news lately; like the Wisconsin company that is offering microchip implants to their employees that can be used to scan them into the building and purchase food. But what exactly is IoT? IoT stands for the Internet of Things and is a system of devices, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network. So this includes pets with GPS tracker implants, your car's TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System), a person with a heart monitor implant, your Alexa or Echo or even the books in your library if they have RFID tags in them. All of these devices have the ability to transfer data over a network via either a wireless or RFID signal. While all of this data transfer makes our lives easier there are concerns over security. People want to know how to make sure that their information stays secure and wondering if someone would be able to hack into their toaster and thereby get access to their entire network. The IoT also opens up companies all over the world to more security threats and we also have the issues of privacy and data sharing. The U.S. government is now getting involved in this as well with some new legislation that they're introducing to require vendors to ensure that their products are patchable and conform to industry security standards. Unfortunately though, this new legislation only applies to Internet-connected devices that are sold to the U.S. government. So I guess consumers are on their own for now to guard their privacy and protect their data.

I hope you have enjoyed this short and cursory overview of IoT. If you want more information about it there is plenty of it out there to be found using your favorite search engine.

What should a modern Integrated Library System offer?

What should a modern Integrated Library System (ILS) offer to the library staff and patrons it serves? That is the question that SCLS libraries will try to find out as they do an evaluation of the current market place this fall. 

So where will we start? What are we looking for? Most likely we will start by making sure that any potential ILS meets the basic needs that we already have. We know that our ILS needs to handle the library staff functionality (circulation and technical services) easily and efficiently. Holds management is super critical to a very large public library consortium such as ours. However, much has changed in the ILS world since the last time we looked and we will need to make sure that we understand what new options are out there. One place to look is Marshall Breeding's annual Library Systems Report. In the most recent article, he speaks of the great changes in the market place (vendors buying up other vendors). 

Perhaps what will make the options available to us stand out from each other is what we are calling the "Patron Interfaces". This certainly includes the Public Access Catalog, but it is so much more. We need better integration with other databases and online resources such as digital books. We need integration of enhanced content such as reviewing tools. The mobile app has now become a critical component. We want digital library cards and better "discoverability", including through web browsers (AKA linked data). But, is there even more? Perhaps the next step up will be seamless integration of the catalog with a library's web sight. One of our library directors, Carrie Portz from Spring Green, just shared with me the following article about this: "What Library Will Create the First Real Website? (Please Stand Up)." I found this to be very enlightening reading and this idea may give us something new and exciting to strive for. 



O365 inbox rules

Recently we made some changes which resulted in my receiving dozens of emails every day about the status of daily scheduled tasks. It's great to be able to see the results contained in these messages if something goes wrong, but most of the time I don't need to look at them and wish they weren't cluttering up my inbox.

The solution?  Office 365 inbox rules.
Inbox Rules
You can create inbox rules in O365 to automatically perform specific actions (move, copy, delete, pin, mark, forward, redirect, send...) on messages as they arrive, based on criteria you determine. In my case, I created inbox rules to automatically dump these automated task emails into a specific folders where I could reference them if I needed.

Create a rule from a messageThere are 2 ways to create inbox rules--

  • through the Settings>Mail>Inbox and sweep rules menu where you can build inbox rules from the ground up
  • by creating a rule directly from a message

You may have to do some minor tweaking to get the rules set up exactly as you'd like, but they can be well worth the time you'll save managing your many messages.

Gone in a Flash


This week, Adobe announced it plans to stop updating and distributing Flash at the end of 2020. While this will come as a bit of a relief to some due to the seemingly never ending circle of vulnerabilities, warnings that your Flash player was out of date and updates, it does mean that any site that relies on Flash will need to transition to a different format such as HTML5, WebGL or WebAssembly.  (Flash updates are one of the reason we love Ninite.)

A number of browsers have already switched to asking to run Flash by default and, as it gets closer to the deadline, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge and Firefox will start disabling Flash by default. It will still be possible to enable it for a website until Adobe ceases support in 2020. Facebook has also said that they will shut off Flash games by the end of 2020.

So if your website still relies on Flash, you’ll need to start looking at the alternatives.  (And if there's a game you haven't finished yet that may not get updated, you might want to finish it too.)

Upcoming Tech Continuing Education

LauraSolomon-captionLaura Solomon, the Library Services Manager for the Ohio Public Library Information Network, is the morning speaker for this year's Tech Days. The workshop will be held on September 12 from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Fitchburg Public Library and registration is now open. Choose from six different breakout sessions for the afternoon including STEM Programming with No Budget, #Hashtag: Promoting Your Library through Social Media, and our own Craig Ellefson and Tamara Ramski talking about the Digitization Kits.

If you're not attending the Wisconsin Library Association Conference, check out this opportunity. On October 18, Library Journal and School Library Journal are hosting their 8th annual FREE TechKnowledge (formerly the Digital Shift) Virtual Conference. This year's theme is Creating Equity Through Technology. Among this year's presenters are Jim Neal, the President of the American Library Association.

If you are attending the Wisconsin Library Association Conference* (and I really hope you do!), we are pleased to have some great technology programs for you including a keynote from Linda Liukas, a Finnish computer programmer and children's author, and Jessamyn West, library technologist, will be the WLTF luncheon speaker on Thursday. Registration will be open soon!

Also in October, the iSchool at UW Madison has a new course called 25 Free Tools for Librarians* that sounds awesome. Among the tools that will be covered are Wunderlist, Todo, Notability, Dragon, Convertible, Instapaper, and Kahoot. If I weren't otherwise occupied in October, I'd be signing up for this one!

Happy Learning!

** SCLS Member public libraries may use CE Grant funds to attend.


Search websites directly using Chrome’s Omnibox

I just learned a really cool feature using Chrome’s Omnibox (Chrome’s url address bar). You can use the Omnibox to directly search a specific website instead of having to go to that website’s home page. This will allow the user reach the desired content directly. The search feature could be really useful for someone who searches a website a lot like Wikipedia. The only caveat to using this feature is that you must have searched the website prior to attempting this.

Check to see if you can use this feature:

In Chrome > Go to Settings > Scroll down to the Search engine header > Click Manage search engines > Make sure the site you intend to search is listed in Other search engines, if it is you are good to go, if not then you will have to go to the website and do a quick search. After this it will automatically be added to the Other search engines location in Settings.

Search sites directly using Omnibox:

*We will be using as an example but this will work for any website

In Chrome > Start by clicking in the Omnibox (address bar) > Begin typing > You should notice on the right the Omnibox will display a message, “Press TAB to search Wikipedia” > Once we hit TAB the Omnibox will change slightly, showing “Search Wikipedia | “ in light blue > We can now type anything we would like to search for and click ENTER > You will now do a direct search of Wikipedia for whatever term you used.

Do your ads on Facebook ever seem a little off?


Have you ever asked yourself why is there an ad in my newsfeed suggesting a product that I would never buy?  I started getting ads for things I really wasn't interested in without knowing the cause.  You may not know this, but liking certain things on Facebook can cause the ads that display in your news feed to change. 

What would be ideal is an option to turn off ads altogether.  However, Facebook's business is based on providing marketers with detailed information on its users' interests.  Facebook primarily bases this information on what users’ follow. However, if you "like" something on Facebook that's a little out of your normal interests, you may start seeing unwanted ads. 

You do have the ability to alter your ad experience by following several steps.  First, go to Settings > Ads > click "Your Interests." You can delete an interest by hitting delete on the right of each interest. Also, under the "Advertisers you've interacted with" tab, you'll see all the advertisers whose ads you've clicked on and/or provided your information.  Here you'll also have the ability to delete entries from your ad-interaction information. Under the "whose ads you've clicked" sub-tab, you can even choose to stop seeing ads from a particular advertiser altogether. Hope this helps to make your Facebook ad experience more pleasant.