You can CAN (Community Area Network)

6a00d8341d32e053ef01bb09ece15f970d-320wiFor the past two years I have been fortunate to participate in the Wiscnet Community Area Network Advisory Group. Some of you may already participate in a CAN and some of you may never have heard about CANs. The 2016/2017 Advisory group created a white paper on CANs that does an excellent job of explaining what they are and what you should know about them. When CAN discussions begin, one of the first thing that the group talks about is defining "anchor institutions." The public library in a community should always be considered an anchor institution. A library should be prepared to have someone participate in the discussions even just to make their presence known. The WiscNet CAN Advisory group developed this workflow document that makes it really easy for a group to work through the process of forming a CAN (or not). If you are interested in hearing more about CANs, there will be presentations at the upcoming WiscNet Connections conference. Yes, you can understand CANS. 

Sharing videos via email

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Have you ever wanted to share a video via email and was told that you can't because the file was too big? Kristine from LDI had this same problem and she even tried zipping the video to make it smaller, but it was still too big. She ended up finding a solution in the Office 365 application called Stream. Using Stream she was able to upload her video and then get an online link which she used in the body of her email. She said that it worked perfectly.

To find this application you would need to be logged into your Office 365 Outlook SCLS email account. Then in the upper left-hand corner you would click on the button that has nine little squares in it. You should then see a list of applications, one of which is called Stream. Click on Stream and you will be taken to the Stream website where you can "Securely upload" your video. You will then be given a link to your video. You can then use that link in an email to send to whomever you want.

Photo by Gabriel Petry on Unsplash

It never hurts to double-check

Many libraries subscribe to online databases like NoveList Plus, Chilton, AtoZ Databases, and others. If access to a subscription isn't working, hopefully the library's staff or patrons will report the problem to the library, and the library will spring into action to fix the problem (for SCLS libraries, by letting the SCLS Help Desk know about it).

However, sometimes nobody catches the problem until it's been a problem for quite a while. For this reason, I'd like to suggest that a couple of times a year (especially in late January after yearly subscription changes are made), library staff double-check access to the library's subscriptions just to make sure everything is working like it should be. Check from an in-library computer, and also give a check from a computer not at the library to make sure remote access is working, too. Lion2

SCLS Electronic Resources

If access to one of your library's Electronic Resources isn't working like it should, please contact the Help Desk.

Original lion photo by Lemuel Butler on Unsplash

2018 Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference

Wisconsin-2018-01_3Mark your calendar for the Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference, January 23-25, but draw a big red circle around January 24, because that's when the Tech Trends Track programs are scheduled! The Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference is a state-wide virtual conference developed by the Nicolet Federated Library System and supported by 15 other library systems in Wisconsin. The program lineup includes practical and inspiring web-only sessions that you can attend whether it's 40 degrees or 40 below. This year we're looking forward to these technology-oriented programs (30 minutes each):

  • Best of the Web 2018 (register)
  • Sharpening the Bleeding Edge: Four Technologies that Librarians Should Watch (register)
  • Tech Notes from the Field (featuring TechBits author Craig, so don't miss this one) (register)

To attend, simply register for as many programs as you want. There are no registration fees and anyone is welcome to participate. Sessions will be recorded for those who can't attend online.

Using Google Calendar for Task Reminders

I have been using Google Calendar as an online calendar for years, but more recently I have utilized the "Reminder" feature to keep track of daily tasks, especially repeating tasks.

To create a Reminder, click on the appropriate day, enter the information, and select the Reminder button (instead of the Event button).  Googlecalendarreminder-create

You can set up the Reminder for a certain time, or leave it as "all day." You can make it a one-time task, or set up a schedule for the task.

The many options for Repeating the task are highly useful. There are multiple tasks that I do on a regular schedule, such as monthly, every other month, etc. I even have Reminders set for tasks that are only done once a year. 

Googlecalendarreminder-markasdoneWhen you have completed the task for the day, you can mark the task as done to cross it off of your list (hover your mouse over the task to get the Mark as done option). If you don't mark the task done, it will appear on the next day. The tasks keep appearing until you mark them done or delete them. 

Exploring Chrome Extensions, Week 3: Better History

Welcome back to the monthly Techbits where we look at interesting Chrome extensions. This time we are checking out an extension to enhance your browsing history: Better History.

The default Chrome history is organized from top to bottom, descending from newest to oldest sites with page breaks to indicate days. While this does work just fine, it can be a bit of a chore to search through and, quite frankly, is pretty messy.

The Better History extension seeks to add an additional layer of organization to Chrome’s browsing history. It does this in several ways. First, it separates days by use of tabs at the top of the page. Second, it still displays sites from newest to oldest viewed but page breaks based on the hour. You can also access these hourly page breaks via some handy page links at the top of the history page.

You can get Better History HERE!

Community Data - How do we compare?

Want to understand the industries, occupations, poverty, education, cost of living, and more in your community? 

Want to go further and see how you compare to other communities, the state, or the nation?  

Want to know how your community has changed over time? 

If so, here are a few resources to help make the analysis easier: 

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DataUSA: https://datausa.io/

Combines multiple public U.S. Government data sources into one visualization tool. The data sources are cited so you can check for more current data or actually get the underlying data so you can generate your own charts. Don’t miss the ADD COMPARISON option which allows you to compare to another community.

 

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Applied Population Lab: https://apl.wisc.edu/

The Applied Population Lab, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison publishes research on Wisconsin trends. The reports and chartbooks tend to be at the county level, but many of the websites can be searched by village or town. Be sure to check-out their Wisconsin Food Security Project: http://foodsecurity.wisc.edu/ and the GetFacts: https://getfacts.wisc.edu/ websites.

 

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American FactFinder: https://factfinder.census.gov

The primary source of data used by many websites. The advanced search allows you to get the details by geographic areas including summary data for a neighboring community, the state of Wisconsin, or the entire United States. Explore the various topics including Product Type-Comparative Profiles that looks at trends over time of demographic, economic, housing, and social characteristics for populations of 5,000 or more. For details on what data can be compared, go to Comparing American Community Survey (ACS) Data: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/guidance/comparing-acs-data.html

Unsplash for images

Looking for beautiful pictures to use in newsletters, blog posts, social media posts, and more?

Winnefox Library System's "Library Sparks" recently highlighted Unsplash, a source for free, high-resolution photos. Crediting isn't required, but the site provides a super-easy way to credit the photographers by providing text to embed a badge or text credit. I am in LOVE with it already! Just look at some of these beauties...

Love
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Hearts
Photo by grafxart photo on Unsplash

Love lights
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

 

Check out the review of Unsplash, and give Library Sparks a look, too -- it's a great source for all sorts of helpful library-related tips and information, and it's one of my favorite blogs!

Focused Inbox

A few months ago Microsoft implemented the Focused Inbox in the Office 365 Email, or Outlook on the Web.  Microsoft's secret algorithms decide which emails are the most important to you and directs them to the Focused Inbox.  The rest are directed to the "Other" portion of your Inbox.  Personally, I like the Focused Inbox.  It is doing a pretty good job of deciding what emails I actually read and displaying them in the Focused section.  I have had a few co-workers ask me how to turn this feature off.  They prefer to have a single Inbox, mostly because it means they don't have to switch back-and-forth between the two Inboxes.  You can also turn off this feature by following the instructions below.

  1. Click the Settings gear at the upper-right
  2. Click Mail beneath the "Your app settings" heading
  3. In the Layout section, click Focused Inbox
  4. Select Don't sort messages
  5. Click Save
Inbox Before
Before

 

Inbox After
After

It's also a good idea to train your Focused Inbox if you do keep it.  If you see mail going to the wrong Inbox, right-click the email and select (Always) move to Focused Inbox or (Always) move to Other Inbox.

Holiday Comment Contest!

Xbox KinectHere's an opportunity to win a gently used Xbox 360 Kinect with 3 games for your library! The game console comes with 4GB of memory, one Kinect sensor, two wireless controllers, all the connecting cables and is wifi capable. The games included are Kinect Sports (Boxing, Track & Field, Soccer, Table Tennis, Beach Volleyball and Championship Bowling), Dance Central 2, and Kinect Adventures (20 different heart-pounding adventures).

How can you enter? Simply leave us a comment and share one or more of the following:

  • your favorite post(s)
  • things you've learned about through TechBits that you're using at your library
  • topics you'd like us to cover
  • an area of technology you're interested in for your library

Official Rules: To enter, leave a comment on this post by Monday, January 1st. We will draw a winner at random. Provide your real e-mail address so we can get in touch with you later (it will not be posted on the Internet). Anyone can comment (we're very interested in the feedback!), but you must be an employee of a South Central Library System member library to win. The winner will be announced on the blog.

We'd like to make TechBits as interesting and relevant as we can, and every comment and bit of feedback helps! If you would like to comment, but not be entered to win, just say "comment only" in your comment.Xbox Kinect Games