Convert web pages to PDF for printing/saving in Chrome and Firefox

Some time ago I came across a handy extension available for Chrome and Firefox called Print Friendly & PDF. You can use this extension to generate PDF files from web pages that can be used to either print or save the web page as a PDF file. However, I have noticed that the extension doesn't work exactly the same in both browsers. 

Pdf-chromeFor example, when converting the scls.info home page in Chrome, the extension only picked up the one visible slide at the time that I did the conversion.

Pdf-firefoxI then switched to Firefox, and found that in Firefox, the extension captured all of the slides in the slideshow in one PDF file. 

You can find these extensions in Chrome by going to the upper-right hand corner menu and going to More Tools>Extensions, and then searching the Chrome Web Store. In Firefox, go to the upper right-hand corner menu and choose Add-ons.

Given that the extension works differently in different browsers, I think it's a good rule of thumb to keep your options open when using browsers. If something doesn't look right or work well in one browser, try another browser.

Get more out of your searching - by getting less results (but more relevant ones)

I search for some really weird, hard to find stuff. Part of my job is doing authority control, which basically means I have to look up really obscure items (mostly foreign movies and anime) and make sure everyone in our catalog record is actually associated with that item and their name is spelled correctly. My searches have to be very narrow so I can find what I am actually looking for.

Here are a couple of the tricks I’ve picked up to get better results.

  • Use quotes around your keyword to search for that exactly
    • If you use this around more than one word, it will look for results that have that phrase in that order.
    • This also can be used if you want your results to REQUIRE a certain word if you put around just one word. If I don’t do this, sometimes I get a lot of results that just have part of my search query in it.
  • Use the minus sign (-) to remove results with the words after it
    • This is helpful in narrowing down results if you are not interested in certain results.
    • It can be used to specify what you are looking for when a search query could have more than one kind of result
      • A good example of this is the image search results for “seals” versus “seals -animal*"
        • The * is a wildcard symbol that broadens a search.
        • Animal* searches for animal, animals, etc.
    • I use the minus sign to get rid of results from other libraries. I’m not interested in looking at other library catalogs when I’m trying to figure out if a name is wrong or not, since it’s likely that library is using the same record we are so they are not helpful.

These two tricks work on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.

There are many more tips, but these are the two I use the most. Here are a couple of my searches I’ve done in the past for authority control work:

Searches

 

Library Podcasts

IMG_0772I've talked about my love of podcasts - especially book related ones - in TechBits in the past. In my post from 2015, the book related podcasts all come from the media - NPR and Book Riot - not from libraries. Since then, I've learned about some library podcasts and wanted to share them with you. I know there are more out there and if your library has a podcast, please add it in the comments.

SCLS Libraries:

Wisconsin Libraries:

Outside Wisconsin:

Interested in creating a podcast for your library? Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers shared a tutorial on using Anchor.fm to create a podcast. An article in Library Journal called "The Chatty Librarians: Podcasting" shares two libraries and their experiences launching podcasts. Technology has come a long way in making podcasts easy to create. If you create one, be sure to let us know so we can highlight it.

Happy listening!

Time Flies

I'm guessing that, like me, you never have enough time to accomplish everything you would like to do in a day. Periodically, I take a "time management" workshop. The most recent one that I attended suggested using Technology to gain back some time. The trainer proposed the following:

Time flies
Time Flies
  • Learn one new time-saving technology short cut or function each week
  • Read a book or attend a webinar each month on a time-saving topic
  • Attend an in-person conference or workshop annually

But, how does one get started? The trainer recommended finding a free web-site with tips and tricks. He suggested timemanagement.com. I took a look and there are enough short articles on it that you could probably do one a week for a year. Here is your first one: Keyboard Shortcuts. Are you already using these? If not, this is a good place to start saving time.

 


Fake News?

You're scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feed and you see a link to a news story that sounds far-fetched and is getting everyone riled up. Is it true? How can you tell?

The International Federation of Library Associatiations and Institutions (IFLA) made an infographic with eight simple steps (based on FactCheck.org's 2016 article, How to Spot Fake News) to help determine the verifiability of a given news article. This infographic is free for everyone to download, print, translate, and share. You can find links to the infographic in English and many other languages here: https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174

(Did you notice that librarians get a shout-out under the "Ask the Experts" section?  Woohoo!)

Some of the fact-checking websites that I use regularly include Snopes.com and Politifact.com

Do you get questions from patrons about evaluating the accuracy and truthfulness of news and other articles? What fact-checking sites do you recommend? What resources do you share in library training classes?

 

How_to_Spot_Fake_News

 

Digital Literacy Confidence

LogoDo you remember Project Play? It's still one of my favorite projects that I've worked on here at SCLS. While the Project Play website and information no longer exists, the concept of 23 Things is still very much alive. Let me explain.

I recently read an interview in Library Hotline called "Champion of Confidence" between Michael Stephens and Sally Pewhairangi, a librarian from New Zealand. In the interview, Sally talks about confidence being a big part of Digital Literacy. If you think about it, this makes sense. There's a great deal of self-doubt and fear about trying new things - especially for library staff or patrons who didn't grow up in the digital era.

This interview led me to Sally's website called The Library Boss*. I explored around, read some of the blog posts, and took the quiz to find out my Digital Super-Power. According to Sally, there are six Digital Super-Powers: adaptability, critical thinking, curiosity, empathy, patience, and problem solving. Guess which one I am?** Which one are you?

And, being the CE Consultant, I wondered if Sally would be a good speaker and if there were any archived webinars that she's presented. And, there is! I watched it and found the accompanying Padlet site which includes questions and answers by attendees of the webinar and others in the Australia and New Zealand library community. One of the comments referenced a project called 11 1/2 Things for Digital Literacy (a play on the 23 Things project). It turns out there have been a number of 23 Things projects focusing on Digital Literacy recently. Here are a few that I found:

In addition to topics like blogging, RSS feeds, and photos that were in the original 23 Things projects, the Digital Literacy 23 Things topics include digital security, accessibility, diversity, fake news and filter bubbles, gamification, augmented and virtual reality, digital curation, altmetrics, mindmapping, infographics, and more. All of these sites are open for anyone to participate. Check out some of the topics that interest you and play - it's the best way to learn!

*It also led me to figure out the time difference between Madison and New Zealand. Hmmm..what time to schedule a webinar...

**Not surprisingly, my Digital Super-Power is empathy!

Instagram Stories are now being archived

Instagram-iconI am fairly new to Instagram and have just started playing around with the Story feature.  This feature seems to be very popular with my teenage daughter and her friends.  Stories are a way to share things with your followers on a temporary basis (the story will disappear after 24 hours). I can see the appeal, but being in the library world, I tend to want to save any and all information.

Thankfully, Instagram now automatically saves all your stories for you in Archive. It also added a place to show them off in your profile called Highlight.  Go to your profile and click on Edit Profile.  Then select the Archive tab. You can then select a Story to view it or share it again. You'll also see an option that says Highlight; select it to have that Story appear in an area just under your profile.

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.

Word_Ribbon_04

 

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.

Word_Ribbon_01

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.

Word_Ribbon_02

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.

Word_Ribbon_03