Office 2016 Reference Cards

We will be upgrading the version of Microsoft Office on all SCLS-supported staff computers to 2016 Professional Plus during the week of August 6th.  The interface for Office 2016 is fairly similar toDesk-glasses-laptop-3061 the 2013 version, but the upcoming upgrade is a good reason to re-post information from a previous TechBits articleCustomGuide's Quick Reference Cards are nice tools to learn the best way to accomplish common tasks in Microsoft Office.  The 2016 reference cards are linked from the SCLS Technology page.

Browsers and Insecure Websites

You've no doubt read all of our recent blog postings lately about HTTPS, like SCLS and https and More on HTTPS, where we've talked about the big push on the Internet to make ALL websites secure. So we worked to secure our website along with all of your websites as well (thanks, Rose!).

This big push to make all websites secure was coming from the browser companies who were starting to display messages saying if a site was secure or not.

Like Firefox that pops up a message box telling you if a site is insecure when you log in.

Firefox_Message

Chrome is also going to be displaying a message starting with version 68 which comes out July 24, 2018.

Chrome_Message
I think these browser messages may over time become more of a warning than a recommendation because Internet security is becoming so important to users, especially with all the data breaches that have been happening. If you have any vendor websites that you log into that are not secure ask them how soon they will be secure. Be safe when surfing!

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!

Digital Bytes

WVLS-DigitalBytesWisconsin Valley Library System (WVLS) has launched a new training series called Digital Bytes, whose purpose is to provide short, consistent training in a recorded, digital format. Topics will include some tech topics topics like email etiquette, social media highlights, what's new in Facebook, and more.

The first episode launched last week -- "Customer Service, the Role of Positive Language" and can be found on the Digital Bytes page of the WVLS website.

If you like short video trainings, keep an eye out for these!

Sharing videos via email

Gabriel-petry-249921

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

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.

Printing a PDF form on your receipt printer

Let's say that you have a PDF form that you want to print out on your receipt printer. If you print using the settings we use as defaults the form doesn't print out well. If you change the default settings then you have to remember to change them back BEFORE you print a patron's receipt or it won't look good. There's got to be an easier way you say! Well, let me tell you the simple solution that requires no changing of default printer settings on your receipt printer.

The steps are as follows:
1. Open the PDF form in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
2. Select your receipt printer in the drop down printer list found in the upper left-hand corner

Step_02

3. Click the Page Setup... button found in the lower left-hand corner

Step_03

4. Click the drop down next to Size

Step_04

5. Choose 72mm x 200mm

Step_05

6. Click OK
7. The preview area of the screen should now show a better view of the PDF form

Step_07

8. Click the Print button found in the lower right-hand corner

I think this is a lot easier than changing the default printer settings of your receipt printer. At least that's what LAV and PDS said when they wanted to print a PDF form that they got from Sue Ann at REE. Thanks Sue Ann!

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.

 

Wireless Laptop Labs

I’m sure everyone knows SCLS has wireless laptop kits for libraries to borrow for in library training and programs.  We currently have 3 kits available and you can reserve up to 2 at a time.  For those that need a refresher here is everything the kits come with:

 

7 Laptops

A wireless access point Laptop, Projector, Surge protector, and access point included in Labs.

Multimedia projector with RGB cable

A surge protector

Extension cords

Documentation Binder

 

As of June 2017, all the laptops have been updated with the latest versions of software and browsers! All laptops now have Microsoft Office 2013 instead of 2010 too.  It keeps getting better because Lab 3 has brand new laptops with Windows 10!  Labs 1 and 2 have Windows 7.  Note: Labs 2 and 3 do not have CD/DVD drives

These kits are great for staff or patron training and programs and includes different software and browsers.  Each laptop comes in a carrying case and includes the power adapter and a wired mouse. 

If your library has Enterprise Wireless the laptops will automatically connect to the signal.  If you don’t have Enterprise Wireless, it comes with a wireless access point that is super simple to setup and laptops will connect automatically. 

These kits can book up fast for programs and you can reserve them for 2 weeks.  To check the availability for Lab 1, Lab 2, and Lab 3 click the appropriate lab to check the calendar.  Or to reserve the lab use this handy form here

The Many Faces of USB

First, let me start with a little explanation of USB. USB or Universal Serial Bus is an industry standard that was developed in the mid-1990s that helped standardize the connection of computer peripherals to computers. It allowed the two devices to communicate and also gave the peripheral power. Since its development it has changed and evolved over the years and that is what I'd like to tell you about in this post.

In the beginning there was USB 1.x and the cable had a Type-A connector on one end. This connector type is used on most keyboards and mice, PCs usually have multiple ports of this type, and many other devices and power adapters use this type of port for data transfers and/or charging.

Then came USB 2.0 and the cable had many different connectors on one end. The end that plugged into the PC still used a Type-A connector, but the end that connected to the peripheral is one of the following types of connectors:

  • Mini - This is the standard connector type for mobile device and is still used in some cameras that have non-standard connectors.
  • Micro - This is the current standard for all mobile and portable devices, except Apple devices.
  • Type-B - This is an almost square connector that is used mostly for printers and other powered devices that connect to a computer. They’re much less common than type-A.

Next came USB 3.0 and the cable was just like USB 2.0 except that it was much faster and used a SuperSpeed mode. This type was signified on PCs by an "SS" next to the USB port and sometimes the center of the port was blue, but not always. The speed for USB 3.0 was improved to give us USB 3.1 Gen 1. That wasn't fast enough for some so they improved the speed even more to give use USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Finally there is USB-C and the cable is nothing like any of the past USB connectors. It is smaller, reversible, fast and it can both receive and provide a lot more power than previous versions of USB. Apple shocked the world last year when they unveiled a new MacBook with a single USB-C port and nothing else. Take a look at Craig's previous TechBits post entitled "What is USB type C?" for more information on USB-C.

One quick side note: Do you ever have a problem plugging a USB cable in? I know I have. Well I found the answer in an article from David Pogue at Yahoo that's entitled "How to Tell if the USB Plug Is Right-Side Up".  He says: "Only one side of the metal USB connector itself has a seam, a line, going down the middle. That’s the bottom." Take a look at Craig's previous TechBits post entitled "The proper way to plug in a USB cable" for another way to tell.

Here's one picture of the different USB connector types.  If you want to see more then do an image search in Google and you'll finds loads of pictures.

Usb_connectors

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Usb_connectors.JPG