More Tech Learning Resources

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I was catching up on my blog reading yesterday and ended up spending quite a bit of time at Jessamyn West's site, librarian.net. What caught my eye was her latest post "Free tech learning resources - short list"

I've written about digital literacy sites before here and here. Jessamyn's post caught my eye because of the graphic - parts of the handout are in Chinese! Turns out the New York Public Library put all of their tech handouts online and they're out there for everyone to use. And, in case you need them, they're available in Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and of course, English.

The other thing I learned in this post is that there's a Facebook group called Technology Training & Libraries. Request to join has been submitted - and accepted! Thanks, Jessamyn!

OverDrive News & Training

OverDriveIconBruce Smith at WiLS reported on Monday about some changes that happened to Wisconsin's Digital Library yesterday. First, OverDrive Help has been updated and is very streamlined. Take a couple minutes to check it out. It's very easy to use! Second, you'll  notice that Featured Collections has moved to the left hand column to better highlight these collections. 

For those of you who use Reports in OverDrive's Marketplace, you'll be pleased to know that there is new training available. OverDrive reported yesterday that there are four new training modules that will cover Collection Usage, Website & User Statistics, Purchases & Subscriptions and Exporting Reports. The ones most applicable to most SCLS libraries will be Collection Usage & Website & User Statistics. You can find the training at OverDrive's Learning Center

In last week's Online Update, there is an article about OverDrive Support training. For those of you who are on the front lines in providing OverDrive support to your patrons, I'll be starting a 5 week online course on April 21 (register here). The course, created by WiLS, is designed to help the transition from WiLS providing direct patron support via email to libraries providing that support. The transition will take place on June 2.

OverDrive Audio Updates & Changes

If you're a regular audiobook listener through Wisconsin's Digital Library like me, there are some changes you should Listeningknow about.

There have always been two audio formats available: WMA (Windows Media Audio) and MP3. There are more WMA titles than MP3 (over 12,400 and 8,500 respectively). OverDrive recently announced they will be discontinuing the sale of WMA titles and at some point in the future, the only audio format will be MP3. For people like me, who regulary use the OverDrive Media Console on my home computer to transfer and convert WMA titles onto my iPhone, the transfer process should be easier.

Speaking of OverDrive Media Console, OverDrive recently released Version 3.3 for Windows. It includes a few design changes, but no major changes for us regular users.

Also updated was OMC 3 for Windows 8. This is available in the Windows Store. OverDrive created a training module to help library staff with the changes in OMC for Windows 8. You can view it here on the Learning Center. You'll find it under Products and Services.

Image from MorgueFile.

 

Wisconsin e-file Help

The Wisconsin e-file became available on Monday, January 13 on the Dept. of Revenue website.  The PDF that they give you may have some issues depending upon the browser that is used.  Here's what we've seen with each browser:

Internet Explorer - The PDF form opens with no problems.

Firefox - When you try to open the PDF form you get a message that starts with  "Please wait...", so to access the PDF form you will need to:

  1. Check the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  2. Click the button entitled "Open With Different Viewer"Firefox Open in Different Viewer
  3. On the popup that opens select "Open with Adobe Reader"Open with Adobe Reader

  4. On the Security Warning popup click the Allow buttonSecurity_Warning
  5. PDF form will then open just fine

Note - If you want to save the form instead of opening it, then in step 3 you will need to choose "Save File"

Save in Firefox

Chrome - When you try to open the PDF form you get a message that starts with  "Please wait...", so to access the PDF form you will need to:

  1. Check the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  2. Click the PDF icon that is found next to the starOpen in Chrome
  3. A popup will open that says: "Parts of this PDF document could not be displayed."
  4. Click the "Open in Adobe Reader" link
  5. PDF form will then open just fine

Note - If you want to save the form instead of opening it, please do the following steps:

  1. Place the mouse in the lower right-hand corner of the browser window
  2. A menu bar will popup, then choose the option that looks like a floppy disk     
      Save in Chrome

Please pass this information on to all staff who assist patrons as it will probably come up as a question now that tax season is fast approaching.

Thanks to Liz A. at MAD for bringing this issue to our attention.

 

Google Analytics training opportunity

View-lessons-from-expertsGoogle Analytics is a tool for tracking website statistics, like how many people visit your website, which pages they access, which browser/device they use, and much more. To help you squeeze meaning out of all that data, Google is offering Digital Analytics Fundamentals, a free online course that begins October 8, 2013. During this 3-week course, you'll:

  • view lessons from experts at your own pace
  • test your knowledge
  • engage with experts and other participants to ask questions and enhance your learning

After completing the course you'll understand:

  • why analytics is important for growing your business (As a TechBits reader, think of this in terms of circulation, program attendance, or other library "business"... I realize you are not selling widgets!)
  • definitions of key concepts and terminology
  • how to plan ahead to capture the insights you need
  • how to navigate common Google Analytics reports
Interested in participating? Register now or see the course FAQs for more details.

Installing Chrome?

Chrome-logo-large_270x216There were two emails that went out to Link-Announce this year right after a Firefox upgrade.  They talked about different options for printing Koha reports and Chrome was suggested as one alternative.  In the past, when staff PCs had Windows XP on them, for some reason staff were able to install Chrome without any help from the Help Desk.  Now I've discovered, that with Windows 7 that ability is gone.  I've gotten calls from numerous libraries saying that they couldn't install Chrome without Administrator rights.  I don't know what changed in Windows 7 to prevent staff from installing it themselves, but I would be glad to install it for you if you need it.  Just call the Help Desk!

OverDrive: Next Generation Basics

 

There have been lots of changes to Wisconsin's Digital Library over the last few months - including the recently updated OverDrive app.

DigitalLibrary

OverDrive is hosting several FREE live webinars during the month of September. Here's the schedule:

All the sessions are 60 minutes long and will be recorded. More information on the sessions can be found here.  The recorded sessions and other resources can be found on OverDrive's Learning Center.               

Happy Learning!

Do You Know...?

I would like to address in this article a few things that everyone at all libraries should know.

1. All Login Information

All library staff, whether full-time, part-time or once in a great while fill-in staff should know, or know where to get, all login information for all things that they need to do their job.  So for instance everyone should know their library's Windows login information, which includes the user id and password.  The same goes for Koha and Getit.  If a staff person forgets this information there should be some staff-only accessible area where they can look it up.  The Help Desk will not give out this information and will recommend that other staff at your library be consulted for this information.

2. Windows XP End of Life

Effective April 8, 2014 Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows XP Service Pack 3.  On this date if any library has any SCLS-supported PCs still running Windows XP the library will be responsible for supporting these PCs themselves as SCLS will no longer support them.  This lack of SCLS support for obsolete software is talked about in our SCLS Hardware and Software Support Policy. So it is in your best interest to get all staff and patron PCs upgraded to either Windows Vista or Windows 7 before this date which is only about 8 months away.

3. One Help Desk

There is now one Help Desk for both Koha and Technology issues.  The phone number is 608-242-4710 or toll-free at 855-583-2435.  These phone numbers are only to be used by SCLS library staff.  You can find out more information about this on the Technology News Blog article entitled "One Help Desk (for Koha and Technology services)".

If you have ways that work at your library to disseminate information like what is talked about above, please leave a comment so that others can learn from your experience.

MOOCs

CowReally, I do mean MOOC, not Moo. And, yes, it's another acronym for you to learn. According to Wikipedia, a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is "an online course aimed at large-scale interacive participation and open access via the web."

I've been hearing more and more about MOOCs lately. In fact, the New York Times called 2012 "The Year of the MOOC." Many MOOCs are associated with universities like Yale, Stanford, and MIT, just to name a few. Google even joined in the MOOC world with their "Power Searching with Google" course last July.

MOOCs, while an interesting way to learn, weren't for me - or so I thought. Turns out, I was waiting for the right course. A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for and started my first MOOC - Syracuse University's New Librarianship Master Class taught by R. David Lankes. The course is free (unless you want credit for it), taught by one of the top professors in the library world, and is all available online - and will continue to be even after the first, moderated version of the course is over.

The course is a combination of readings from The Atlas of New Librarianship, recorded lectures from R. David Lankes, discussion forums, and tests. I've been impressed with the quality of the recorded lectures - Lankes is very inspiring - and the readings. While I've been keeping up with the lectures and readings (and passed the tests), I haven't participated in the discussion portion of the course.

Have you tried a MOOC yet? Let us know about your experience in the comments.

P.S. The Cow picture is from MorgueFile, Free Photo Archive - check it out!

Interesting tidbits

  • "How to Make Library eBooks More Visible"* (GoodEReader) - Simple suggestions for promoting your ebook collection.
  • "Mousercise!"*  (IFLS) - A link to Mousercise, an online exercise to increase familiarity with using a computer mouse, and an excerpt from an interview about technology training with Mousercise founder, Chris Rippel.
  • "Use Bing to find Public Domain Images"*  (Free Technology for Teachers) - Need pictures? It's easy to find public domain images using Bing. When did you last use one of these?
  • "Reference Question of the Week - 7/14/2013" (Swiss Army Librarian)  How do you answer the reference question, "Where can I find a pay phone in town?" Crowdsource it using social media!

*Thanks to IFLS and Sites and Soundbytes for pointing out these great resources!