Library Freedom Project Holding Privacy Workshop after ALA


If you're attending ALA and are still in town the following Monday and Tuesday you may consider attending Library Freedom Project's Digital Rights in Libraries workshop being held at Noisebridge. The workshop will provide tools and training to assist privacy-minded individuals (staff and patrons) with their digital presence.

more SLP

The first 2 of Jean's posts to help you develop your SLP (Super Librarian Powers) are available:

  • Ancestry Library - Get the low-down on this fantastic genealogy resource!
  • NoveList - Learn more about the ultimate Readers Advisory tool for all ages and genres!

Each post includes an overview of the online resource, a short exercise to become more familiar with it, and a 3-4 question quiz (optional) to check your work. There are also links to additional training materials should you want to explore the resource even more -- for example, the Ancestry Library resources mentioned in the post included everything from their online Learning Center to "5 Minute Finds" YouTube tutorials to hour-long SCLS training webinars.

Ancestry Library is one of my favorites. I love to pull up the original census records and see who was living in the household, how old they were, where they were born, their occupations and more. Later in the summer, Jean will also cover another of my favorites, NewspaperARCHIVE, which is a another great genealogy resource. Combine these with the new SCLS slide and photo scanning kit and think of what genealogy fun you could have!

Develop your SLP (Super Librarian Powers)

We've heard lots about the "Summer Slide" and how the Summer Library Program helps to prevent this.  

This summer, Jean will be introducing a 12 week program for librarians on the Know More blog to enhance and improve their SLP (Super Librarian Powers). Starting June 1, she'll highlight a variety of online resources (aka databases), searching tips & tricks, and more. Each week's post will also include a short activity to help you to become more familiar with the resource, and links to additional training and help.

Sounds like fun, right? You can follow the Know More blog via RSS or email (sign up is on the right side of the blog under "Subscribe"). If you're not already familiar with all the great online resources or you just want to brush up on them, here's an easy way to do it!

Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference 2015

The third annual WWWWC was held last Wednesday and Thursday, January 21 and 22. I hope you had a chance to attend one or more of the excellent sessions that were offered. If you missed a session or want to revisit the content, you're in luck. All the recordings, slides, and handouts are available here. To get the full experience, check out the Twitter feeds for #wwwc15. Several librarians (including me, @pandalibrarian) from around the state live-tweeted each session.  WWWC15

While I attended all of the sessions and learned something from each one, I want to draw your attention to the tech related ones (this is Tech Bits after all!) First up was Tablet Slinging Librarians: Using Tablets to Improve Customer Service with Leah Kulikowski. My favorite idea was using the tablet along with Google forms to take program registration on the road.

Next up was Roy Tennant talking about What You Need to Know About Library Technology. This was an enlightening talk about possibilities of future technologies - and what we need to do keep up. I especially liked the photos of "old" technology. (I put old in quotations because I remember most of them and I don't feel old!)

Last, but not least, was Crystal Schimpf teaching us Six Essential Skills for One-on-One Tech Instruction. Crystal offered great reminders and encouragement for those of us who teach patrons (or library staff) technology. My biggest take-away from this session was the reminder to give up control and let the learner "drive" the session.

Bonus - I highly recommend watching the Trigger Talks. Our very own Ben Miller was crowned the Trigger Talk Champion. It was so much fun being a part of this awesome program. Enjoy!

RFID or not to RFID? - that is the question.

I don't think I've ever blogged (bragged) about the SCLS mobile RFID tagging kits.  Years ago (!) SCLS used grant monies to purchase equipment, carts and bins in order to provide a shared resource that libraries could "check-out" when they decided to implement RFID.  Providing these kits has meant that libraries using Bibliotheca software were not required to a) purchase their own mobile tagging kits or b) rent taggging stations. 

We have 4 mobile tagging kits; each kit contains an antenna (aka pad), FEIG reader with power cord, a laptop with both flavors of Bibliotheca tagging software, power cord, mouse, barcode scanner and a surge protector delivered to your library in a stylish grey delivery bin. We also have 3 carts that you can also borrow, if you do not have a cart in-library that you can use. The carts do not include a battery so you will need to use an extension cord to provide power to the equipment.  At your request, we will provide hands-on training in the use of the software and equipment.

If you are an SCLS LINKcat library, you can submit a reservation for use, with estimated dates, on the online Koha Support form.  Kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

More Tech Learning Resources

I was catching up on my blog reading yesterday and ended up spending quite a bit of time at Jessamyn West's site, 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.