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Welcome to TechBits! Enter our contest!

Thanks for coming to check out TechBits. You'll find updates here each week on emerging tech trends, tips & tricks, how-tos, and our own work with technology—in other words, "bits of technology for your library."

TechBits grew out of the technology planning process -- we asked what we could do better, and one of the things we heard you ask for was more communication about technology. We'll feature posts from SCLS tech specialists in a variety of areas, like PC hardware and software, networks, helpdesk, authentication, websites, and more.

CreativeSomething-About-Technology Comment Contest

Hopefully the knowledge you gain from reading TechBits will be its own reward... but we wanted to sweeten the deal with the chance to win something "techie" that you can hold in your hands, so we're holding a little contest. Simply leave a comment that mentions technology on this post, and we will enter you in a drawing to win a Creative Muvo v100 player (perfect for listening to MP3s, digital audiobooks, and podcasts). 

Official Rules: To enter, leave a comment on this post by February 28 and mention something about technology (what do you love? what do you use? what do you want to know more about?). Provide your real e-mail address so we can get in touch with you later (it will not be posted on the Internet). And you must be an employee of a South Central Library System member library to win.  The winner will be announced on the blog.

We look forward to your comments!


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I'd like technology more if it was less expensive and easier to make it do what you wanted it to do.

My first technology question is: What is an Rss feed? Could there be a beginner's page or section?

I love the new online CE software! Also, I am looking for any great tech ideas that will save time & make life easier :)

I use delicious all the time to organize everything from my favorite dog training and dog products sites to the best storytime theme sites and free coloring page sites. I love the feature that allows tags to display along the left margin and then is easily hidden again.
I don't know if it's becuase of the files or because of the Muvo I have, but I can only scroll backwards or forwards through audiobooks in increments of 45 minutes to an hour - can be frustrating. I wonder if the MP3 files allow back and forward scrolling in increments of 5 minutes or less.

I'm wondering if you'd heard anything about the new version of the Kindle. I know Amazon has the big press conference on the 9th but are you hearing any rumbles?

I love digital calendars. On a paper calendar there never seems to be enough space to keep track of staff coverage, meeting room usage, programs, etc. Going digital allowed me to see everything at once.
However, I use a digital calendar in my personal email, and then duplicate everything in 2-3 print calendars the way we've always done for the rest of the staff. I'd like to find something everyone can access, but I don't necessarily want everyone to be able to make changes.

I am looking forward to what I can absorb about technology through this post or other's comments and questions. I tend to get bogged down in what I need and not all that is available.

I asked for and received an IPOD for my birthday almost a year ago so that I could learn to use it so I knew what customers were talking about. My significant other took it because I couldn't figure it out and he never gave it back! He cannot believe that I cannot figure out the beginning steps on my own and thinks I am just lazy. I am not - I just have a LONGGGGGG learning curve! Chris

I'm not a gamer but every once in a while a computer game catches my eye. A while ago, it was SuperTux ( http://supertux.lethargik.org/ ) and lately it's Battle for Wesnoth ( http://www.wesnoth.org ). I tried to make the game titles the links but couldn't get the HTML to work in this here little box.

I would like to hear about best practices when it comes to backing up files. Also, the latest in technology developments in layman's terms.

I have fallen in love with Bloglines! I can keep track of a wide variety of blogs. My children have also hooked me up to Twitter. I really enjoy getting glimpses of their lives as they send tweets several times a day.

Just a couple of comments. why are TVs getting so hugh and complicated, while the phones, and blackberries & etc are getting smaller and stuffed full of abilities with tiny screens to watch movies and TV shows that nobody has the time to watch at their regular time?

I'd like more info on podcasts. There are specific radio shows that I like to load onto my mp3 player, but each show handles what they do and how they do it differently. Why? For Example: Tom Ashbrook's site for the show 'On Point' puts up a show each day that you can literally copy and paste to your player. Older shows require podcast management software. Why? And what about people using public pcs (like me) that can't load podcast software? What are they to do?

Two comments:
I love the fact that this blog and the new LINK CE Blog don't require passwords. Makes them much more accessible. I've bookmarked both.

Becoming more connected with technology through Project Play and other CE's has allowed us to provide a much better level of service to our patrons, especially the YA's.

I get frustrated easily with new technology-- especially when I need to open a file and nothing works like those .docX files... I know there's information in there and I can't get at it because I have old technology and it drives me crazy!

I could not manage without iGoogle. I have my calendar which is also linked to my personal calendar, gmail, picassa, all the SCLS RSS feeds such as project play, know more, online update, technology planning, LINK update, as well as weather, news, to do list, Google tip of the day, Google docs blog, Google notebook, as well as tabs for library related links. It's all right at my fingertips from any Internet computer. The CE and project play classes are wonderful. I think we all need to be versed in the current terminology and just need to roll up our sleeves and try new things. They can be great organization and help tools.

I would really like to learn more about downloading podcasts. For example, do I have to save them to an mp3 player or can I just run them on my computer? Also, is Flickr pretty much the same as Twitter? And is Facebook easier to use/more popular than MySpace? Thanks!

I try to embrace new technology but find it frustrating at times. As circulation supervisor, my department is the last to see the newest toys and how they work. Thank you for starting TechBits!!

Wow is Dan a great teacher! I learned so much, this is cool!!

I enjoy the daily almanac of facts and odd stuff on the Reedsburg Library blog


Love the Techbits artwork! Makes me think of Skittles! Hey, there's a marketing idea for you -- Techbits: for the Technological Appetite. Well, maybe a stretch...

I'd like to find more time to explore technologies so I can escape the novice arena. I am enjoying Facebook thanks to Project Play. I am a new resident of Yoville!

I want to know more about notebooks that are the size of a book...so portable, but what are the downsides? How long do the batteries last? Are they able to synchronize with our staff PCs? Do tell all you know about this cute bit of technology...

I love learning Tech tips, applications & tricks. But how do I organize it, remember which apps do what where and find time for it all?

More technology info is a good thing. Thanks for this blog.

I wish I knew of a better way to organize all the emails I get from listservs. (So I can actually find the great idea that I know I got in an email a year ago).

Keep Techbits coming...ditto to Pearl's comment about Circ. Supervisors being the last to hear about latest technology.


I'm addicted to the Internet, to e-mail, and to my Blackberry that allows me to access both - almost anywhere.

I'm simultaneously curious about, and wary of, new technologies that purport to be "the next great thing." Most of these over-hyped flash-in-the-pans are never spoken about again, especially by those who hyped them. In some areas, huge amounts of money and time are spent just to keep up with the Joneses, and it feels like "tech for tech's sake"...

I love this idea that we can get answers to our technology needs by going on the internet. I am the youngest of the librarians I work with and am asked all kinds of techie questions, most of which I'm not completely sure on! Thanks for the help!

I really enjoy learning helpful tips for programs and hardware we've already been using. For example, the tip about using the F6 key to move into the url address field! So simple, so amazing.

Nice to see some Flickr training. I used some Flickr photos in the last book I self-published. Good quality and simpler permissions.

Right now what I am really interested in getting more information about is Netbooks. They are inexpensive laptops that are smaller but could they be used well by our library. It would be great to find out.

Thanks for the new blog! I can't wait to read posts and keep up on new ideas and technologies this way. It's so important to what we do, yet hard to find the time to accommodate the learning. THANKS!

I love that SCLS embraces new technology and even has cool trainings where we can get a change to try out new things! I like the new blog! I'm bookmarking it.

Trying to do a little "catch up" in technology before Teen Tech Week next month. Any suggestions out there for celebrating Teen Tech Week?

Thank you for making this technology blog password-free. I work at a busy desk and it's just not possible to find time to log in and read things on the various SCLS sites. Being able to get in with one click makes it more likely that I'll look at this one.

With all the flurry of wikis, and blogs and the like lately, I started a google account for the Cambridge Library. With that, I created an igoogle page, with calenders and links to the various SCLS sites and blogs and wikis. I also started a blog for us all to use, since as part timers, we don't always get to communicate directly to one another. And, with space an issue, pieces of paper often go missing.
With the blog, we can leave information for one another. It is hard to make the change to electronic venues instead of paper for some of us, so I have started a secret prize contest for staff members. IE, if someone spots the messages I leave on sticky notes on igoogle, they get a prize I leave on the blog. We will see if it works!!

I am really interested in these new ways to communicate, but find time an issue. Thanks for easing me into blogging.

I think you're providing a great service but alas, I often don't remember to check it or all the other blogs, wikis, lists and sites recommended by other staff--even when I have a moment to spare. Example, I check my Bloglines maybe once every six months. Not exactly useful to me, is it? How do folks manage? And what aren't they doing that should get done?

I haven't had a problem with most of the newer gadgets, but for the life of me I cannot get my photos onto my digital picture frame. Perhaps it's because my husband got me the cheaper one and the directions are in some sort of kanji I can't decipher. I know it's japanese, because I accidentally set my ipod to japanese once and it took me three days to figure out how to reset it.

I am most looking forward to picking up helpful bits of techie info so I candazzle my patrons and impress my friends with superior borrowed intellect!

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