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BadgerCat Dissolved July 1

Dissolve From the "Your WiLS" newsletter:

"BadgerCat, Wisconsin's view of WorldCat, that has been available through WiLS to Wisconsin libraries by subscription, will not be renewed for FY11. The WiLS BadgerCat subscription expires the last day of the current fiscal year, June 30, 2010. WiLS will, however, continue to offer Wisconsin libraries a group subscription to WorldCat. If your library/system is a current BadgerCat subscriber, please remove all references and links to BadgerCat in your website/catalog, and send patrons directly to WorldCat. Access to BadgerCat will be denied starting July 1, 2010."

For SCLS libraries, the link to use for WorldCat is http://www.scls.lib.wi.us/cgi-bin/auth.cgi?connectto=WC.

How To Toggle Browser Form Autofill

On your personal computer or smart phone you may have noticed that Web browsers are able to remember many of the things you've done (filling out Web forms, for example). When you start to repeat a process, they'll jump right in and offer to automatically complete form fields for you. It's a nice convenience for some kinds of repetitive tasks.

You may have also noticed that SCLS-supported staff computers don't offer you this "autofill" feature. There's a simple but perhaps not obvious reason for that: too much sharing can be a bad thing.

If your SCLS Network PC is used by several people, and you all share a generic Windows logon, then having the Web browser remember everything you fill out on forms might get very messy. It might even be inappropriate, depending on the context and content of the forms.

Sharing a staff PC is far more common than not, so SCLS turns off form autofill features by default. However, if you want that feature on your PC, it is easy to turn it on again.

Turning on Form Autofill in IE

  1. From the IE tool bar, pull down the Tools menu and choose Internet Options.
  2. Select the Content tab.
  3. Find the section labeled AutoComplete and click the Settings button there.
  4. Mark the Forms checkbox and click OK.
  5. Click OK to finish the process.

Turning on Form Autofill in Firefox

  1. In the Firefox address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
  2. Read the warning message and click the I'll be careful button.
  3. In the Filter field, type formfill.
  4. Find the line for the setting named browser.formfill.enable.
  5. Double click on that line to toggle its value from false to true.
  6. Close the browser or continue using it as normal.

PS: This TechBits topic was brought up at the request of a member library. If you have a topic you'd like to see covered in TechBits, please feel free to call, email or IM someone on the SCLS Tech Team to let us know what's on your mind.

The QR Code Scavenger Hunt

A couple of weeks ago, Kerri wrote about the emergence of QR Codes in libraries.

Coincidentally, I talked about QR codes during the gadget presentations Jean Anderson and I did at WAPL and at the WISCNET Future Technologies Conference.  During this section of the presentation, I showed a variety of ways libraries could incorporate QR Codes into their physical and virtual library using the framework of a Scavenger hunt aimed at Young Adult patrons.  Feel free to use any and all of the ideas here in your own library!

(By the way, all codes generated were from the Zxing Project generator.)

The Great QR Code Scavenger Hunt!

  1. As the teens gather at the library, groups are formed, making sure each group has one or more smart phones with a barcode reader app installed.
    After a brief tutorial on QR Codes and how to use them, the teams are told to search the library for a QR Code hidden on a shelf.
  2. It's found!  The team scans the QR code, which reveals a...
  3. Geo Coordinate on a map.  The location is outside the library down the street at a local bank.  When the team arrives at the bank, there's a QR Code taped to the door.  Scanning it reveals a
  4. Phone number and name.  The team can automatically make the phone call on their smart phone.  At the other end is a reference librarian who tells them to leave the bank and head back to the library book drop.  There, they find a Code which gives them a...
  5. Calendar event.  After adding the Event to their phone's calendar, they see that they need to check in with the Circulation desk.  At the desk, a library staff member hands them a Friends of the Library bookmark with a QR Code attached.  A quick scan takes them to...
  6. A Deep link into the library online catalog.  Quickly, the team runs to the appropriate shelf, grabs the book (which, naturally, has a QR Code on the back dustcover) and scans the code.  One last scan sends a...
  7. SMS Text Message to another smart phone. Right away, they receive a text back, telling the group to head downstairs to the Community room where glory, prizes and refreshments await!

Let us know if you've incorporated QR Codes at all in your library!

My password is "password" (uh-oh!)

Password We hear all the time that we should use secure passwords. But what does that mean?

I ran across a good article that discusses passwords and how quickly they could be cracked. Do you do online banking or keep sensitive information in your email? You might want to reconsider what you're using for your passwords...

Some good points from the article:

  • A password that is a simple word is the easiest to crack. Try not to use regular words found in the dictionary. 
  • Don't use your birthdate, child or pet's name, or favorite place. If you are sharing such personal information out on the internet (Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, etc), you may be providing the world with the information they need to hack your accounts.
  • The ideal password is a mix of upper and lower-case characters with some numbers and symbols thrown in (this article from PC World has some very good suggestions for how to make one that's easy to remember)
  • If you must set a "secret question" for a website, try to avoid choosing mother's maiden name, place of birth, or first school if possible-- this is information that is easy for anyone to find out.

Remember how Sarah Palin's email account was hacked? The hacker had guessed Palin's password by looking up biographical details such as her high school and birthdate. Yikes!

Want to find out how secure your password is?  Try Microsoft's Password Checker.  (Update: Microsoft's Password Checker is no longer available)

Wondering what the most common (and least secure) passwords are? Take a look at this article by Tom's Hardware.

Facebook: Wonder what your profile looks like to others?

Ever wonder, “What does my Facebook profile look like in general or for a specific person?”


Facebook offers lots of knobs to tweak so that you can define who sees what parts of your profile: everyone, friends of friends, friends or me only.  Facebook also regularly alters what knobs exist and where they exist.  Consequently, it can be hard to conceptualize what your profile actually looks like to others.  But here’s how you can find out. 

  1. Log into your Facebook account.

  2. Click the down arrow associated with Account in the top right-hand of the screen.
  3. Select the Account Settings menu option.
  4. Select manage in the Privacy section.
  5. Click the View settings link in the Basic Directory Information section at the top of the screen.
  6. Click the Preview My Profile button at the top of the screen.
  7. The new screen will reveal how your profile looks to most people.
  8. If you want to see what your profile looks like for a specific person (someone you’ve friended or someone you’ve blocked), type in their name in the Preview how your profile appears to a specific person field at the top of screen.

What you look like3

Odds and Ends

OddsAndEnds I've run across some interesting services, sites, and ideas recently that I can't really review (as I haven't used them myself), but which might be worth a mention.

Email lists.  Have a large group of people that you need to email on a regular basis?  MailChimp is a tool to manage email lists, reviewed here by Mark Stout's "Family Tech" column.

Online event registration.  EventBrite and Brown Paper Tickets are online services for managing event registration, reviewed here by TechSoup (along with several other services). Both services are free for free events.

WI Voter info.  You probably knew about this already, but I just ran across it. Look up voter registration and polling place location, look up polling place location for an address, or check Provisional vote status at the The State of Wisconsin Voter Public Access site. 

Library as virtual supermarket.  This library serves as a pickup location for groceries as well as books (probably nothing your library will implement, but an interesting idea!)  http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bal-md.hs.supermarket18mar18,0,3878327.story

Photo credit:   http://www.flickr.com/photos/highfiredanger/4263846702/

Modifying Folder View Settings For All Folders

00431580 In Windows XP, there are several different ways you can view the contents of a folder.  The options are Thumbnails, Tiles, Icons, List and Detail view.  I prefer Detail view because it is really easy to sort folders and files alphabetically, by size and by date of modification.

When you change how the contents of a folder are viewed, you're only changing the settings for the folder you have opened.  If you'd like to make the changes to all the folders at once, follow these instructions:
  1. Open any folder
  2. Click View
  3. Select how you'd like to view folders and files by choosing one of Thumbnails, Tiles, Icons, List and Details
  4. Click Tools
  5. Click Folder Options
  6. Click the View tab
  7. Click Apply to All Folders
  8. Click Yes to confirm the change
  9. Click OK

Another Approach to Finding OverDrive Books

OverDrive Search If you're familiar with the Wisconsin Digital Download Center, you're probably comfortable browsing the site and doing searches. Or you may prefer finding OverDrive audiobooks and eBooks titles in LINKcat. But did you know there is another way?

OverDrive maintains a searchable catalog of titles available in all the library and bookstore collections they supply. You can search for the books themselves (keyword, title, creator, format, etc.), or search by library location to find your local downloadable collection. Once you find a title that interests you, there are links to find the book in WorldCat, in a downloadable collection, or at a bookstore if you want to purchase it yourself.

If you've used the OverDrive Search in the past, you may also notice that it's been redesigned with new features. Take a look!

Farewell to Phyllis (Thanks for making the SCLS Network a reality)

ReToday is the last day that Phyllis is our SCLS director. You know what that means...PARTY. Actually the party starts in about an hour. The SCLS staff got together today over lunch time to toast her and wish her the very best. She will be missed. Phyllis has done great things for SCLS. With Stef's help, they created an entirely new governance structure that will inevitability allow us to better serve our libraries.

One specific area that I'm excited about is the combination of what was LINK and non-LINK. In the near future you will have a one stop shop for all your technology needs. No more -Who do I call about this?-  Part of this is made possible by the upcoming SCLS "Super" Network. Thanks to the broadband grant, internet speed at almost all SCLS libraries will get a HUGE increase! Now there aren't a lot of details about this new structure but you need to know two things. (ok, more than two things)

This is going to be AWESOME

  • The LINK and non-LINK divide will disappear and all SCLS staff will support all pc's (with a few guidelines)
  • You will have access to new resources that were previously unavailable due to internet speed restrictions.
  • You will retain all current computer functionality and gain additional options.

We don't have many details so sit tight

  • We will do our very best to keep you in the loop about all this.
  • Make sure to read the Top 5 email!
  • If you have questions call, email, or snail mail and ask us!
  • There aren't pricing numbers for this new structure but rest assured that we are working very hard to come up with an affordable and easy way that you will be charged for our tech services

Spot the Fake

One of the problems with identifying fraudulent email is there isn’t one “sure” way to know.  There are a Fake envelope lot of different clues to use to decide if you think an email is a fake. 

One of the surest indicators can be the true address of any links in the email.  If the link visibly isn’t the official website, like an email supposedly from “Investment Company” has a link that says http://bixszceary.pke.pl/signin.exe, it’s pretty easy to tell the email is a fake.  But what a link says in the email may not be where it’s actually going.   

In many email programs, if you put your mouse cursor over a link—don’t click, just place the cursor over the link—you’ll see the real address.  In Thunderbird it’s in the lower left hand corner of the window.  So if the link in the email says "http://www.investmentco.com/signin.php", but you hover the mouse cursor over the link and see "http://www.srmt.investmentco.com.wixsrt.com/signin.php" in the lower corner you know this isn’t legitimate.  Even though “investmentco.com” appears in the address, since there is more after “investmentco.com” but before the / means that’s not where the link is going.   It’s the last bit of the address before the / that determines where the link is actually going.  This link actually goes to “wixsrt.com”.  

Another quick and easy test is if the email is supposedly from a business/bank/organization you don’t deal with.  Back a few months ago I received a rather professional looking email supposedly from an investment firm telling me about a problem with my account.  But it’s a company I’ve never dealt with in my life so that was a mark in the fake column.

Third, if the email asks for personal or account information, put a mark in the fake column.  For the most part, legitimate emails don’t ask for account or personal details.  Most companies have realized this isn’t a good idea. 

Another clue can be in the To: and From: addresses.  If the address in the To: field isn’t your email address and/or the address in the From: field doesn’t fit the supposed sender of the email, like an email supposedly from Microsoft having [email protected] as the sender, it’s a mark in the fake tally.  If the address in To: and From: are the same, it’s another mark under fake.  On the flip side however, having your email address in To: and legitimate looking address in From: is not actually a point in the legit column. 

General rule: If you think an email is legitimate, but you’re not certain, give the company in question a call or log onto your account on their website using an address or phone number you already have for them.  Do not use any of the links or phone numbers from the email.