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Open a new tab in IE, Firefox or Chrome with a single click

It wasn't long ago when tabbed browsing didn't even exist. How did we ever live without it?

As good as tabbed browsing is, one thing has always bothered me is that it's not easy to open a link in a new tab. Lets say you are on yahoo.com and you see a few interesting news stories. You want to stay on yahoo and open the links to the stories in a new tabs, what do you do?  In the past I would hover over the link, right click it, and choose "Open Link in New Tab". That's a lot of steps!

MidmouseBy now, almost all mice have a scroll wheel between the left and right click buttons. (If you don't have a scroll mouse, it's time to update.) Did you know that the scroll wheel is also a button? Instead of scrolling you can push down on the wheel and it becomes "the middle mouse button."

When you hover over a link press the middle mouse button and it will open the link in a new tab! No more right clicking at all!  Just BOOM a new tab!!  This works in IE, Firefox, and Chrome.

Ask the audience

Hmmm...how do I choose? Your library needs a product to do XYZ type of task. How do you determine what product you should select?

  • Sometimes SCLS already has a product selected that can do the job (ex. TypePad for blogs)
  • Sometimes SCLS staff have experience or can give a recommendation  (ex. "I haven't used it myself, but HappyFunProduct is getting some really great reviews...")
  • And sometimes your best bet is to ask your fellow SCLS and Wisconsin libraries to see what they're using, what works and what doesn't, and what they'd recommend. 

Ask The Audience  Ask the audience

A great way to poll other libraries is to send an email to one of these lists (you must be subscribed to do so):


  • scls-discuss - An open list for group discussion in the SCLS library community
  • wispublib - The Wisconsin Public Library Email List

An email to scls-discuss will (hopefully) get you feedback and opinions from staff at other SCLS libraries. An email to wispublib will extend this out to all Wisconsin public libraries.

Tell The WorldTell the world 

On the flip side of this--- if your library has a discovered a great product or service, please share this info with other libraries!  Send an email, mention it to SCLS staff, talk about it in your clusters, or bring it to the Administrative Council, Tech Committee, or ILS Committee. Let's share our tech (and non-tech) knowledge so everyone benefits!

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Widget Available Until Aug. 31

Through August 31, Gale is offering free access to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill portal in the GREENR database, with a widget that can be installed on your website. The oil spill portal offers

  • More than 70 annotated web links guiding you to reliable sources on the open web
  • An in-depth expert overview
  • Primary sources of congressional hearings
  • More than 250 podcasts
  • More than 1,500 news articles
  • Case studies about disaster relief, offshore drilling and connections to other spills
  • Direct links to BP's response
  • More than 100 images
  • More than 70 videos

Here's an example of the widget:

If you want to use this Gale widget on your library's website, contact Rose Ziech.

Firefox Smart Folders

The default Firefox install includes a Most Visited folder that is accessed from the Bookmarks toolbar.  This folder stores a list of the pages you have visited most often.  Another folder, called Recently Bookmarked, can be accessed from the Bookmarks menu.  As you can guess, this folder stores a list of the sites you’ve bookmarked most recently.  These two folders update themselves automatically,MP900438543 so they are known as smart folders.

Smart folders are easy to create, and they make searching for a bookmark much easier.  Just recently, I created a smart folder that includes all my bookmarks with Windows 7 in the title or URL.  This is how it's done:

1.    Open the Bookmarks menu
2.    Select Organize Bookmarks
3.    In the Library window, click inside the Search Bookmarks box 
4.    Enter Windows 7 (or other search criteria)
5.    Click the Save button
6.    Give the smart folder an appropriate name, I entered Windows 7 for mine
7.    Click OK

Once the new smart folder is created, it can be accessed from the Bookmarks menu.  Any site that I bookmark containing the phrase Windows 7 in the title or URL will also show up in the smart folder.  If I don't see Windows 7 in the title or URL, I simply add a Windows 7 tag when bookmarking the site.

Customizing Word 2007’s Toolbar

After the upgrade to Word 2007, some of my favorite toolbar icons went missing.  Where’s the “Print Preview” icon?  Where’s the “Print” icon?...  If you have similar questions, not to worry.  Here’s how you can tailor the toolbar to your needs.


The zone to the left of the Office button is called the Quick Access Toolbar.

Click the down arrow associated with the Quick Access Toolbar
  1. Select the More Commands option.
  2. By default, this opens to the Popular Commands selection pane
  3. Highlight a command from the list and then click the Add button. Repeat the highlight/Add process for anything else that you want to add.
  4. Click the OK button after you’ve made all the selections of interest

Don’t see the icon you’re looking for?  Click the down arrow associated with Choose commands from and select a category other than Popular Commands.   If you don’t want to sort through each category, there is also an option called All Commands


Registration is open for OverDrive's Training Month

Sunflowers (just for fun)
Photo credit: Dani Simmonds

It seems too early to be thinking ahead to September (it's not even August yet!)... but now is the time to sign up for OverDrive's "Training Month" sessions. Tell your colleagues! All you need to attend is a computer with speakers/headphones. We especially recommend these sessions:

  • "Browse, Checkout, Download" 
  • "Community Outreach"
  • "Patron Assistance"
  • "Mobile Update" (I can't exactly recommend this course because I've never taken it before, but I'll be registering for it!)

Training Month sessions always fill up fast, so get registered now!

Added: For Wisconsin librarians, when you go to register, choose "WiLS (Wisconsin Public Library Consortium) (WI)" as your library/consortium.

Changing your SCLS Email Address


Recently there was someone who wanted a different SCLS email address but thought they were permanently stuck with the old one.  Actually, they’re not and neither are you. 

If your name changes or you are one of the people using a shortened version of your name from earlier account name limits, you can request an email account name change.  Now if your first thought was “what a great way to get rid of my junk mail”, know that this won’t fix any junk mail problem you might be having.  In fact, we forward everything addressed to your old account to your new one so changing your email account isn’t going to help at all. 
  1. Go to the “Request an E-mail Name, Title or Library Change” form at http://app.formassembly.com/forms/view/2805 (Yes, it’s a long name, but the form is used for other related changes as well.)
  2. Fill out the sections on “What is your old SCLS email address?” and “What would you like your new email address to be?”. 
  3. If your name changed, also fill in the "If you want to change the display name..." section to let us know how your name should appear in the email directory.
  4. Enter your name in the last field and submit the form.
  5. To make sure no email is accidentally lost, we’ll contact you to set up a time to do the switch.  
  6. Once the switch is made, a few settings in Thunderbird have to be updated and you should let people you deal with know your new address.  You should also update your email list subscriptions.  That’s all there is to it!
For more SCLS email options see the Email and Email List Services page at http://www.scls.info/technology/email/

The Old Spice guy says a few words about libraries

I'm always a sucker for a good pro-library video. Many of you may have seen this already (it's gathering quite the buzz on Twitter and on library-related blogs), but for those of you that haven't here's the Old Spice guy saying a few words about libraries...

via the Huffington Post

Things I didn't know (and there are many!)

righty tighty, lefty loosey A few years ago, a friend of mine watched me tie up a garbage bag by grabbing the top of the bag in two sections and tying the sections together in a knot.  He was blown away ("How did you do that?  I've always had to have a twist tie to tie closed a garbage bag!").

I've had lots of moments like that. It wasn't until my 20s that I learned "Righty tighty, lefty loosey" (it changed my life!). Learning things that the rest of the world seems to know but I somehow missed leaves me feeling both silly and enlightened.

Here's the latest one that I didn't know until I ran across it on this post (where people were confessing things that it took them a surprisingly long time to realize they were doing wrong or could have been doing differently):

  • The space bar can be used to page down a website
  • Shift + space bar can be used to page up a website

Wow. How did I not know this?

Are there any "techie" things you've run across that you can't believe you didn't know?

Clear the Cache

What's in your wallet? If you have ever had a web page load out-of- date material or not work correctly for you and ended up calling the Help Desk with the problem, chances are you were told to clear your browser’s cache. What are you really being asked to do?

Let’s step back for a second and review what your browser’s cache is and how it affects your browsing. Wikipedia states "In computer science, a cache (pronounced / kash) is a component that improves performance by transparently storing data such that future requests for that data can be served faster. “ Or in my terms, “cache is a record of sites you’ve been to that your browser saves to speed up your web browsing. If you revisit a page that your browser has a copy of, it will be loaded from the local copy, making the page display faster."

Why is it we ask you to clear your cache? Pages on the Web might have changed since being stored on your computer or you may want to clear any sensitive information you may have entered while on the Web.

Here are the steps involved in clearing the cache.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0
  1. Click Tools in the upper toolbar or click on the Tools icon.
  2. Click Internet Options to open Internet Properties.
  3. Click the General tab
  4. Click Delete under "Browsing History".
  5. Click Delete Files under "Temporary Internet Files".
  6. Click Yes on the Delete Files dialog box.
  7. Click Close and then OK.
Mozilla Firefox 3.5 - 3.6
  1. Click Tools in the upper toolbar and select Clear Recent History.
  2. Select the Time Range to clear (drop-down menu). - Select Everything to clear all cache.
  3. Click Details to choose what history elements to clear. - e.g. cache and cookies
  4. Click the Clear Now button.
  5. Exit and re-launch the browser.

A quicker way to clear the cache for just the page you are on is to hold the shift key down and click the refresh button on your browser. If that doesn’t solve your problem then follow the steps above to clear the whole cache.

Once you do this you should notice your browser displaying fresh content and running much faster.

If you want to get rid of some of the other kind of cash, like in the picture, you can send it to me. Nothing bigger than $100’s please, or people will start asking questions.