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Selecting text the easy way

In Microsoft Word, if your cursor is within the text...

  • you can double-click a word to highlight it
  • you can triple-click to highlight an entire paragraph
  • Ctrl-A will highlight an entire document

Cursor to left of text to highlight If you move your mouse to the left margin outside of the text (so that the cursor flips its arrow direction)...

  • a single-click will highlight an entire line
  • a double-click will highlight an entire paragraph
  • a triple-click will highlight the entire document

OverDrive Advantage Plan now available for WPLC member libraries

Overdrive Advantage 2.0 is now available, as an option, for WPLC member libraries to purchase additional copies of Overdrive titles and limit access to these added copies to only their patrons.

Here's how it works: Patrons browsing the Digital Download Center website will only see titles that are available to all members. For those patrons whose member libraries have added Advantage titles, access to those titles will occur only after the patron logs in with a library card number.

The Advantage plan actually does allow libraries to build a true custom collection; however, it is WPLC policy for libraries to limit their use of Advantage to only added copies. Not only is this limitation within the spirit of the DLTCL "same service" ruling but also minimizes the potential problems with shared databases and MARC records. This policy also confirms the continuing value of a WPLC Collection, shared statewide but supplemented at the local level for high-demand items.

Participating in Advantage 2.0 is at the individual library level and at individual library cost. OverDrive has an enrollment special for Advantage through Dec. 31st. For the remainder of the year, your library can receive $1,000 in collection credit for the $1,000 enrollment. You will also receive direct authentication, training, and access to Content Reserve for collection development for your Advantage collection.

More Info:

Free Online Video Editing

I have been searching for a viable alternative to Windows Movie Maker for editing videos when I am not at my computer. I found Jaycut, a free and simple online video editor. It looks and works a lot like Windows Movie Maker. I wanted something to quickly add music and titles to my videos and Jaycut does both plus much more, all for free. You are not required to sign up for an account however, it can't save your session once you close the browser. I signed up for an account, this allows me to save videos and go back to revise them at a later time. This is my first video I made using Jaycut.


Ergonomic Mice Roundup

I've been using ergonomic mice for a long time.  I've tried a number of different devices and have complied my favorites for you.  Some of these devices may seem expensive, but remember that the long term benefit FAR outweighs the initial cost.  Here's the list:

  • ErgoMotion Laser Mouse  - $49.95 (Amazon.com)  It's cordless design allows for natural hand movement.
  • VerticalMouse - $89.95 (Amazon.com)  I've been using this mouse for years and can't live without it.
  • 3M Ergonomic Mouse 48.12 (Amazon.com)  This is a joystick mouse and very comfortable to use.

Those are my top 3.  There are many differet kinds of ergonomic mice out there.  What have you been uisng?


Getting with the Times

As I was searching for a topic for Techbits, I found an entry where the preview said “Starting early next year, the New York Times will be adding best seller lists for both and non-fiction.”  Wait a minute, they’ve been doing that for years!  So what’s the big deal? 
The big deal is that the New York Times will be adding new best seller lists for e-books.  According to the article, sales of e-books for January-September of 2010 are nearly 190 percent higher than for the same period last year and now make up about 10 percent of the trade sales for several major publishers.  The article credited both Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad as being two major driving forces behind the increase.

The New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/books/11list.html

More Information About Receipt Printing and Koha

A few weeks ago I posted a TechBits about a thermal receipt printer we were testing for use with Koha.  This week, I’d like to give you some more details.  There will be two options for printing receipts in Koha.  The first SCLS-supported option will be to continue using your Epson impact (dot matrix) receipt printers with some adjustments to its configuration.  There is one exception to this and you can read about it in the next paragraph.  The second SCLS-supported option will be to order new, Star TSP100 futurePRINT thermal receipt printers.

For the Epson receipt printers to continue working with Koha, SCLS staff will need to install an Epson print driver.  This will be coordinated so that the installs are done prior to switching to Koha.  Epson programmed Windows drivers for the TM-U200pd and TM-U220pd models.  We have been able to print Koha receipts with these two models.  We still have a few TM-300pd printers at some libraries.  Most of these printers are over ten years old.  Epson did not program Windows drivers for these printers.  Although they work fine in Dynix with a Generic/Text Only driver, our testing shows that is not the case with Koha.  These printers will need to be replaced.  MR900056755  

It is also recommended that you purchase black receipt printer ribbons.  Combination red and black receipt printer ribbons were purchased in past coordinated orders.   These ribbons will work; however, the receipts look a little nicer with just the black ribbon.  The next SCLS coordinated order should have these ribbons included.

The second supported option will be the Star TSP100 futurePRINT thermal receipt printer.  The Star printer can be ordered with an auto cutter or a tear bar.  If you have an ITG Self Check that prints receipts, you are probably already familiar with the Star printer with auto cutter.  The last time I asked for pricing on the TSP100, I was quoted a price of $212 +shipping for the tear bar and $246 +shipping for the auto cutter.  Both come with a 3-year limited manufacturer warranty.  The thermal receipt paper will also be included in the next coordinated order.

On Friday, I sent out an email requesting information about the current receipt printers at libraries.  If you respond that you still do have the Epson TM-U300pd printer(s), I will contact you about replacing them.  Next week, the peripherals order form will be updated to include the new Star thermal printers.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

The Big Picture for Mobile Technology

Cellphone Cell phones. Laptops. APPS. 4.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide (for real)! Get the big picture on mobile technology by reading the "Mobile Technology Position Paper" by Beth Carpenter and Adam Brisk. It's a long paper, but it's a great overview of mobile technologies and their use in libraries.

Pressed for time? Flip through the slideshow "Can You Hear Me Now? Shhhh!: Mobile Devices in the Library" that the paper's authors presented at this year's WLA Conference. It showcases numerous examples of how libraries and the world at large are addressing the needs of the mobile community.

Passwords are like underwear

BloomersOnTheLine What would Mom say?

  1. the longer, the better
  2. don't share them with friends
  3. don't leave them lying around

That last one is especially important in a library setting (that means no taped notes under the keyboard, no cheat sheets in drawers right next to the computer, and no post-its on the monitor). Hopefully no library visitors come in with the intention of getting into things they shouldn't, but it's best to eliminate temptation and keep account and password info private.... tucked safely away from curious and prying eyes!

Information Week:  Looking for a password? Look under a keyboard

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/26135717@N07/3892263352/

Thanks to the Stoughton Public Library for suggesting this topic/reminder! 

10 things about Library Online

  1. Reserve_a_Computer Library Online is software used to manage time/bookings on public access computers.
  2. Library Online is programmed by Active Network.  The support for Library Online is based in Burnaby, British Columbia (which is why past upgrades have been scheduled for Memorial Day-- it's a holiday for us, but the Canadians are hard at work that day!)
  3. 36 SCLS libraries currently participate in Library Online.
  4. Most SCLS libraries allow advance reservations, but a few use it only for walk-up bookings.
  5. In addition to making reservations, Library Online can also be used to run reports and get usage counts... some of which can be used for a library's Annual Report.
  6. There are a few system-wide settings that are the same for all libraries, but MOST settings can be customized by each library to fit the library's needs.  ALL libraries choose their own workstation types, descriptions, and time limits (and many other settings).
  7. There is a Library Online email list for communication specific to Library Online. Any staff person at an SCLS library using Library Online is welcome to subscribe!
  8. Kerri  ♥loves♥ to answer your Library Online questions.
  9. There is Library Online documentation on the SCLS website, including:
  10. As non-LINK Library Online PCs come onto the SCLS network in 2011, we'll be able to take advantage of Library Online features that were unavailable to us in the past, like extending in-use bookings.  (Yay!)

How to fix a reoccurring Excel problem

Have you ever opened your monthly Circulation Statistics spreadsheet and found that all of the sheet tabs, that are usually on the bottom, are missing?  If you have then I have a solution for you.

The cause of this problem is that your screen resolution is higher than that of the person who created the spreadsheet.  This causes the spreadsheet to unhook from the Excel window and makes it look like a window within Excel.  Click on the graphic below to see a sample of what it looks like.

To fix this problem all you have to do click on the Restore Window button, the middle button, in the trio of buttons found in the upper right-hand corner of the title bar of the window containing the data.  You can also double-click the window's title bar.  Once you do that the sheet tabs should now be at the bottom again.  Click on the graphic below to see what it looks like once it's fixed.