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Day 2 - Where can I find OverDrive "how to" videos?

With the addition of ebooks, ereaders and apps, support for OverDrive has definitely gotten more complicated. 

Where can you go for OverDrive-related "how to" videos?

  • SCLS's YouTube Channel.  OverDrive videos are under "SCLS Tutorials" on the right-hand side and include a video on transferring ebooks to ereaders and an iPad OverDrive tutorial.
  • BadgerLearn. As mentioned in a previous TechBits post, BadgerLearn is a collaborative learning space where library staff can use existing resources and share new resources they develop with the greater community. Just do a search in the upper right for "OverDrive" (or "OverDrive" and whatever device you need information about), or try the Advanced Search. Has your library created helpsheets or screencasts?  Add them to the BadgerLearn project!
  • OverDrive's YouTube channel. Under username "DigitalBookDownloads", OverDrive has uploaded videos and tagged videos created by other users as "favorites."
  • YouTube. Many libraries have created their own videos showing how to use OverDrive with different devices. Some of the information may not be correct for our system (like how to log into OverDrive or how long checkout limits are), but the basic info for how to install software, activate devices, and transfer OverDrive titles should hold true.

Here are some tips for searching YouTube: YouTubeSearch

  • Go to YouTube.com
  • In the search box at the top of the page, try a search using the terms "OverDrive" and "nook"  (I got 138 results!)
  • Filter or sort your results to help you find what you're looking for.
  • Click on a video to play it.

The 12 Days of OverDrive: ereader comparisons

OrnamentIn preparation for the holidays and all those new OverDrive-compatible devices, we'll be attempting a "12 days of OverDrive" series.

One question you may have already heard is, "what type of ereader should I get?"

Unfortunately, there is no single answer that's right for everyone. Ereaders are personal choices, and different ereaders can be better or worse for different types of tasks. So where can you start...? 

CNET - articles and reviews
This recent CNET article is a nice place to begin. It compares ereaders and reviews some of the main differences in features between ereaders (reader vs. tablet, size of screen and weight, e-ink or color LCD, wireless options, apps vs. hardware, and whether you can check out e-books from the library). It is an excellent way to become familiar with some of the features and choices available, and the article contains lots of links to product reviews (which contain not only the CNET Editors' Rating, but in many cases also include User Ratings).

Comparison chart and reviews
Want a big chart that compares popular ereaders?  The 2012 Best eBook Reader Comparisons and Reviews lists 13 ereaders and compares their features... everything from ratings on design and memory/battery life to details on size, weight, screen type, document formats, and more! There is also an "ereader configurator" option when you first arrive at the site which asks you questions and recommends some popular ereaders based on your answers. 

When it comes to BIG charts, nothing tops the Wikipedia chart comparing ebook readers. What it lacks in readability, it makes up for in detail.  Look here only if you have a few models in mind that you want to compare.

OverDrive's blog
OverDrive's Digital Library Blog tags posts in categories.  One of these categories is "ebook readers" and includes device reviews by OverDrive.

OverDrive's Device Resource Center
There are tons of devices out there, but OverDrive tested many of the more popular models for compatibility. OverDrive's list of compatible devices includes details about which file types are compatible or incompatible with each of the listed devices, and links to each device's product page, support page, and price on Google search.

Happy shopping! 

(Have a good resource for ereader reviews?  Leave it in the comments!)

How to use autocomplete in Word 2007

Do you get tired of typing the same string of characters over and over in a Word document?  For instance, since I work for the South Central Library System I may have to type that several times in a document or several documents. Autocomplete is turned off by default in Office 2007. Here are the steps I have used to get around that.

 In Word highlight the string of text you wish to have autocomplete. Press Alt F3, that will bring up the "Create New Building Block" dialog box.

Fill out the information in the Create New Building Block dialog box:

Name: This is filled out automatically with the text you highlighted.

Gallery: Select the gallery that you want the building block to show up in.

Category: Select a category, or create a new category.

Description: Type a description of the building block.

Save in: Click the name of the template in the drop-down list. A template must be open to be displayed in the drop-down list of template names. I use the default "Building Blocks.dotx".

Options: Choose one of the following:

    Select Insert content only. This is selected by default and is the one I use.

    Select Insert content in its own page.

    Select Insert content in its own paragraph.   

 That's how you create an Autocomplete template. To use it start typing your string of characters, usually you only need the first two to four to start and hit the F3 key and the rest will autocomplete. This will work only if there are no other entries that begin with the same four letters, so be aware of that.

OverDrive, ereaders, and lots of links

OverDrive limits have changed!  At the last WPLC meeting, the board approved the Selection Committee's recommendations for the following (which are now in place):

  • Increase the number of checkouts per patron to 10
  • Increase the number of holds per patron to 10
  • Add a 21 day checkout option for ebooks (note: this will not be an option for audiobooks)

EReaderUpdated checkout and holds policies can be found on the Digital Download Center Help pages.

All about ebook readers
Now that I've got you thinking about OverDrive and e-materials, here's a handful of items on an ereader theme:

Koha Log In Problem Solution

Have you ever had the problem that when you try to log into Koha you get the big Error Trace message?  I know a few of you have, so I thought it might be worth sharing the secret to getting rid of this problem.

If you have previously logged out of Koha successfully the address bar should be displaying the address that ends in ...library.com/cgi-bin/koha/mainpage.pl?logout.x=1 when you are at the Koha login screen.  If you just closed Firefox and did not log out of Koha then Firefox tries to be nice and take you back to exactly where you were when you closed Firefox.  This helpfulness is what causes you to see the big Error Trace message when you try to log in.  Follow these steps to get logged into Koha:

  1. Put your cursor in the address bar at the end of the address
  2. Delete everything up to but not including the .com
  3. Hit enter
  4. You see the message: "Error: Session timed out, please log in again"
  5. Session_Time_Out

  6. Enter your login information
  7. You should then be able to successfully log into Koha
  8. If this doesn't help you log into Koha then give me a call

To prevent this problem from happening again you should always first log out of Koha and then close Firefox.


LibraryXXXIn the not-so-distant future, you or your library's patrons may happen across websites with domain names ending in .xxx (for adult entertainment). ICANN, the organization that regulates domain names, is making it possible to have new top-level domains (other than the usual ones we are already familiar with like .com, .org, .net, .info, etc.), and .xxx is the first example.

Some academic institutions are now buying .xxx domain names matching their .com or .edu names to prevent them from being appropriated by the adult entertainment industry or purchased by cybersquatters (people who register domain names speculatively with the hope of selling them later for big bucks).

I'm not advocating that your library do the same thing, unless you believe it is critical for serving your patrons. The important thing is to be aware that this type of domain name is available, you have the choice to purchase it or not, and this type of choice may become more common in the future as additional as-yet-undetermined top-level domains become available in the future.

Embeddable Slideshows for Your Website

Would you be more likely to watch a slideshow if you saw a link to the slideshow, like this:

View the slideshow "3.0 tools without 3.0 million dollars" *

...Or if you saw the slideshow embedded on a web page, like this:

(Did you pick the embedded one? I did!) Since PowerPoint doesn't have its own embedding options, here are some services where you can upload your own slide deck and get an embed code to put the slideshow on your website:

* Slideshow by Sarah Houghton-Jan, aka "LibrarianInBlack." (Handy for demonstrating embedded slideshows and full of useful ideas too.)

Keyloggers at the Library: A Cautionary Tale

Though this article detailing the detection of several hardware keyloggers in a UK library is a couple of months old, the threat of modifications to library-owned PCs remains a relevant issue.  Just like card skimmers installed on ATM machines, gas station fuel pumps and other devices, hardware keyloggers are hard to detect, and can pose a threat to PC users at any library.  Moreover, they're very easy to obtain, and not that expensive.

As a precaution, take a good look at your public PCs on a regular basis, noting any anomalies.  If you notice something fishy, contact SCLS.

Hacking the Windows Taskbar: Custom Toolbars

'Red Arrows' photo (c) 2009, Fiona Shields - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I have a love/hate relationship with the Windows Start menu. It's great that it tends to be self-organizing and all-inclusive, but the fact that it shapes itself automatically is a downer because that means Windows is deciding for me how it will be. And sometimes it just feels slow. What I want is full control of my main applications launcher menu, and maximum efficiency.

One can certainly wrangle and edit parts of the Start menu, but not completely. And then a new program or upgrade will go and change it on you anyway. One can try to avoid using Start entirely, and lots of folks do that by throwing umpteen shortcuts onto the Desktop. But did you know that too many Desktop shortcuts can slow down Windows?

Here's how to clean up your Desktop and avoid the Start menu. This should work for all current versions of Windows.

1. Create a new folder on your PC.

This folder can live anywhere that's convenient, but if you want to share the magic with other user accounts on the same computer then it should be outside of your user profile. For this example, let's call it C:\Toolbox. Keep the name short (you'll see why later).

2. Create application shortcuts in this folder.

There's lots of ways to go about doing this. One way is to left-click your way into the Start menu until you see the icon you want, then right-click that icon and drag it over to your new folder, choosing "Create shortcut here" from the menu that appears.

3. Right click the Taskbar and choose Toolbars => New Toolbar...

A dialog will open, asking you to choose a Folder. Navigate in this dialog to the location of your shortcuts folder. If you remember the path (like C:\Toolbox) you can just type that right in.

4. Click Select Folder.

Now look on the Taskbar near the clock and you should the name of your folder, followed by a little arrow symbol (>>). Click on the arrow and a menu will pop up from taskbar containing all your chosen application shortcuts. Ta-da! Easy access all the time, and Windows and program updates won't go around changing it on you. Basically, it Should Just Work (tm).

As an alternative to this technique, you can make an existing trove of Desktop icons into a Toolbar by simply right-clicking the Taskbar and choosing Toolbars => Desktop. However, that cheat won't keep your Desktop clean and efficient.

To remove or hide any Toolbar that you've activated, just select it on the Toolbars menu to clear the checkbox next to its name. This procedure also works with documents and web browser bookmarks, but I usually find that other methods are better for managing those things.

EBSCO Auto Repair Reference Center has been updated!

BadgerLink has let us know that the EBSCO Auto Repair Reference Center interface has been updated!EBSCOarrc

From the BadgerLink announcement...

"Key features of the updated interface include:

  • Intuitive, user-friendly navigation
  • Enhanced searching within content collections
  • Ability to print/email/save high-quality PDF records
  • Increased repair coverage – more than 37,000 vehicles covered
  • Expanded, in-depth repair information from the major original equipment manufacturers, including Ford, Honda, and GMC
  • On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) codes with description and troubleshooting information

To learn more about the new Auto Repair Reference Center, you can attend one of EBSCO’s free online training sessions at http://training.ebsco.com.

If you have questions, please contact BadgerLink technical support by using this web form: http://dpi.wi.gov/rll/bl_sup.asp"