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A little Friday library video fun

They're a little late for National Bookmobile Day (held on the Wednesday of National Library Week), but here are two fun (but very different) approaches to "Why We Love Our Bookmobile!"

Arlington Heights Memorial Library (pleasant and colorful with lots of smiling and enthusiasm, 1:33)

Sno-Isle bookmobile (a little long at 6:51, but very creative and well-done---and there are zombies! ZOMBIES!!)

Has your library tried video creation yet (by staff or patrons)? What tools did you use? How did it go?

Facebook Page Insights

The librarians I know love to count things and keep statistics.  "we circ'ed 1,051 items today," "we had 246 wireless sessions last month," "we received 372 red delivery baskets last week"... sound familiar? Insights (click to view full-size)

If your library has a Facebook page, you have access to all sorts of lovely stats about that page. Just take a peek at the "Insights" section of the admin panel (click on the photos in this post to view them full-size).

What will you find?

  • Overview - gives you 4 metrics to help you quickly understand the size and engagement of your audience, with indications of whether these numbers went up or down. There is also information about your page's posts and what sort of response they've received from Fans.
  • Likes - demographic and location information for your audience, and information about how you acquired, reached, or engaged them. (Looks like 78% of SCLS' fans are female and 20% are male!)
  • Reach - information about who you reached, how you reached them, your page views over time, and how those views break down
  • Talking About This* - demographic and location information about people talking about your page and information about whether they were talking about your page or being reached by someone else talking about it
  • Check-Ins* - info about people who have checked in at your place and how they did it (mobile device? through the Facebook website?).

Nifty.  Now what do you do with this data? Probably the easiest things to do are to:

Take a quick peek at the SCLS page's Overview:
Insights-Overview (click to view full-size)
Interested in more in-depth information about Facebook Page Insights? Facebook's 15-page PDF will help you "understand the performance of your page, optimize how you publish to your audience so people will tell their friends about you, and learn more about your audience." (It also includes much better explanations and details than we can provide here on TechBits!)

* Demographic and location data for these features is only available when 30 people did this activity in the 7 days preceding the last day of your selected date range. If your page is busy, you'll see this info. If not, you won't.

20+ tips for improving your library's website

Back in January, SCLS co-sponsored the webinar "20 Things You Can Do to Make Your Library Website Better Right Now" presented by Laura Solomon. If you contribute to your library's website, I strongly recommend watching it! Be prepared for some no-nonsense, tough-love tips for making your website look better and work better.

20 Things You Can Do to Make Your Library Website Better Right Now

Credit where credit is due?


Well, I thought I had my post all settled when I found the picture on the right.  Then I started having problems when I tried tracking the picture to its source.  While I really want to give credit where credit is due, I can’t find exactly who to give the credit to for this idea.

Where I saw it originally saw the picture, the title on the picture said Dublin’s Digital Library and gave Reddit as the source.  One of the commenters on the site said it was from Planet PDF. 

On Reddit there wasn’t an official source listed but one of the commenters said the flier was for Project Gutenberg.  Reddit linked to the picture posted on imgur.  From the picture title, it looks like it was taken somewhere in Dublin.  Alright, but which Dublin?  Ireland?  Ohio?  In the comments on imgur, a number of people say it's Ireland and one said the fliers were done by the Dublin city council to encourage reading. 

In any case, the picture is of a flier posted on a lightpost with QR codes you can scan that take you directly to free versions of the titles on the spines of the books in the picture.  The QR codes link to files on both Planet PDF and Project Gutenberg.  Still don’t know for certain who put up the fliers.  Whoever posted it though, I thought it was rather neat!  If anyone knows where this actually came from, let me know. 

The picture on imgur:

Don't forget how to Logon to Windows

It's easy to forget about logging on to Windows! 

Here's a quick how to video:




OverDrive Support Form Clarification

Guest post by Jean Anderson, SCLS Continuing Education/Multitype Coordinator

HelpIn a recent OverDrive Update webinar, I talked about two support forms. A couple of questions came up after the program that made me think I need to make a better distinction between the two.

First, there is the WPLC Support Form. You can find this form through the Help page of Wisconsin’s Digital Library (OverDrive). Anyone can fill out this form - patrons or library staff - and staff from WiLS (WiLS is the project manager for WPLC) will respond to their question.

Second, there is the OverDrive Support Request Form. This is for library staff only, and you (or your library) have to request an account from WiLS to be able to use this form (SCLS libraries can request an account here.)  Once the account is set up, library staff can contact OverDrive directly for support. This form is not for patron use. In fact, the WPLC support agreement with OverDrive prohibits this. A library staff member needs to be the intermediary between the patron and OverDrive support.

Bonus: if you have an account to access the OverDrive Support Request form, you can also access usage statistics for your library.


 Regular oatmeal with blueberries. Blueberry oatmeal
Had-too-much-coffee-before-my oatmeal with blueberries.Did I have too much coffee?
You'll find effects, tools, and more with the ever-so-awesome PicMonkey - a free online photo editing and effects site from some of the former Picnik developers. For a chuckle, have a peek at their "About" page. Need a review before you swing on over to play*? Try this one at the Photo Software Blog.

* When you swing on over to play, be sure you've got some time. I found myself investigating the various tools and trying out all the effects and quickly lost an hour. Neat effects, and pretty easy to use!

Send large files the easy way.

Here's that file you wantedI was looking for a way to transfer a large file over the internet without having to sign up for any services. Sometimes email clients limit the size of the files you can send or receive, so what can you do if you want to send a large file to someone.  I found Wetransfer, a site that lets you transfer a file up to 2GBs for free. It’s fast and easy to use. Select the file you want to transfer to someone. In my case it was a video clip I created that I didn’t want to share with the world, just one other person. Enter in their email address and your email address. Type a message (optional) and click transfer. Within a few minutes the email addresses you entered will receive a message with a link to the file to download, the link will be active for two weeks. You will also receive an email notification when the receipent downloads the file.

Historical library pictures

Do you have historical pictures of your library? Here are 2 great ways to share them! 

Historypin Historypin - map

Historypin is "a project that allows people to view and share their personal history in a new way, created by the social movement We Are What We Do in partnership with Google."

Historypin - historic photo + modern-day street view!Users can pin photo, audio and video content and tie it to geographical locations -- map meets content! Anyone can add descriptive or narrative text to photographic, audio or video content that has been "pinned" to the map.

Users can also create "Tours" which lead you step-by-step through a series of pieces of content via a narrative that links them together, or "Collections", which are clusters of content around a particular theme.  See Historypin's FAQ for more specifics about the site.

A few of our libraries already have historical pictures on Historypin courtesy of the Wisconsin State Historical Society.


Facebook milestones extend the NYT's timeline on the right of the pageWith the arrival of the "Timeline" format for Pages, libraries now have the opportunity to add milestones (key moments they'd like to highlight) to their Facebook pages. Historical milestones will extend the little timeline on the right of the page.

What type of milestones might you add? Check out this post, "Creating Facebook Milestones: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" for some ideas. Photos definitely liven up milestones--- just sign in to Facebook and click on older timeline dates for the New York Times or Coca-Cola to see some in action!

Looking for examples from other libraries? Aaron Tay has a nice description of what his (academic) library did with milestones and historical photos in this post on his Musings About Librarianship blog.


What do you do with historical photos of your library?

Spring Cleaning For Your SCLS Email Accounts


Have you ever looked at your library's email address listing on the SCLS Email Address Directory webpage, to make sure it is up-to-date?  If not, then take a quick look and see what needs to be changed.  This is important as other SCLS libraries may be trying to contact one of your fellow employees that left the library months ago.

If you have a staff person in need of a change:

  1. Did the person recently start at the library and need an email account?  If so, then please fill out the New E-mail Account Request online form.

  2. Did the person transfer to another SCLS library?  If so, then please fill out the Request an E-mail Name, Title or Library Change online form.  This will move their listing from your library to their new library.

  3. Did the person leave SCLS all together?  If so, then please fill out the E-mail Account Deletion online form.  Please note that this will NOT delete the email on the PC.  For that you will need to call me at the Help Desk.