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Notepad and Receipt Printers

Recently, I learned that some libraries send small print jobs from Notepad to their receipt printers.  It’s a great idea, but the process can waste some receipt paper if Notepad isn’t set up properly.   Even if there are only a few lines of text, the printout will advance to 11” long.  Follow these steps to fix this.

  1. Open Notepad
  2. Click File
  3. Click Page Setup
  4. Clear Header field (removes "Untitled" header)
  5. Clear Footer field (eliminates the blank space at the end)
  6. Click OK

Thanks to the Oregon Public Library for bringing this to my attention.

One link for desktop + mobile access to EBSCOhost

EBSCOhost MobileWhen you want to direct patrons' attention to EBSCOhost databases* in email or on the web, you no longer need to provide separate links for mobile and desktop users. EBSCO has announced that they will be phasing out the separate mobile version of the EBSCOhost search interface. Instead, they are offering a new Mobile 2.0 platform that can be accessed with the same link used for desktop access. EBSCOhost now recognizes whether or not users are connecting from a mobile device, and sends them to the appropriate version of the interface automatically.

If you are currently providing links to the old EBSCOhost Mobile interface, now is the time to get rid of those links. The old interface will be dead sometime in the future (EBSCO has not specified when). Replace it with your link to the main EBSCOhost interface (for SCLS libraries, use the same URL as this link: EBSCOhost).

More info about the new interface:

* EBSCOhost is available for Wisconsin residents through the BadgerLink project.

Apple Releases iOS 6 - over 200 new features!


Wait, what the heck is iOS?  iOS is Apple's mobile device operating system.  Just like Windows is Microsoft's computer and server operating system.  The new version of iOS has 200 new features.  One of the biggest is that Apple replaced the built in Google maps with their own version of "Apple maps".  Other enhancements include Siri can do more, Facebook integration, iClould updates, and a better email app.

You can read all about the new features here: http://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/

Now as with all Apple updates not every feature or device works with iOS 6.  To find out if your device works, click the link above and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Ok now the most important question: How do you get this new update?  Simple!  Your iDevice should prompt you that an update is available and ask you to update!  It's that easy.  If it hasn't happened already it will happen by September 25th.  Before you run the update you MUST have at least 50% battery life or be plugged in.  I recommend that you plug in your device when it is updating.

More Info

Librarians do Old Spice, Gaga, and Carly Rae Jepsen

What's missing in the YouTube videos for Old Spice, Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe"? Librarians. Luckily, the Harold B. Lee Library, students and faculty from the University of Washington's Information School, and the New York State Reading Association have found a way to remedy that!

Love those Old Spice Guy commercials? Here's the Harold B. Lee Library's version, promoting the library!

(Wondering how they made the video? Take a look at their "Behind the Spice" page) 

Like Lady Gaga's song, "Poker Face"? Try "Librarians Do Gaga"!

Can't get enough Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", but want to focus on books and reading? Take a peek at the New York State Reading Association's "Read it Maybe" video...

And how could I forget "B*tches in Bookshops", based on Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Ni**as in Paris"? It's missing librarians, but has TONS of literary references. (Warning: explicit lyrics on both of these)

Have other favorites? Share them in the comments!

My new favorite shortcut (if I can remember it)


Let's say you're looking at a webpage in your browser. But you want to be on a different webpage. How do you switch?

Ctrl-L will jump to and highlight the address bar, so you can type a new URL or search query. No need to touch the mouse... just type!

Alt+D and F6 perform the same function, apparently, though not across all browsers. (I searched to find out why there are so many shortcuts to do the same thing, got a little sidetracked, and ended up at this handy Wikipedia chart. Now I'm overwhelmed with shortcut possibilities!) 

Lytro Camera

8GB LytroI’m excited to tell you about a new camera we have at SCLS. It’s called the Lytro, the world's first commercial light field camera.  That means it captures the entire light field. Your current camera only captures a single plane of light while the Lytro captures light traveling in every direction. It has a very simple design and is easy to use. This camera only has two buttons, power and a shutter release. What’s great about this camera is it lets you refocus your photos after you load them on your PC (Windows 7 64 bit) or Mac. I’ve been getting to know it the last couple of weeks and it is quickly becoming a favorite of mine because the image quality is amazing and it’s fun to refocus pictures.

I will be adding this camera to one of our gadget packs in the near future and let you know when it is available for your library to check out.

Here is a sample photo I took of my cat Rocky in his backyard with different focal points.

Rocky 1

Rocky 2


Best Wisconsin Fall Color Website

The official first day of fall is Saturday, September 22 at 9:49 A.M. CDT, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.  One of the best things about fall is the colors on the trees.  But, where do you go to find out when the trees in your area will peak?  I highly recommend TravelWisconsin.com's Fall Color Report.  They have an interactive map where you can click on your county and get a color percentage reading for cities within your county.  It also tells you about upcoming events and activities as well as dining and lodging locations, which is really helpful if you're planning a trip to a place you've never been before.

If an interactive map is not your thing you can also sign up for an email update that sends you a  weekly report on fall color conditions around the state.

All in all this is a great website if you're planning to do anything in Wisconsin any time of the year, which makes sense as this is the official site of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.


Do you still use iGoogle?

Crying iGoogle logoDo you use iGoogle for a personal or shared start page at your library? In the past, we've heard about libraries where the staff all used it to exchange notes about the library, monitor SCLS blogs for new posts, keep track of email and scheduling, and more. Google has announced that iGoogle will be retired on November 1, 2013.

If iGoogle is a necessary part of your daily routine, you might try a similar service. Some examples include Netvibes, Protopage, My Yahoo, uStart, Spaaze, and Symbaloo. Reviews from Lifehacker and MakeUseOf.

Or, are you ready to rethink the idea of using a start page? Maybe using a combination of extensions and multiple homepages in your browser would suffice. This may be what Google intends—their announcement cites "modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android" as the culprit for a shrinking iGoogle user base.

My own testing with Chrome suggests that it doesn't do what iGoogle does, but it might serve the same purpose. I figured out how to add extensions for sticky notes, Google Search, Google Reader, Google Calendar, and Gmail on the new tab page, but they don't show preview content like iGoogle does. This is where multiple homepages come in. Chrome (and any other modern browser) can be set to open several pages in separate tabs on start up, and a quick glance through each tab might be close enough to the preview I'd get from an iGoogle page.

If you currently use iGoogle, what are you going to try as a replacement? (And if you have a trusty system for day-to-day communication between desk staff, please share it in the comments!)

Thanks to Marilyn at Stoughton Public Library for suggesting this topic!