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Tech Gratefulness

TurkeyWith the Thanksgiving holiday just past, I have been reflecting on what an amazing year this has been for SCLS and the various ways we use technology to help our members provide the best possible service to their public. The Technology Team, the ILS Team and the rest of the staff at SCLS this year have all had a hand in bringing forth new and/or improved services for our member libraries. Here are just a few for which I am grateful.

  • New Data dashboard featuring SCLS member library Fast Facts and Visits Per Capita Comparisons
  • New web site hosted in Drupal (I love the new information slides!)
  • Support for SCLS member libraries to create a digitization plan, digitize their collections and make them accessible in Recollection Wisconsin (4 libraries participating so far due to LSTA grant funds)
  • The Indus 9000 scanner purchased with LSTA funds which allows member libraries to digitize books and other larger items 
  • Nearly $25,000 in FCC E-rate grant funds received for participating libraries
  • Five new or newish staff who are bringing great ideas to SCLS
  • Top notch support staff who keep our systems safe and up-to-date (like with the recent Krack threat)
  • An upgrade from 1 Gig to 10 Gig for our SCLS core network to accommodate the future increased Internet capacity for participating member libraries
  • Updated wireless laptop labs (we update one out of three each year)
  • The updated and much easier to use Evanced calendaring software used to create the SCLS calendar
  • Support for increased Internet bandwidth for Badgernet libraries
  • Using Google forms to more easily collect comparative data for the ILS Evaluation
  • Mobile circulation kits including hot spots

Each of the above projects had multiple people involved, often from different SCLS departments. I am most grateful for the wonderful staff we have at SCLS! Not only do they come up with new and improved service ideas, they pitch in where needed to implement them. 

Instagram for libraries

InstagramInstagram is a popular smartphone app for sharing photos and videos. LifeWire describes it as being "like a simplified version of Facebook, with an emphasis on mobile use and visual sharing. Just like other social networks, you can interact with other users on Instagram by following them, being followed by them, commenting, liking, tagging and private messaging. You can even save the photos you see on Instagram."

Want to learn more about how to use it? Take a peek at the GCFlearnfree.org tutorial.

Considering Instagram for your library? Already on Instagram but curious what other libraries are doing? Here are some links to get you thinking!

Gratitude for Technology

PresentIf you've attended a workshop* with me presenting, you'll hear me ask you to put your device away and be present. In fact, this is one of my favorite images to use when talking about being present. This doesn't mean that I'm anti-technology, though. I think it's just the opposite. I use technology all the time and am working to be more mindful of how I use it.

With Thanksgiving next week, I want to take a few minutes to tell you about some of the technology that I'm grateful for this year.

  • My new iPhone 7 (we upgraded from an iPhone 5s that we've had for over 4 years). It has lots more space for photos, podcasts, and audiobooks.
  • Speaking of podcasts, I truly appreciate the Note to Self podcast with Manoush Zomorodi. This podcast reminds me to utilize technology as a tool. And Manoush recently came out with a book, Bored and Brilliant, based on a Note to Self project. It's a great read and I highly recommend it!
  • Speaking of books, I'm grateful for digital access to advance copies from Edelweiss and NetGalley. You can have access, too. 
  • Also speaking of books, I'm grateful for Wisconsin's Digital Library, Libby, and the OverDrive App to keep me supplied with audiobooks and my husband with ebooks.
  • Google Docs makes it easy to share spreadsheets, documents, forms, etc. with my personal book club, my work groups, colleagues, etc. I use it everyday and can't imagine doing without it. There are other Google products that I use regularly - Keep, Maps, email, etc. too.
  • I discovered two new cooking/food related sites that I'm still learning about and wanted to share with you:
    • Copy Me That is a recipe manager, shopping list, and meal planner. You can also create a custom cookbook from here (I'll let you know how that goes).
    • Eat Your Books is a place where you can make better use of your personal collection of cookbooks. I heard about this one from Julia Collin Davison from America's Test Kitchen at ALA this past summer. I'm still learning about it and will keep you posted.

What technology are you grateful for this year? I'd love to  hear!

*The exception to this is when I'm training on using various tablets, phones, and devices to  use Wisconsin's Digital Library. Then, using a device is mandatory!

Exploring Chrome Extensions, Week 2: Grammarly

I have to admit. My grammar is not the best. Luckily there is the Chrome extension Grammarly. In continuing with the Exploring Chrome Extensions series, we are going to check out a very useful one for those of us who are grammar-impaired.

Grammarly is a multi-featured Chrome extension that checks any inputted text in Chrome automatically as you type or finish typing. Not only does the extension check for grammatical errors but it also features a contextual spelling checker.

The application itself is fairly downplayed visually, adding squiggly error lines and context menus for corrections. You will notice when Grammarly is active when you see what looks to be an upside-down Refresh symbol that is bright teal in the lower right-hand corner of the field. I have found that it does not always catch the errors, especially in certain fields. Despite this, I have found this to be a pretty respectable tool in the Chrome extension arsenal.

You can get Grammarly here!

More on coding

Code-geek-2680204_640Back in July 2016, I wrote a TechBits post about the kickoff of DPI's "Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries." Since then they've added lots of great information and resources to the Coding Initiative website that are worth a look, including a coding quiz, concrete guides for 8 coding topics, and large searchable list of coding resources!

And, in case you missed it (like I did!), the Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone blog has moved! (old location, new location)  Topics covered include Administration & Data, Resource Sharing, School Libraries, Services & Programs, and Technology, and there's an option to sign up to receive updates via email.

“Cortana, please forget what information you’ve collected”

Cortana is the digital assistant that can respond to voice or text in Windows 10, a Windows phone or Cortana for iPhone or Android. So responsive is ‘she’ that she may store your requests/search history for future reference both locally and in the cloud. How do you get her to forget what you’ve told her? Here’s how, in pictures, for Windows 10.




























2 privacy
















3 speech














4 stop








"Clear what's in the cloud"

Here's where the instructions may deviate slightly for you relative to what data has or has not been collected and your default browser.

5 bing




















In addition to "Browsing History", you will also have the option to remove data saved for "Search History", "Location activity", "Voice activity", "Cortana's Notebook" and "Health activity". 

Happy forgetting!

KRACK Vulnerability Update

On October 19th Andrew wrote about the KRACK vulnerability that impacts most modern Wi-Fi devices.  Since then the SCLS Technology Team has been working to patch our supported Wi-Fi 6a00d8341d32e053ef01bb09cedf56970d
devices and system.  Patching a device is straight forward, however patching our Enterprise Wireless system took a fair amount of preparation and planning to implement.  I am happy to report that as of 10/31/17 the SCLS Enterprise Wireless system has been patched.  With the exception of a couple devices, our entire infrastructure is now invulnerable to KRACK!

Please remember that you still need to be diligent about your home devices.  Make sure to run any updates for all Wi-Fi capable devices!