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Pokémon GO: Do people still play that?

FriendsToday (September 26), a new event started in Pokémon GO. "Friends" are able to trade Pokémon for a reduced amount of stardust--more about that at the end of the article. 

I still play Pokémon GO, and it's better than ever. I'm not alone. According to Dave Thier in this recent article in Forbes, "Pokémon GO just had its best month since September of 2016"! I love this article because Mr. Thier emphasizes the "newer" social aspects of this game--namely the ability to have "Friends." 

But what does Pokémon GO have to do with libraries? The short answer is because many libraries have a PokéStop or Gym embedded into the game. I wrote about this back in 2016, and if you don't know if your library has one of these features, I encourage you to read the article

One of the things that friends can do in Pokémon GO is trade Pokémon. The catch is that you must meet up with friends in person, even if they are strangers. I've often thought that the library would be a great place to do this and may schedule some "trading meetups" at my local library. Starting today (September 26), there is an event that lasts through 1 pm on October that allows you to trade Pokémon for a reduced amount of "stardust." "Stardust" is something you earn, and this is a big deal. So, keep an eye out for people meeting up to trade!


Digital Bytes: MailChimp, scheduling Facebook posts

Ever wonder about using MailChimp for newsletters?  This recent Digital Byte video from Wisconsin Valley Library Service is all about MailChimp and how your library can use it for marketing efforts.


Jamie also posted a quick video about how to schedule posts for your library's Facebook page from your mobile device:

You can find all the WVLS Digital Bytes here: https://wvls.org/digital-bytes/

Is this email legit?

Spammers are always trying to trick you. They send emails crafted to look just like emails you might really expect to receive, and their goal is to convince you to do something like...

  • download/open an attachment containing a virus
  • click on a link which will take you somewhere that can infect your computer
  • click on a link which will take you to a page that looks legitimate and into which you will enter your personal information

Often these emails are very, very convincing. How can you tell if an email is legit? The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Information site has some excellent tips on how to recognize and avoid phishing scams.

Recently, a couple of staff received some very convincing messages that looked like they came from Microsoft about their Office 365 accounts. When they weren't sure if they could believe the message, they contacted the Help Desk. (Smart move! We're always willing to help!)

It turned out these messages were indeed phishing attempts. They included a link to take action on the user's Office 365 account, but when you hovered over the link, it was clear the link was going somewhere other than Microsoft or Office 365!

Phishing email message

The takeaway? Be skeptical! Look at the details! When in doubt, call the Help Desk!

Want practice identifying phishing attempts?  https://www.phishingbox.com/phishing-iq-test

MedlinePlus for Librarians

MedlinePlusAnswering health related questions at the Information Desk can be a challenge. What sources do you go to? How do you know the source has quality, authoritative, and accurate content?

MedlinePlus is one of my go-to resources to share with library staff and I was pleased to see a new training tool In a recent Public Libraries & Healthy Communities newsletter from National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM). It's an online on-demand course called MedlinePlus for Public Librarians. The class takes about an hour to complete and you can do it at your convenience.

The course gives a very thorough overview of Medline Plus including the sources used in MedlinePlus and their quality guidelines. NNLMSources are regularly checked and updated by National Library of Medicine librarians. In addition. the course covers the Health Topics and Drugs & Supplements areas along with many other features of the site. To make sure you're following along, the course includes periodic Knowledge Checks (or quizzes). I've completed two of the modules and have passed all the Knowledge Checks (so far).

To access the course, you'll need to create an account with some basic information. Once you receive an email with the link to set up your password, you can log in and get started. This is an great way to enhance your knowledge about health information and MedlinePlus and be able to confidently help your patron's with their health information needs.




The Honey Browser Extension

Online shopping seems to be a time saver and money saver.  But can it truly be both?  I tend to search the site I'm ordering from and then search google to see if any coupon codes would apply to my order.  You can also try searching for codes at places like Coupons.com.  This can take away the ease and time-saving aspect of online shopping.

The Honey browser extension is FREE and makes online shopping both time and money-saving with a button called “Apply Coupons”.  A screen will pop-up automatically when you’re in the web sites checkout screen.  This button streamlines the process by searching for all working coupon codes for the site you’re on.

Apply_coupons Savings

In addition to applying the best coupon codes to your online orders, there is another feature I find useful called “Droplist”.  This allows you to select certain items and Honey will alert you via email when this item drops its price. 


The Honey browser extension also includes a “Best Price” feature.  Amazon has this feature, but it isn’t always accurate.  Sometimes there are better deals from third-party sellers that are hidden in the “New and Used from” section.  Honey will take prime status, shipping cost, and the seller’s reputation into consideration to give you the best deal.

One feature I have heard about but have seen no return from is “Honey Gold”.  It's a program where you earn a very small amount of cashback on purchases that eventually will turn into money.  As far as I can tell you would need to use a separate cashback service like Ebate to get this to work.  For myself, it’s not yet worth it for me to try to redeem the Honey Gold I have earned. 

Unfortunately, there is not a mobile app yet.  I imagine this would be a difficult thing to create, but it is something I hope they work on in the future because I do like to use my phone apps for online shopping.  I’ll be keeping my eye out for that.  Happy shopping and happy saving!     

Disposable E-mail Services

I just wanted to quickly share about an online service that I have been using for quite some time and that is disposable e-mail.

What is disposable e-mail?

Well it is just that, a temporary e-mail address that can be used to receive e-mails.

What would this be used for?

I typically use it when I am required by a website to register just to simply access the site's content or post a comment. These are websites that I don't want sending a bunch of junk or spam to my actual email accounts.

Keep in mind that these accounts are throwaways. Do not use them for private, personal information or anything you would want to keep.  

Which sites offer disposable e-mail accounts?

A bunch. I have used https://temp-mail.org/en/ and https://generator.email/ with success. Generally just searching "fake email generator" will get you where you need to go.

Searching in Windows

Have you ever been looking for a particular Word doc...  modified last week... with a title that included "party"... and just not been able to remember where you saved it?

Enter Windows Search. Navigate to the directory or folder you'd like to look in, click in the "Search" box to the right of the address bar, and enter your search terms. For my example, I might enter *party*.docx (the asterisks are wildcards).

Search for *party*.docx

Then click on the Search menu, which will expand to show all sorts of helpful options you can use to narrow down the search for your file. From the search menu, I could set the "Date modified" to "Last week."

Search - Date modified: last week

A colleague recently pointed out a search option I hadn't paid much attention to in the past. We were working on a PC with a very full disk, and he suggested using the "Size" criteria to try to identify large files that could be deleted to free up space. Good idea!

Search - Size


You can find more Windows Search tips in this post: https://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-10/find-specific-files-in-windows-explorer-with-these-search-tips/

Dashboards - Fast Facts by Library or County

The Fast Facts dashboard, https://public.tableau.com/profile/scls#!/vizhome/AnnualLibraryReportFastFacts2009-2015/LibraryFastFacts now includes all Wisconsin libraries

Library Fast Facts

AND a new tab for County Fast Facts.

County Fast Facts

The dashboards use the 2012-2018 Wisconsin Public Library Service Data provided by libraries via their annual report. Filters at the top of the dashboards allow a library or county, and a year to be selected. Additional details can be viewed by hovering over areas of the dashboard.


At the bottom right hand corner of Tableau dashboards, there are options to 1. Share, 2. Download, or 3. Full Screen.

  • Share Embed Code: Click on the share icon to get an embed code, a block of HTML, which allows the dashboard to be added in a website or blog. The Fast Facts dashboard is embedded on this SCLS web page https://www.scls.info/data-statistics, which automatically updates whenever changes are made.
  • Share-Link: After filtering to data of interest, click on the share link to provide a direct link to the filtered results.
  • Download: After filtering to data of interest, click on download and then select the format. An image, PDF, and PowerPoint allows the dashboard to be used for handouts or presentations.
  • FullScreen: Use the full screen to explore the data.

This and other library dashboards are published on the South Central Library System (SCLS) Tableau Public page:  https://public.tableau.com/profile/scls#!/. Please share ideas to make any of them better!