Sanitizing Staff and Patron Electronic Devices

General Guidelines

Operating-system-1995434_1280SCLS recommends these general guidelines regarding sanitizing electronic devices in between staff and patron use:

  • Work with local public health officials and follow their guidelines, especially to establish frequency of cleaning, etc.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting (see section below).

SCLS Tips (incorporates guidelines from CDC)

  • Wash or sanitize hands before sanitizing equipment.
  • Unplug the devices (mice, keyboard, touch screen monitors, etc.) from the PC. It is not necessary to unplug the power or turn off the PC.
  • If no guidance from manufacturer, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% isopropyl alcohol.
  • Do not spray directly onto the device. Always spray onto a cloth. Do not use paper towels. Microfiber or white/light cotton cloths (including old dish towels or t-shirts) are preferred.
  • Make sure wipes are damp, but not dripping. Dry surface thoroughly.
  • Do not get moisture into any openings, gaps, ports, keyboards, etc.
  • There is a concern that repeated and frequent cleaning of any electronic devices of a long period of time may cause problems. We do not know what the effect will be. These tips are based on manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Wash or sanitize hands after sanitizing equipment.

If all else fails, encourage patrons and staff to wash hands before and after use. Cleaning-service-3591146_1920

Ways to Reduce “Touch” on Touch Screens

  • Provide a stylus per patron that can be cleaned in between use (SCLS is researching these)
  • Reconfigure settings for self-check settings to reduce touch (for example, disable PIN)

Manufacturer’s Instructions

The following are known manufacturer’s instructions:

Encourage Washing Hands Hands-311366_1280

Based on access to cleaning supplies, it may not be feasible to perform frequent, if any, regular cleanings. Encouraging staff and
patrons to wash hands may be your only option. You may post signs regarding proper hand hygiene before and after using the computers to minimize disease transmission. 

Scan documents with iPhone

Our son is finishing up his first year of college from our kitchen instead of his dorm room due to COVID 19 stay-at-home orders. This week, I saw him taking pictures of his homework laid out on the kitchen counter. He said he uses Notes on his iPhone to scan his homework/tests to a pdf for submitting online, and that it was a useful tool I should try. Here is how I got started:

Apple_Notes_(iOS)

  1. Open Notes and create a new note.
  2. Select the Camera icon and select “Scan Documents”. If you do not see the Camera icon, check Settings to make sure Notes is connected to iCloud or the local notes folder on the device.
  3. Take a picture of the document and adjust the scan to fit the page. Select “Keep Scan”. Continue scanning pages to the document and then select "Save". All the pages will be combined into one pdf.
  4. Select the Upload icon to send or share.
  5. Optional: Select the Upload icon and then the Markup icon to add text or a signature. 

Begin Where you Left Off in Acrobat Reader

I recently had to read a lengthy document in PDF form.  It was over 30 pages long and I read it over the course of three days.  What I found really frustrating was that Acrobat Reader would always open the document at Page 1 the next day when I’d resume reading.  Microsoft Word has a feature built-in that let’s you resume where you left off the last time.  When you reopen a Word document, a Welcome back message appears at the right-hand side of the window.  Just click the Welcome back message and Word automatically takes you back to where you left off. 

WelcomeBack
Welcome Back message in Word

If Word has this feature, you would think Acrobat Reader has something similar.  A quick Google search pointed me to instructions for enabling a similar feature in Acrobat Reader.  To configure Acrobat Reader to open a document where you left off, please follow these instructions:

  1. Open Acrobat Reader DC
  2. Click Edit
  3. Click Preferences...
  4. Click Documents
  5. Check the box for Restore last view settings when reopening documents
    Restore

Now your Acrobat Reader will open PDF files where you left off and at your previous Zoom Level.

Searching for Census Tracts? - replacements for American Fact Finder.

For many years LINKcat libraries in SCLS have used the U.S. Census Bureau's "American Fact Finder" address search tool to determine the Census tract and/or the legal  municipality of patron addresses.  The U.S. Census Bureau has discontinued access to the American Fact Finder tool as of 3/31/2020.  Here are some options for library staff to use to help determine the Census tract or municipality for patron records.

The U.S. Census Bureau is now providing an updated digital Census Tract map that can be found here: https://tigerweb.geo.census.gov/tigerweb/ You have to enable these options in the left sidebar - Census Tracts, Blocks layer and the Places and County Subdivisions layer - to indicate the type of information you are searching for. Enter the address in the Address Search bar along the top to find where a particular residence falls within these areas.

Another resource is My Vote WI - this works well to determine smaller incorporated places and townships. The exception to this is places like Village of Brooklyn which is in multiple counties, because the My Vote site doesn't distinguish which county an address is in.

AccessDane provides county subdivision-level info via address searches for Dane County addresses only.

Wisconsin Hometown Locator:  https://wisconsin.hometownlocator.com/maps/  Address Based Research & Map Tools.
 
Wisconsin Statewide Parcel Map:  https://maps.sco.wisc.edu/Parcels/   After you enter the address you need to right click the map to get the info.

Big thanks to Alicia, Joe and Rachel for compiling these resources!

 

The Big Sweep

Gothic CraigMy favorite job in high school was working at a fast-food restaurant one town over from where I lived. During my first week on the job, the manager handed me a broom and told me to sweep the lobby, which he considered to be everything in front of the counter. I really didn’t want to sweep up the whole restaurant so I handed the broom back to my manager and explained that I hadn’t been trained to sweep yet, which is not at all true, but it worked, I got out of sweeping the floor…once.


I noticed Office 365 now has a sweep feature and I wondered what it might be used for, here's what I found out. The sweep feature is part of a suite of tools Outlook implemented to help organize your inbox, which I could really use some help with so I tried it and thought this is the kind of sweeping I could get behind.


Sweeping your inbox is really easy too. Highlight a message in your inbox and click the sweep tab above in the toolbar. A window will appear giving you several options of what to do with the message. I’ve been mostly using the first option of “Move all messages from the Inbox folder”, this moves all the messages only from that particular sender, then choose where you want that message and all previous messages from that sender put. You can also choose to have all future messages from that sender put in a folder automatically.

 

Update: These days I enjoy sweeping my floors. As a matter of fact, I have a different broom for almost every room in my house and two just for the garage.

Web Browser Terminology

If you've used web browsers for any length of time you've heard the terms cache and cookies. Just what exactly are these and are they the same thing? Well, I'm here to explain these terms for you.

CookiesCookies
No, I'm not talking about Chinese fortune cookies or chocolate chip cookies. I'm talking about the small files that your browser saves on your computer that contain information that the website you're visiting uses to enhance your experience. Every time you visit a website your browser looks for the cookie associated with that website and sends it to the website's server telling it what you did the last time you were there. Cookies will sometimes track information like how frequently you visit, what times of the day you visit, what you've clicked on, and other information that is used to customize your visit. So essentially, cookies are used to store different information about you, the user. Cookies also have an expiration date so they will expire after some time period.

CashCache
This is pronounced just like the word for legal tender. When you visit a website your browser saves on your computer a copy of the HTML pages and images that you view. This is done for your benefit to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and to make the website load quicker the next time you visit. So essentially, cache is used to store information about the website. Cache does not expire and is only removed if you manually remove it. To remove your cache you can follow these steps:

  1. Open any browser
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Del
  3. Select cache
  4. Click the appropriate button at the bottom of the window to delete or clear

Offload apps to quickly free up storage on your Apple device

Apple_logoIf you’re like me, automatic updates to your Apple device are appreciated.  It’s one less thing for me to have to remember or worry about.  However, it has become more of a chore for me because my device storage is always too full.  I then have to choose individual files to delete to make room for the latest upgrade, which is often very time-consuming.  There are more long term solutions such as deleting unused apps and uploading files that take up a large amount of space to a cloud storage service (i.e. photos, videos).  

Offloading your files is an option that I find extremely useful and saves me a lot of time.  It allows you to temporarily disable an app without deleting the settings.  They will remain on your device’s home screen, but you will need to tap to re-download in order to use it.  You can do this by going to your device’s storage list, tap the app you wish you offload, and select Offload App.

2020-01-16_10-14-08

2020-01-16_10-22-19

You can also set up the automatic removal of apps you don't use often. Simply go to Settings > General > Device Storage > Offload Unused Apps and tap Enable.

 

Changing where your downloads are saved

Download
Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay

Many browsers are configured by default to download items to a "Downloads" folder, but what if you want your downloads to end up somewhere else?

Instead of having an extra step of moving the items from the Downloads folder to wherever you want them to go, it is possible to configure your browser to either 1) download them to a different location by default, or 2) ask you where to put each download.  Because I download items that need to go to many different locations, I've opted for the the 2nd option.

Here's how to adjust this setting in your browsers:

Firefox

  1. In the Firefox "Options"
  2. Search for "download" in the search box at the top
  3. This should bring up a "Downloads" section where you can 1) specify exactly where you want to save files, or 2) have Firefox "Always ask you where to save files"

Download-FF

Chrome

  1. In the Chrome "Settings"
  2. Search for "download" in the search box at the top
  3. This should bring up a "Downloads" section where you can 1) change the location where downloaded files are saved, or 2) have Firefox "Ask where to save each file before downloading"

Download-Chrome

Edge

  1. In the Chrome "Settings"
  2. Scroll down to the "Downloads" section
  3. You can 1) choose where to save downloads, or 2) have Edge "Ask me what to do with each download"

Download-Edge

Easy screen shots in Firefox

The Wisconsin State Law Library had a great tech tip a few weeks back about taking easy screenshots in Firefox. I hadn't realized that Firefox had a built-in way to take screenshots of browser content, so this was great news! (and good timing, given our recent ILS migration)

FF_screenshots

Scheduling Emails & Posts

ScheduleSendA couple of weeks ago, I was finishing up the last week of the OverDrive Support Course. While online, the course relies on me sending an email to the students on Mondays and Wednesdays each week. This particular week, I was up at the Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library helping out with interviews on Monday and didn't have time to work on my email.

I had noticed this new feature, Schedule Send, in my email earlier this year and now was a great time to investigate and test it. On Friday, I wrote up the email for Monday's lesson. There's an arrow next to the Send button and when you select that, you'll get a pop-up window with some suggested times. You can ScheduleSend2also pick your own date and time. I scheduled it to send the email on Monday morning and then waited to see what would happen.

And, it worked perfectly. I will definitely be using this feature more often (as long a I'm prepared ahead of time!)

And, this post is being written on Friday, November 22. My week for posting in TechBits is next week when I'm on vacation. I'm using the Publish On feature of TypePad to schedule this post to publish on Tuesday, November 26.

It makes me wonder where else I can add this efficiency into my daily work. Ideas?

And, Happy Thanksgiving!