Important information about Firefox updates

When we moved to Koha SCLS developed what are called "profiles" in Firefox in order to make printing quicker and easier for libraries. So, for this reason, we always test Firefox updates because we know that having Firefox work correctly is very important for the libraries.  A few years ago when Mozilla, the developers of Firefox, moved to update Firefox every 6 - 8 weeks our ILS staff started testing the new version, before the libraries got it, to make sure that Koha functionality wasn't broken.  We even recruited a few libraries to also test the new Firefox version because the more testers there are the better.  When a version of Firefox is approved we then send it out to all the libraries, but before this update is sent out we always send out emails to keep libraries in the know.  When we send out these emails we always have an email subject that starts with "ALL STAFF - Firefox Upgrade".  It is in your library's best interest to read these emails carefully and not delete them.  Because if there are problems, that slip past all of our testers, these emails will contain information on how to fix the problem.  In the past, and even with the last update, we had problems with Koha that were caused by the Firefox update.  So these emails will keep you up-to-date on when a Firefox update is happening, if the update caused any problems with Koha and how to fix the problem.  If you do accidentally delete those emails you can also find information about Firefox updates on our SCLS Network PC Updates webpage.

Tech Days 2019

ChrisWilley_0Chris Willey, Director of the Immersive Media Lab at UW Milwaukee, is the keynote speaker for this year's Tech Days East workshops. The title of his presentation is Extending the Third Place. You can read more about Chris and watch a TEDxUWMilwaukee talk with him on the UWM Research page. Here's the description of his presentation:

Join Chris Willey as he shares ideas on these questions, and moderates a lively discussion that includes your perspective on the future of technology. The purpose of this presentation is about "sharing focus" on our future, together. Additionally, Willey will share the mission, methods, and recent outcomes of the Immersive Media Lab at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee so that you may adopt any/all for your own libraries and communities. He will share what it means to be antidisciplinary, the role of creativity in a "3rd Space" learning environment, and why this is important for our shared technological trajectory.

After lunch, you can choose from a wide variety of breakout sessions including coding & drones, digital archiving, virtual reality, cutting the cable cord, tech classes for adults and seniors and more. The breakout sessions vary depending on location and are presented by your colleagues, including several from SCLS. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

Tech Days East will be held at the Franklin Public Library in Franklin on September 10, Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve in Appleton on September 11, and Monona Public Library in Monona on September 12. More information on Tech Days is on our Tech Days Wisconsin website.

Can't make it to the September dates? If you're willing to travel a little, Tech Days West will be held in Rice Lake on November 5, Wausau on November 6, and Sparta on November 7.

Things to keep in mind when getting a new printer.

There comes a time in every printers life where one invariably has to say goodbye. Whether it has worn out, or you just can't stand the sight of that old printer, it's time for a replacement.  

However, when it comes time for a new printer to be installed there are a few things to consider. 

                              Download

    1. Is this a new type of printer or just a replacement for the old one?


    2. Is this a staff printer, a patron printer, or both?  

    3. And finally, how critical is this printer?

These questions need to be answered in order to determine how much time it will take to complete the job.  A brand new printer will need to have every computer updated individually, and that can be very time consuming depending on the number of computers that will connect to it. 

It is very important that staff have the answers to these questions, and have called the Helpdesk, BEFORE the date of instillation....if at all possible. 

Keeping these things in mind will help us, help you, in the quickest most efficient manner!

 

Um, excuse me? Weaponized PDFs?

I was going to do a Tech Bits post about Carla Hayden's (Librarian of Congress!) proposal to digitize the  Library of Congress (!!!) but I ran across this other article and thought "What?!  Like with little guns and knives and stuff?"  

American Libraries linked to an April 19, 2019 article on the Nextgov website that has the title "Report: Weaponized PDFs on the rise." (sounds like an excerpt from a Terminator movie, right?) But it is no fantasy my friends, just the next generation of malware, scamming and spamming.   

So in addition to reminding your patrons, staff and coworkers about suspicious emails, ads and hyperlinks you also need to warn them about weaponized PDFs.

Welcome to the 21st century.

 

 

 

Help Desk Tidbits

Early morning work on staff and patron PCs

When SCLS tech staff arrive in the morning they check on different things with both staff and patron PCs. Things like the status of the anti-virus and disk locking software. If we see a problem and we know the library isn't open yet, we will remote in to fix the problem. So if you are working and you see a PC move by itself that is just us working on it. Please don't shut off the PC thinking it has been hacked because we may be in the middle of fixing a problem. If the PC is rebooted it may cause more harm or we may have to start over and run the risk of still be working on the PC when you open. If you want to verify it is us you can always feel free to call the Help Desk and find out for sure.


Help Desk Portal gives "Connection not secure" error message

We've been getting a few calls lately reporting that when going to the Help Desk Portal people are getting an error message saying "Your connection is not secure." This is only with Firefox and is being caused by the fact that we secured the portal with a self-signed security certificate. We have a fix posted on our TechBits page and you read all about it by visiting this page.


Slow Staff PCs

We've been getting a lot of calls lately about slow staff PCs. Before you reboot those PCs, please call the Help Desk so we can remote in and hopefully see what is making the PC slow. Once we remote in what we'll probably do is run a virus/malware scan on the PC and this takes at least 20 minutes to complete. So hopefully you can be without the PC for a while as we look at it.

Keep Talking...About Libraries!

One of the side-effects of being a librarian is that I love to talk about libraries and all they offer to anyone and everyone. I've been known to talk about placing holds at the library, using Libby and OverDrive, and online databases with people I've just met. It's an occupational hazard. I recently read an article in Public Libraries Online called "Never Shut Up About the Awesome Programs at the Library!" which indicates I'm not alone in talking up the library at every opportunity.

When I read this article, SCLS was in the midst of updating all the online resource information as subscriptions change and update at the beginning of the year. It reminded me that getting patrons to use our online resources is an ongoing challenge. Back in 2015, WiLS devoted their Regional Community Meetings to the topic of "how to promote, teach others about, and evaluate your electronic resources" (you can see the slides and notes here).

DatabasesAs you're looking at your online resource statistics from 2018 or collecting the numbers for your annual report, you might be asking yourself similar questions - how do we get our patrons to use this particular resource, attend programs, or check out more books? I have a couple of suggestions for you. As the Continuing Education Consultant, staff training is high on my list! All library staff -  even those who don't work directly with the public - can be the biggest champions of the library. Take a few minutes at each staff meeting to highlight an upcoming program, online resource, or collection. Encourage staff to explore the online resources as part of their daily duties and share what they learn with each other.

Other training resources:

Most importantly - talk about the library and all that you offer. The last paragraph of the article I referenced above is all about this. Talk about the statistics compiled for the annual report, the programs coming up, the online resources you have, and more. Keep talking up the library!

Some recent Digital Bytes

WVLSWisconsin Valley Library Service has some new (short!) Digital Bytes training videos ---

Dropbox
Time: 6:23
Description: Jamie talks about Dropbox, and how she uses it for library collaboration.
Watch    Training Guide

Password Protecting a Document
Time: 3:30
Description: Jamie shares how you can protect a document with a password.
Watch

Boomerang for Gmail
Time: 6:30
Description: Jamie talks about how she uses Boomerang to help keep her email organized.
Watch

The complete collection of Digital Bytes can be found here and includes a wide range of topics from technology to continuing education, reference resources, customer service and more : https://wvls.org/digital-bytes/

Grow with Google

Are you (or your library's patrons) thinking about making New Year's Resolutions to take training or learn new skills?

GrowWithGoogle
Grow with Google

Google has a "Grow with Google" program with free training, tools, and events to help people grow their skills, career or business. Google and the American Library Association are also launching the Libraries Ready to Code website, an online resource for libraries to teach coding and computational thinking to youth.

You can read about these and other ALA activities on this ALA District Dispatch blog: "Grow with Google is coming to a library near you."

If you're interested in more details about some of the many Google initiatives associated with Grow with Google, take a look at this Google blog post: "Opportunity for everyone."

Looks like there are some good free learning opportunities for 2019!

Windows 10 - logging out and restarting

Since we started rolling out staff PCs with Windows 10 on them I been receiving Help Desk calls about how to restart or log out. I will admit that when I first got Windows 10 it took me a while to figure out how to log out. So I thought that I would write this blog posting to show you how to do it.

Here are the steps to log out of Windows 10:

1. Click on your start button

  Windows10_1

2. Click the icon with the person shape in it

  Windows10_3
3. Click Sign out
4. You are now logged out of Windows 10, good job!

 

If instead you want to restart your Windows 10 PC, here are the steps to do that:

1. Click on your start button 

Windows10_1

2. Click the icon with the power symbol in it 

Windows10_4

3. Click Restart
4. Your Windows 10 PC will now restart

I hope this helps you figure out some of the new Windows 10 start menu options. 

Robots, AI, VR, IoT, and more!

Jason2Earlier this week, SCLS along with 10 other library systems,co-sponsored our annual Tech Days workshops in Fitchburg, Appleton, and Franklin. Financial support was also provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Public Library Development Team with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Jason Griffey was the keynote speaker for this year's event and he spoke on Preparing for the Future: Technology to Watch. We learned about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how ubiquitous some of these products have become. For example, you can get "smart" light bulbs, thermostats, outlets, door locks, security cameras, and even stickers! Jason also talked about all of the "voice assistants" like Google Home, Amazon's Alexa, and others. You can now get Alexa for your car with Amazon's Echo Auto and also for your microwave - who knew? Jason talked about the application of these technologies for libraries and some of the problems they present.

Jason shared lots of ideas and information about Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and robots. There are some really cool VR applications (and we have a VR kit that SCLS libraries can borrow). Jason explained the blockchain and talked about cryptocurrency. I understand it a little better but am still learning about the implications of this emerging technology.

The AI and machine learning part of the presentation was probably the most interesting and the most scary to contemplate.For example, you've all heard about the driver-less cars and trucks that are coming soon. There are also robots that are providing security services, helper robots in the hospitality industry, and even a robot barista in San Francisco.

There were afternoon breakout sessions at each workshop and you can find the handouts and slides for all the presentations here. Hope to see you at Tech Days next year!