At the All Directors Meeting last month, Tessa Michaelson Schmidt from DPI used a cool game to end the Annual Report: Before, During, and After workshop. It was a really fun way to wrap up the presentation and reinforce some of the main takeaways. As I watched, all the participants were really engaged in the game, laughing, and working together to figure out the answers. What an awesome tool to use for workshops - for your patrons or for your staff.
I have some exciting news: Dave and I have been manually/remotely updating all your public computers! OK, so maybe it's only exciting for us, but it affects everyone. The significance of this latest project is that, from now on, the updates will be done automatically again.
We will use a different and more efficient method this time: Deep Freeze. Once your library is setup for the auto-updates, you will receive an email from Dave explaining the process, which includes updates taking place weekly during the night. We should finish all the libraries this week so, if you have not yet received your email, watch for it.
I stumbled upon a fun website last week. It is called MyScriptFont.com. The site allows you to build a font using your own handwriting. It is pretty simple and quick.
Thanks to increasingly powerful smartphones you no longer need sophisticated cameras to make video recordings. But for rapid footage with a lot of movement, mobiles just won’t do the job.
That’s why companies like US manufacturer GoPro, with their small, robust and waterproof action camcorders, are seeing a boom in demand. It also means the most amazing videos have emerged online.
Here are a few suggestions to inspire your own GoPro video masterpieces.
An American schoolgirl had the brilliant idea to put a Hello Kitty doll in a rocket and launch it into the stratosphere on a weather balloon. The science project produced these incredible aerial pictures that are literally out of this world. If you’re looking for an astronaut’s view of Earth - from 18 miles up - you know it’s possible thanks to this student’s brainwave.
Go to The Red Bulletin site to see the other awesome videos and their stories!
Just a reminder that the new OverDrive web site is scheduled to go live on
November 7th. For now, it is just the web site that will be new. Users will
continue to use the current OverDrive app. OverDrive was planning to launch a
new app, but that has been delayed until after the holidays. I have updated
the post on InfoSoup http://infosoup.info/ws to include news about the app.
From previewing the site, I don't think users should have any problems
navigating or using the new site.
What do you get when very motivated librarians teaching lots of technology courses wants to standardize their course templates to make life easier for everyone (and have a grant to do it)?
Gail's Toolkit, built by staff at the Gail Borden Public Library.
From their website: "Gail's Toolkit is a project funded by an American Library Association Publishing Carnegie-Whitney Grant that runs from 4/1/15 through 3/30/17. This free, online portal—sponsored by the Reaching Across Illinois Library System—offers lesson plans, presentations, handouts, and surveys that librarians can use to teach classes ranging from Microsoft Word to LinkedIn. The portal also offers an online bibliography of training resources for those who want to learn more about instruction."
I heard about Gail's Toolkit at WiLSWorld this year (presentation, handout), and I thought it had a lot of potential to help libraries everywhere with technology training. The Gail Borden Public Library staff have already developed a collection of courses that are free for anyone to use. For those interested in developing their own courses, the course templates are designed to make the courses so standardized that in the case of staff illness or other unexpected changes, any staff person could step in and cover the class.
Tracks & Classes: http://www.gailstoolkit.com/tracks-classes(templates to design your own classes are also included on this page)
As of September, there are already-developed classes for computer and internet basics, Microsoft programs, Google tools, resumes, and LinkedIn. Not a bad start!
Youth in grades K-12 spend an astounding 81% of their time in informal learning environments outside of school. Libraries are a locus of informal learning. As the number of STEM related careers continues to multiply, libraries can play a key role in fostering the interest and excitement for STEM learning that may be missing in schools. Through the generous support of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Kitsap Regional Library System (KRL) has developed a ready-to-use system that empowers libraries of all sizes to become community STEM leaders. If you feel like an "accidental STEM librarian" and are wondering how to get started, staff at this semi-rural library system will share fresh ideas and hands-on, practical advice for planning and implementing impactful programs. Learn how to take the lead with informal learning for youth and families in your community.
View a recording of the webinar and its archives here. (Middle of the page.)
OverDrive now has web pages dedicated to the specific needs of libraries themselves. Their main categories describe it all: Best Practices, Marketing and Outreach, Staff Training, Collection Development, Product Information. Explore the site to appreciate the depth of their resources and tools.
Two Facebook scams are back.
If you're drooling over that iPhone 7 and hoping to win one on a Facebook iPhone giveaway page, beware.
Many of those pages are "like-farming" scams. Someone creates a fake page and tries to collect as many likes as possible quickly. Once the page accumulates about a half million likes, the scammer can sell it to a shady marketer who wants an already-established Facebook page to promote any sleazy product or service to you.
Sometimes these scams are easy to spot, sometimes not. Kim Komando, aka "America's Digital Goddess," has captured screenshots of real and fake iPhone giveaway offers. See if you can spot the fakes. Go to "Facebook scam! Don't click "Like" again until you've read this."
In Scam Number 2, beware of free "federal grants" that your friends or family members tell you about on Facebook. (Read article...)
"Yahoo announced that 500 million of their accounts were hacked and are sold by internet criminals. Bad guys are going to use this information in a variety of ways. For instance, they will send phishing emails claiming you need to change your Yahoo account, looking just like the real ones. Here is what I suggest you do right away:
It's all over the press. Here is a quote from Reuters: "Yahoo Inc said on Thursday information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen from its network in 2014 by what it believed was a "state-sponsored actor."
The data stolen may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and hashed passwords (the vast majority with the relatively strong bcrypt algorithm) but may not have included unprotected passwords, payment card data or bank account information, the company said. (Read entire article...)
John's collection of tech tips, trends, and training for NFLS librarians
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