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Learn “Online Productivity Tools” – a LITA webinar

LITA Blog - 1 hour 39 min ago

Online Productivity Tools: Smart Shortcuts and Clever Tricks

Presenter: Jaclyn McKewan
Tuesday November 8, 2016
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Central Time

Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

Become a lean, mean productivity machine!

In this 90 minute webinar we’ll discuss free online tools that can improve your organization and productivity, both at work and home. We’ll look at to-do lists, calendars, and other programs. We’ll also explore ways these tools can be connected, as well as the use of widgets on your desktop and mobile device to keep information at your fingertips. Perfect for any library workers who spend a significant portion of their day at a computer.

Details here and Registration here

Webinar takeaways will include:

  • Keep track of regular repeating tasks by letting your to-do list remember for you
  • Connect your calendars and to-do lists
  • Use mobile and desktop widgets to keep information at your fingertips

Jaclyn McKewan is the Digital Services Coordinator at WNYLRC, where she has worked since 2008. Her job duties include managing the Ask Us 24/7 virtual reference program, New York Heritage Digital Collections, and internal networking/IT.

And don’t miss other upcoming LITA fall continuing education offerings:

Social Media For My Institution; from “mine” to “ours”
Instructor: Plamen Miltenoff
Starting Wednesday October 19, 2016, running for 4 weeks
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

Beyond Usage Statistics: How to use Google Analytics to Improve your Repository
Presenter: Hui Zhang
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Central Time
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

Questions or Comments?

For questions or comments, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

Digital Displays on a Budget: Content

LITA Blog - 5 hours 20 min ago
Introduction

In my previous post I showed how we turned a Raspberry Pi into a digital display device by installing a Video Looper application. Now let’s take a look at how to fill that display with content. First, do yourself a favor and read fellow writer Leanne Mobley’s wonderful post on design resources for librarians. She provides a great overview of tools out there that can add some polish do your content and provide a starting point.

The focus of this post is how I used Microsoft PowerPoint to create the content for our Digital Displays. I went with PowerPoint as it met two major requirements: low cost and user familiarity. Like most projects I create, my aim is to be able to hand this off to another user and bring them up to speed quickly. By going with a program that is available on every system on lab, it reduced the headache of transferring licenses or vetting software that is platform neutral; as we have users on Mac OS and Windows. Additionally, there are tons of resources available online that can introduce users to PowerPoint, cover advanced topics, and a robust reference/support site.

With that said I’ll look at:

  • Availability – What versions of PowerPoint have export and where to get it.
  • Templates – Why they are important and how to create them.
  • Working in PowerPoint – Covering simple one slide movies and how to utilize animations to bring your video to life.
  • Raspberry Pi – Geared towards those using the Video Looper technique I covered in my previous post.
  • Fine Tuning – The importance of viewing on end device and being okay with tinkering.
Availability

While I do love that Raspberry Pi holds onto the dream of Libre Office, as this was my primary writing program while college, by now the Microsoft Office Suite has become the de facto productivity package, so most users should have access to a version of it. In order for this project to work you would need to have access to at least PowerPoint 2007, as this is when the video creation option was introduced. Unfortunately, PowerPoint web users (available through Office 365) will not have the video creation option.

Templates Benefits

Creating a new video from scratch each time can seem like a daunting task. Indeed, the first batch of videos can take up hours of your day. To reduce this added stress, I opt to create templates for each video category I have. In addition to making it easier to update for each new video, templates also allow your videos to maintain a consistent look, which is great for extending your existing branding. If your library or institution has a style guide, I highly recommend sticking to it to help reduce the amount of work.

For example, here is New Book template I use:

It contains library information that remains static, the book cover and call number that are the most prominent features, and, to add some animation, I have book review quotes slide in every 20 seconds. The entire movie lasts two minutes, which is plenty of time to digest each quote and not completely annoy patrons.

Creation

I use LucidPress.com to create my templates, but really any design program or even PowerPoint itself can be used. The templates just need to be:

  1. Easily imported into PowerPoint
  2. Editable text and image areas
  3. Configured to house static information

The reason for #1, is that I like to make each template the background image of a slide. I have LucidPress export the template as a PNG and then, in PowerPoint, set that PNG as the slide background. Going back to the New Books movie, here is the background image I use.

For #2, we want the template to do the heavy lifting. It needs to show where the customized text boxes and images should go. Here is a workflow that works for me:

  • Repurpose: Start with a flyer from previous iteration of the category, such as a past event. This will give you a great starting point, as you will not have a blank page mocking your efforts.
  • Scrape the need-to-know information of category and try out a few placements and ideas. I clump bits of info together and move them around, while keeping the main image as centered as possible to keep it as the focal point.
  • Aim for a template that has as few editable sections as possible; when you have +5 areas you need to update for each new video, you really aren’t saving that much time with a template. Going back to the New Book template, for every new book I only have three sections to update: Book Cover, Review Quotes, and Call Number. It took me an hour to create the template and takes about five minutes to create a video for a new book. The template should let the user easily know where the custom text and image areas are.

Finally, #3 is about on making use of static information areas as this is the best way to utilize a template. For example, each of my templates has a section where I list the library’s Name, Website, and Email. This is partially done for branding purposes but it also prevents the slide from being too empty. With this static info in place I don’t have to shy from just using a single image and block of text. Additionally, static information can also include color schemes and category headers, which makes it much easier when figuring out how the rest of the image should look. Reuse any content that makes your job easier and lets users know that all of the slides in this video are connected.

Example

 

Working in PowerPoint Video Creation

What we want to do is have PowerPoint create an MPEG4 of the presentation, complete with timings and animations. If you already have a presentation that you think is ready for the big screen, you can try it out by simply:

  1. Click File
  2. Export
  3. Create a Video

PowerPoint will then create the video and save it to the selected directory. Depending on your computer’s processing power and the length of the presentation, you might want to give it a few minutes to process. Just keep an eye on the progress bar at the bottom of the screen and do not close PowerPoint before it completes.

Basic – Single Image Video

For simple displays, such as an event flyer, you can get away with making a single slide presentation with a set display time. Keeping things simple makes it much easier to update the slide for every new event. Pick images and titles that let you slim down the description. Did I mention Leanne’s design resources post is a great starting off point? Definitely check it out for places to find those eye-catching images and color schemes. Since I am using the generic library logo, I went with a simplistic color scheme for this Upcoming Event template:

As you can see, it has slots for just the facts; title, brief description, date, and time. I try to design flyers that are easily digestible. Here is the filled in template.

 

For these basic videos we can leave it as a one slide presentation and have it display for one minute. To do this:

  1. Click File
  2. Export
  3. Create a Video
    • Adjust the adjust the Seconds Spent on Each Slide option to 60.
  4. Create Video

The end result is a static 1-minute upcoming event flyer.

Animated

For videos that need to display a large amount of information, take advantage of PowerPoint’s animations and slides transitions. It can be a simple text box appearing after 20 seconds. Going back to the New Book template, I have each quote in a separate Text Box. Each box is set to appear for 20 seconds and disappear when a new one appears. This can be done by:

  1. Opening both the Animation Pane and Selection Pane. This makes it easier to select items:
    1. Animation Pane: Animation Tab -> Advanced Animation -> Animation Pane
    2. Selection Pane: Home Tab -> Editing -> Select -> Selection Pane
  2. Select Textbox 1
  3. Animation Tab -> Add Animation -> Appear
    • In the options panel, found in the Animation Pane, select Start After Previous

    • In the same options panel select Timing… and for Delay insert 3 seconds, or whatever you want the initial delay to be.
  4. Select Textbox 1
  5. Add Animation -> Disappear
    • In the options panel select Start After Previous
    • In the same options panel select Timing… and for Delay insert 20 seconds. This will make Textbox 1 disappear after 20 seconds.
  6. Select Textbox 2
  7. Add Animation -> Appear
  8. The file is now ready for video creation
    • File -> Export -> Create a Video
      • Adjust the adjust the Seconds Spent on Each Slide option to 1 minute.
    • Click Create Video

The end result is a 1 minute video with two textbox that appear 3 seconds and 23 seconds into the movie.

I use this technique to create videos that have multiple slides with varying bits of information on each slide, such as a How To for the 3D Printers or general information, like service desks available in the area and their hours of operation. As I said before, any flyer can be turned into a movie.

Raspberry Pi

Once you have your video all ready to go it is simply a matter of loading it onto a USB stick and starting up the Raspberry Pi. The Pi will detect the videos and play as usual. The Video Looper plays the videos in alphabetical order, you can use this to your advantage by using a file naming scheme to sets up the videos in a particular order. For example, I go with:

  • 01 – General – Welcome
  • 01 – New Book – Name of Book
  • 02 – Event – Summer Movie
  • 02 – New Book – Name of Book

As you can imagine, with that naming scheme the videos play in the exact order. This was particularly useful when the archives wanted to display three videos back to back.

Fine tuning

Finally, I have some words of advice culled from creating videos for the past few months.

Try it out, at least once. You won’t know how the video will turn out until you actually see it on the end device. I’ve had videos that look amazing on my laptop only to have the video show up with wonky colors or screwy text sizes. Before you throw out the video or mark it as done, load it up and even edited it on the fly while watching the video on the big screen.

Don’t be afraid to test out variations, even with a single change. This is similar to the first but you should not wait until you have a finished product. I have around 5 different versions of my “Welcome to…” videos that have large changes, such as fonts and colors, or just even a single line of text. I am not wedded to any video being the “Final” version and that is okay. It is an iterative process.

Listen to patrons and notice their movements. Like most user experience books teach us: it is valuable to see how your patrons interact with your displays. Some patrons will be vocal about the videos being too distracting, it is how I figured out I should avoid videos that last less than a minute. Others will simply continue to glance up at the screen at every video change, while it is great that they notice the videos it can also be a sign that it is distracting them from their work.

Thank you

Well that wraps up this two post look at how to create a Digital Display on a Budget. I hope there were at least a few takeaways for you.

This is also my final post for the LITA Blog, it has been an absolute pleasure sharing some of my experiences and projects. I’d like to thank my fellow writers for the wonderful experience, in particular the amazing Brianna Marshall for bringing me onto the blog. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Categories: Library News

Reading Public Library increases its community impact with Boopsie mobile app

Library Technology Reports - 7 hours 36 min ago
(September 29, 2016). Boopsie released a case study that reveals what drove Reading Public Library to launch a customized mobile app. As the leading mobile platform-as-a-service provider for libraries worldwide has seen with its other public library partners, the ever-rising increase in smartphone ownership has led to a demand for library services to expand onto mobile platforms. This trend extends beyond wealthy households as the Census Bureau reports that 80.9% of those living below poverty level have cell phones.
Categories: Library News

Artifacts Access from Unbound Concepts live in Baker and Taylor's Title Source 360 ordering platform

Library Technology Reports - 7 hours 36 min ago
(September 29, 2016). Baker and Taylor, the premier worldwide distributor of digital and print books and Unbound Concepts, creator of the Artifact platform announced today that artifacts are now live in Title Source 360, Baker & Taylor's premier collection development and ordering platform.
Categories: Library News

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to enhance library services with Ex Libris Alma library management platform

Library Technology Reports - 7 hours 36 min ago
(September 29, 2016). Ex Libris announced that the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has opted to implement the Ex Libris Alma library management platform and combine it with the library's Ex Libris Primo discovery and delivery solution. The School joins a growing global community of Ex Libris customers that are now able to optimize library processes and integrate them with other institutional systems to expand library support for teaching, learning, and research.
Categories: Library News

Coconut oil : nature's perfect ingredient : over 100 recipes including healthy d

New At the Library - 7 hours 36 min ago

    ISBN: 9781849498388
    Author: Bee, Lucy,


Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: September 28, 2016

LITA Blog - Wed, 2016-09-28 15:40
Categories: Library News

Pushing up daisies : an Agatha Raisin mystery /

New At the Library - Wed, 2016-09-28 08:35

    ISBN: 9781466861190
    Author: Beaton, M. C.


Categories: Library News

Downfall : a Brady novel of suspense /

New At the Library - Wed, 2016-09-28 08:35

    ISBN: 9780062297716
    Author: Jance, Judith A.


Categories: Library News

The wonder : a novel /

New At the Library - Wed, 2016-09-28 08:35

    ISBN: 9780316393874
    Author: Donoghue, Emma, 1969-


Categories: Library News

OCLC and Internet Archive work together to ensure future sustainability of Persistent URLs

Library Technology Reports - Tue, 2016-09-27 20:23
(September 27, 2016). OCLC and Internet Archive announced the results of a year-long cooperative effort to ensure the future sustainability of purl.org. The organizations have worked together to build a new sustainable service hosted by Internet Archive that will manage persistent URLs and sub-domain redirections for purl.org, purl.com, purl.info and purl.net.
Categories: Library News

Credo upgrades InfoLit modules with new content, new platform

Library Technology Reports - Tue, 2016-09-27 20:23
(September 27, 2016). Credo, the industry leader for information literacy, critical thinking, and research solutions, announced today it has introduced new content for its InfoLit Modules, as well as a dramatically upgraded platform that enables instructional customization. Credo's InfoLit Modules – a mix of videos, tutorials, and assessments – are a library of ready-to-use instructional assets to support librarians in teaching information literacy and research skills.
Categories: Library News

New Wales-wide library management system will foster greater collaboration

Library Technology Reports - Tue, 2016-09-27 20:23
(September 27, 2016). A new library management system which will promote collaboration between cross-sector libraries in Wales was celebrated at an event in the National Assembly.
Categories: Library News

The Repos are here—FOLIO source code repositories released

Library Technology Reports - Tue, 2016-09-27 17:23
(September 27, 2016). The first FOLIO code is now available. FOLIO, which stands for the Future of Libraries is Open, is a community project to develop an open source library services platform. This first release of the base FOLIO code is a critical milestone to have reached since its announcement in June opening up the code to community review and comment.
Categories: Library News

LITA Forum early bird rates extended

LITA Blog - Tue, 2016-09-27 14:22
We’ve extended the LITA members early bird registration another two weeks, so there’s still time to register for the 2016 LITA Forum at the early bird rate and save $50

Fort Worth, TX
November 17-20, 2015

LITA Forum early bird rates now will end October 14, 2016
Register Now!

Join us in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel located in Downtown Fort Worth, for the 2016 LITA Forum, a three-day education and networking event featuring 2 preconferences, 3 keynote sessions, more than 55 concurrent sessions and 25 poster presentations. It’s the 19th annual gathering of the highly regarded LITA Forum for technology-minded information professionals. Meet with your colleagues involved in new and leading edge technologies in the library and information technology field. Registration is limited in order to preserve the important networking advantages of a smaller conference. Attendees take advantage of the informal Friday evening reception, networking dinners and other social opportunities to get to know colleagues and speakers.

Why attend the LITA Forum

Tune in to #LITAchat Friday, September 30, 2016, at noon Central time to learn about the 2016 LITA Forum with guest tweeters from the Forum Planning Committee. From #litaforum, they will discuss the upcoming LITA Forum, November 17-20, in Fort Worth, Texas: why you should attend, what to expect, how to get the most out of the experience, and much more! To participate, launch your favorite Twitter client and check out the #LITAchat hashtag. On the web client, just search for #LITAchat and then click “LIVE” to follow along. Ask questions using the hashtag #LITAchat, add your own comments, and even answer questions posed by other participants.

Register now to receive the LITA members early bird discount:

  • LITA member early bird rate: $340
  • LITA member regular rate: $390

Keynote Speakers:

  • Cecily Walker, Vancouver Public Library
  • Waldo Jaquith, U.S. Open Data
  • Tara Robertson, @tararobertson

The Preconference Workshops:

  • Librarians can code! A “hands-on” computer programming workshop just for librarians
  • Letting the Collections Tell Their Story: Using Tableau for Collection Evaluation

Comments from past attendees:

“Best conference I’ve been to in terms of practical, usable ideas that I can implement at my library.”
“I get so inspired by the presentations and conversations with colleagues who are dealing with the same sorts of issues that I am.”
“After LITA I return to my institution excited to implement solutions I find here.”
“This is always the most informative conference! It inspires me to develop new programs and plan initiatives.”

Forum Sponsors:

OCLC, Yewno

Get all the details, register and book a hotel room at the 2016 Forum website.

See you in Fort Worth.

Categories: Library News

Volunteers needed to help with privacy initiative

LITA Blog - Tue, 2016-09-27 13:14
Are you interested in improving privacy in libraries all across the country? If so, we need your help! The recently-released ALA Library Privacy Guidelines are a great collection of the standards and practices that libraries should be putting into place to protect users’ digital information. A small group of us is now working on creating checklists and resource guides for each set of guidelines in order to help real live library staff implement these guidelines with ease. And we’re looking for volunteers to help! We need folks to help out with developing checklists for the following. We’re particularly hoping to find people with experience in school libraries and networked services, but we’ll take all willing volunteers!
  1. Library Privacy Guidelines for Public Access Computers and Networks
  2. Library Privacy Guidelines for Library Websites (social media), OPACs, and Discovery Services
  3. Library Privacy Guidelines for Library Management Systems
  4. Library Privacy Guidelines for Data Exchange Between Networked Devices and Services
  5.  Library Privacy Guidelines for E-book Lending and Digital Content Vendors
  6. Library Privacy Guidelines for Students in K-12 Schools

If you’re able and interested in putting in a few hours to help us out with this project, pop me an email at librarianinblack@gmail.com with what you can help out with. And thank you!

Categories: Library News

Catherine Reid brings international human resources experience to EBSCO Information Services

Library Technology Reports - Tue, 2016-09-27 11:23
(September 27, 2016). EBSCO has hired Catherine Reid as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Reid brings 15 years of experience in developing and executing talent management strategies and managing complex human resource operations to EBSCO. She will be responsible for HR strategy and service delivery. Reid was most recently the Vice President, Human Resources for Thomson Reuters, where she was responsible for more than 1,200 employees in 40 different countries.
Categories: Library News

Horizon release adds refined Features for improved efficiency and efficacy

Library Technology Reports - Mon, 2016-09-26 17:21
(September 26, 2016). SirsiDynix announced the release of Horizon 7.5.4. The latest Horizon update provides new, powerful capabilities to a long-standing, dependable solution, helping Horizon libraries provide the Best Library User Experience for both library staff and end users. SirsiDynix is dedicated to providing libraries with progressive and continually-advancing solutions.
Categories: Library News

Transmission #10 – Season 1 Finale

LITA Blog - Mon, 2016-09-26 13:51

In the final episode of our first season, I’m telling you about the intention and future of the program, and a little more about myself. I’m also putting out a call for bloggers, contributors, innovators and visionaries! Collaborate with me- send an email to lindsay dot cronk at gmail dot com!

Stay tuned for changes coming in two weeks on October 10th!

Categories: Library News

Ex Libris collaborates with Rosetta users for release of Rosetta 5.1

Library Technology Reports - Mon, 2016-09-26 11:17
(September 26, 2016). Ex Libris released version 5.1 of the Rosetta digital management and preservation system. The new version was created in collaboration with the Rosetta User Group and reflects the needs and priorities of the growing Rosetta customer community.
Categories: Library News

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