These days, we depend on our portable devices for just about everything. When they get low on juice, panic sets in. Even if you can find an outlet, do you have your charging cord? You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this often happens to people at the library. Now we have a solution!
Thanks to a generous grant from the Friends of the East Greenbush Community Library, we were able to purchase two device charging stations for the library that include charging cords that will fit most mainstream devices (Apple Lightning, Apple 30-pin, and MicroUSB). If you have your own cord, you can also plug into a USB port or one of the additional electrical ports on the box.
If you would like to try out one of the device chargers, here is where you can find them…
Adult Services (main area):
In the main area of the library, we were hoping to put the charger near the music area. Unfortunately, we discovered that the outlet is dead. Until we can get that fixed, the charger temporarily lives on the laptop cart behind the reference desk. [Update: The charger is now located in the music area.] As a reminder, please do not leave your device unattended while charging. The library is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
We hope you find the new service useful. Let us know what you think in the comments!
This week, the library upgraded its wireless printing system. The old system limited which devices could print, and the process of installing the software was fraught with annoyances. With the upgrade, sending a print job from anywhere is as easy as sending an email attachment!
Any items that require a login, such as boarding passes, Facebook pages, encrypted pages, Google Docs, etc., will need to be downloaded or converted to an image or PDF file before sending. Please see a librarian if you need assistance.
How to Print from a Mobile Device
Mobile devices can use the same procedure as other devices. Alternatively, Android and iOS users can download the PrinterOn app from Google Play or the App store.
You can print most types of files, including photos, web pages, PDFs and Microsoft file types. Web pages and photos can be printed directly from the app.
To use print preview, tap this icon:
To adjust print settings, tap this icon:
Other files can be printed directly from within the “My Files” or “Gallery” locations using the “Share Via” function and selecting the PrinterOn app.
To print an email attachment, launch the native Mail app. Navigate to the email which contains the attachment. Tap and hold the attachment and select “Open in PrinterOn” from the next menu.
Printing from a Cloud Storage App
Launch Box/Dropbox app
Navigate to the item you wish to print
(Box only—expand options using the icon in the top right corner)
Tap the “open in” icon.
Select “open in PrinterOn” and a preview will open.
If necessary, select your printer by scanning a QR code, selecting a saved printer or searching for a new printer.
To select copies and page range where applicable, tap the option icon in the top right corner.
Tap print to submit.
Privacy and Security
This portal uses SSL to ensure the security of your transaction. The printer for this portal uses a privacy system. Your documents are held in a privacy print queue until you are present at the printer to authorize their release.
Documents are not printed until you enter your email and remit payment at the print release station next to the printer located at the reference desk.
The document is permanently deleted upon processing.
Documents left unprinted for more than 24 hours are automatically deleted.
Once printed, documents cannot be re-printed.
If you have questions or comments about the new service, please share them below or contact a librarian.
Staying current with IT news, trends, and tips is a fundamental part of my job in the library. While I get this information from a variety of resources, there is one website that keeps surprising me with helpful information on a variety of subjects of interest to me and the patrons I assist. I’d like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to MakeUseOf, a free online resource with timely articles, reviews, and help guides for all things tech. What really makes this resource shine is its ability to speak to both new and veteran users at the same time without confusing or boring either!
The home page at MakeUseOf displays headlines and teaser text for their most recent articles. I find this layout somewhat chaotic, so I prefer to sort the articles by category before browsing. Selecting “Topics” in the header menu will display the articles by category. The “Answers” section leads to a user forum where registered members can ask and answer questions from the MakeUseOf community. Check out the “Top List” section for “best of” lists for a variety of software and services on multiple platforms. For in-depth technology guides, have a look at their “E-books” area.
As a registered user of MakeUseOf, you can earn points for sharing their content on social media, as well as participating in the forum, polls, and other activities. Those points can be redeemed for rewards, such as entries in drawings for free hardware and software. My favorite benefit of membership has been receiving the newsletter. Each email has a few headlines with teaser text that can be easily scanned, with more information just a click away. I have happened upon lots of very useful information in these newsletters that I didn’t even know I needed! You can opt-in to the newsletter by selecting the social media icons at the top of any MakeUseOf page, and then selecting the blue “Email” button.
What do you think of MakeUseOf? If you have another tech info source you love, please share it in the comments.
As part of our recent library renovation, we made some improvements to the catalog search/event signup computers based on feedback from our patrons.
In addition to upgrading the machines to Windows 7, we broke up the centrally located circle of catalog search/event signup computers in order to distribute them throughout the library. Now, two catalog search/event signup computers remain centrally located, and the others can be found on either end of the main room of the library (by the Teen Area and the Periodicals area). As always, there is a separate catalog search computer in the Children’s Room. Please note that a library card is not needed to access these computers.
The catalog search/event signup computer stands located at either end of the library are mounted to the wall. By default, they are set to be standing stations, but the height of the unit can be adjusted to wheelchair or child height using the buttons on the front right of the keyboard tray:
Two catalog search computers are still located in the center of the library. One is a standard walk-up station, and one is optimized for patrons who prefer to sit and/or view a screen in large print. We hope to add a second seated catalog station in the future.
If you are interested in increasing the text size on this computer, click one of the icons to open a catalog or event page. At the top of the screen, you should see a button labeled “Text Size”:
Click on the arrow to select a size, or click on the button itself to toggle between preset sizes.
Please let us know what you think about the changes (or suggest more improvements) in the comments below. Your feedback helps us become a better library!
Hi folks! It has been a very long time since I posted to this blog. I apologize for the neglect, but the good news is that I have been hard at work upgrading and improving the technology in the library. Here is a list of the latest improvements:
The new public computers have been rolled out and we have been tweaking them for a few months. Most of the bugs are worked out, but we are still experiencing some minor issues with video optimization. Hopefully, we can correct that soon.
All of the staff computers have been upgraded.
I am in the process of upgrading the catalog computers and a few other service computers.
Our website security was compromised…twice! (No worries – patron information does not live on that server, so only our webpages were affected.) Fortunately, the Library was already deep in a website upgrade process. Originally, the reason for the update was twofold – platform security and responsive design. More on responsive design in the next bullet.
Currently, the Library maintains separate websites for desktops and mobile devices. In order to design a single website that will look good and perform well on a variety of devices, we decided to create a responsive website. This means the site layout will be modified based on the screen size of the device viewing it. The plan was to release the new site this month, but we want to ensure its security first.
A large screen monitor will be installed near the library entrance which will scroll announcements and events.
This year, our public copier will be upgraded in response to feedback about the current copier.
The Library acquired a new, more portable large print reader for patrons to use within the library. Visit the Reference Desk for more information.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Friends of the Library, two new tablets will be ordered to facilitate training our staff to assist patrons with the latest portable devices.
After six months of use, an evaluation of the Ask Us 24/7 chat system led to the conclusion that not enough patrons participated in the service to justify continuing the subscription.
Those are the highlights from the last few months. My Evernote account has become stuffed with things to blog about since I have been away. I plan to start publishing regular posts again to get that info out to you. In the meantime, let me know in the comments area if you have any questions or technology subjects you would like me to write about in the future.