When teaching tech to patrons — like how to set up an email account or create a résumé — it isn't always the technology that's challenging; it's the teaching part. It takes skill to support successful learning.
Because one-to-one instruction can happen any time at your library (sparked by a casual conversation at a service desk or when seeing a customer struggle with a catalog workstation), you might not have time to prepare.
When your library's wireless / Wi-Fi access or Intenet connection is down, here's the information you need to troubleshoot the problem.
Note: this post is targeted to libraries in the Winnefox Library System that are on our shared network. If your library is located outside of Winnefox, you'll need to check with your local IT staff for their recommended procedures.
By the way, you might want to print out this information and keep it with your "what to do when you're down" documents, emergency procedures manual, and Winnefox Contact List (because you know... if the Internet's down at your library, you might not be able to access this post.) So to get the print-friendly version...
Last month I kept getting "the connection has timed out" error messages when trying to access a website, so I checked the URL using my usual tool — Down For Everyone Or Just Me — and it let me know it wasn't the only one who couldn't access it. But then I discovered a website status checker that does a much better job of reporting website outages:
It's time for spring cleaning, and for more than just your house — it's also time for a checkup & cleanup of services that have access to your social media accounts.
Do you connect your Facebook or Twitter accounts to apps or free services you've forgotten about or don't use any more? Lots of free services offer the option to use your existing social media accounts to register, that look like this one:
Here's what Nick Bilton says in the NYT Bits Blog:
Whether you realize it or not, dozens — if not hundreds — of apps and services have access to your social accounts and can see everything you’re doing online. Tweets, Likes, your location, are all there for the taking. What’s worse, there’s a pretty good chance you unwittingly gave them permission.
I noticed that hundreds of old apps have access to my Twitter, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn accounts.
It was time to do a little cleanup.
Just like the spring cleaning rule that says, “If you haven’t worn it in six months, throw it out,” you should use the same edict with your online data: “If you haven’t logged in to an app or site in six months, revoke its access.”
When you need to shorten an URL, a service like TinyURL works great.
But when you need to provide multiple URLs in a small space — like I did for a library when there was room for only one link — there are free tools that make it easy to bundle those URLs into just one link. (Good to keep in mind for a post on your library's Facebook page, or for a 140-character tweet.)
Here's my favorite URL-bundling tool, with step-by-step instructions to create your own bundle: