Introduction to Facebook

Intro to Facebook class
click here for the original presentation
Privacy and identity security are big concerns of mine, and I made them the emphasis of this demonstration workshop.

Based on student feedback, when I teach this class in June, I will include an introductory slide to explain what Facebook is “for” and a closing slide on how to use Facebook to find local information and events. There’s more to social networking than over sharing and creeping.

Click here to see the presentation.


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Colorful Computing Instructions

Here are two signs I made for our PC Reservation and printing station; they are attached to either side of the computer monitor.  You can click the images for a link to the original Word 2007 documents.

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Library Bookmark Contest

Inspired by the Florida Library Association, we decided a bookmark contest would be a great way to celebrate National Library Week in April.

While we marketed the contest to three age groups (under 11, 11-18, and adult), all our participants were under 14. A couple of our winning entries came from an outreach at a local playground. The prizes were gift certificates to the ice cream parlor across the street from the library.  As you can see, we got some fantastic graphics out of the deal. 

Feel free to adapt any of these materials to use in your library. 

You can customize the back of the bookmark to suit the program. So far, we featured our summer program schedule and our hours/website information. 

I created a template for the bookmarks in MS Publisher. To do this, set the page size to 2 x 7.5 inches and set the print settings to Multiple copies per page // Number of copies: 5 // Properties: Duplex: Print on Both Sides. Neither WordPress nor Docstoc support .pub files, but here’s a pdf version of the Reading can take you anywhere bookmarks.

Contest Rules and Entry Form
The winners part 1 of 2
The winners part 2 of 2

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We won! State Aid was restored.

In Florida’s 2010 legislative session, State Aid to Libraries was reduced to zero in the budget prepared by the Florida House of Representatives and cut in half in the budget prepared by the Florida Senate.  After the budgets were reconciled, we were left with an $11 million allocation, which would decimate library services around the state.  This document was prepared to ask patrons to once again contact leaders of the Florida House and Senate on our behalf.  Funding was finally restored at midnight on Monday, April 26th after a statewide concerted effort from library lovers and library staff, including at least 60,000 emails through the Florida Library Association.

View this document on Scribd

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Please support public libraries in Florida

It’s budget time again, and again we’re facing losing all our State Aid funding completely.  Here’s the letter I wrote Governor Charlie Crist today about maintaining State Aid at the current funding levels.  Please feel free to reuse the language in any way you see fit.  For more information, please see the Florida Library Association website.  You don’t have to write a personal letter like I did; there is an easy online email form with a generic sample letter to contact all the relevant legislators directly on ALA’s Florida Advocacy website.

Dear Governor
I know you are aware how important public libraries are to the economic health of Florida.  We support the most needy residents of the community as they try to improve their lives and safeguard their children.  We provide resume assistance, teach patrons how to use email, assist them in filling out job applications online, assist them in using Craigslist to find jobs, assist them in filing for unemployment, and provide invaluable investment data for retirees through expensive subscriptions like Valueline. 
Given your recent veto of SB6, for which we are grateful, I know you support education and educators in our state.  When schools close or when people are going back to school, the first place they stop is their local public library.  We provide access to research databases, the internet, and computer programs like Word and Powerpoint they need to succeed.  When students are unfamiliar with computer programs, we assist them to ensure their continued academic success.  In addition, we are the first stopping point for immigrants to our country who wish to learn English and most libraries provide space, materials, training and information for students and tutors.
If we fail to designate $21.2 million in State Aid funding, we will lose matching federal money.  Many libraries around the state, particularly in rural areas such as Hernando County, will close completely.  In our own Pinellas County, our cooperative is threatened with closure.  The cooperative funds the Deaf Services center, which provides literacy outreach, computer classes, and sign language classes to the deaf community and to adults and children in the community who want to learn sign language.  Our cooperative also pays for our county-wide library catalog, which allows us to efficiently share materials across the system and avoid costly duplication of titles.  Efficient resource sharing organized by the many regional cooperatives saves us millions of dollars statewide. 
Library programs and services provide a terrific return on investment.  We save taxpayers money and provide invaluable services available nowhere else.  Please continue to support us at the current level of $21.2 million and ensure the economic future of millions of Floridians who desperately need us.
Thank you for your service.

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Customizing the Search Bar in Internet Explorer

Ever wanted to search the library catalog quickly without changing windows or opening a new page?  You can easily add PALS to the search bar of Internet Explorer (located in the top right corner).  Most of us are still running IE 7 in our system, but it’s a similar process in IE8.

  1. Open Internet Explorer 7
  2. Next to the search bar in the top right corner, you’ll see a tiny icon of a magnifying glass
  3. Click the drop down menu to the right of the magnifying glass
  4. Select Find more providers
  5. This will open a website titled Add Search Providers to Internet Explorer.  Here’s a screenshot of this page (click to enlarge). 
  6. While you’re here, you might want to add Google and Wikipedia to the search bar.  To do that, click the icons I’ve circled in the screenshot.
  7. You’ll be prompted to confirm Do you want to add the search provider?  Say yes!  If you want, you can make Google the default search engine (instead of Bing) by clicking the check box.
  8. Okay, now to add PALS.  On the right side, you’ll see a yellow box named Create your own.  Here’s where you paste the following link:*&query=&page=0 and give it a good friendly name, like “PALS”.  The link I’ve given will create a county-wide search.  If you’d prefer to customize that search to only your branch’s holdings or impose some other limits (format, sort by, etc.), open the catalog, choose the limits you want, type TEST in the search box, hit Go and copy the URL from your search results page.  Use that one instead!
  9. You’re done!  Now whenever you want to switch between search engines, just click the drop down menu to choose your provider and type in your search terms.  If you have any questions, I’d be happy to talk you through the process and send you more screenshots. 

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All about the library crossword puzzle

I made this crossword for an outreach to fourth graders.

According to my fearless leader, the first one I made was too hard.  What, 4th graders wouldn’t know A written or spoken work of art in which the sound of the language is used to create an emotion or the process of checking out and returning books; also something your body does with oxygen.  :)

It’s saved on the Armored Penguin puzzle maker website.  You can get printable versions, the answer key, or even answer it online here.

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