Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Keyboard Functions to Learn & Use

During my Tech Talk presentation last week a request was made for some basic computer training. I can't think of anything more basic than simple keyboard functions that work as shortcuts for many word processing tasks. So, here is a short list of keyboard function to learn and use:

Pressing Ctrl plus I will italicize any highlighted area.

Pressing Ctrl plus C will copy any highlighted area.

Pressing Ctrl plus V will paste the last text copied.

Pressing Ctrl plus B will bold any highlighted area.

Pressing Ctrl plus U will underline any highlighted area.

Pressing Ctrl plus + will enlarge all images on the screen. Ctrl plus - will shrink it.

Use the tab key to move to the next box when filling in a form.

Press Ctrl plus PrtScn, then paste into a word document (or another document) to copy of picture of the screen.

Double clicking on a word will highlight the whole word. Triple clicking will highlight the line. (Clicking four times doesn't do anything, sorry.) But Ctrl plus A will highlight a whole page.

Press Ctrl plus F to get a "find" box. This is a search box; type in the word you are looking for and each instance of that word will be highlighted. Use the next button to progress through the document.

There are more, but this is enough for now. I have more NELA blogging to do....

Monday, October 20, 2008

NELA Conference 2008

I just got back from the NELA Conference in Manchester, NH (beautiful time of year to make that drive!) where I blogged for the Library as Commons session. Check out the entire NELA Conf. blog when you get a chance, it's proving to be quite informative.

These conferences are always great places to hear new ideas and meet interesting people. I had lunch with a woman from LIS in Providence, RI. We were bemoaning budget cuts, the inevitability of cutting services, etc., when we got side-tracked and started talking about inter-library loan and World Cat. If I understood her correctly patrons in RI can request a book directly from World Cat and it will be sent to their homes, postage required, of course. I started brainstorming about a way that this service could be offered to all patrons, free of charge. I haven't done any research on this yet, this is all just rumbling around in my head, but wouldn't it be great if libraries could, individually, pay a postage subscription to World Cat and any patron with a library card from that library could get books delivered to their homes for no charge? This would be a great service for shut-ins.

After my day at NELA I have a new wish list for the DFL:

A television in the periodical reading room tuned to MSNBC (or whatever news station), with the volume off, naturally.

Patron-set due dates for materials that they will be using for research or for materials they are planning on taking out of town. This would save some time for the circulation staff with renewals and be excellent customer service. There would have to be exceptions - no new release books or DVDs, no items with holds, or items used for current school projects. But I think it has merit and is worth looking into.

Interactive displays with hand-outs, looped presentations on computers, anything that would make them more exciting than just a table full of books. The displays should also change more frequently. Karen does a nice job with displays in the fiction department and we need to start doing more of it upstairs in the non-fiction section.

I'm looking forward to more NELA tomorrow - wikis and more!

Friday, October 17, 2008

After another too long break from blogging, I'm determined to get back into the habit of regular posting. I taught a class last night which was basically a tour through the library's website. It went very well, response was positive, and I feel like the people who attended left with a deeper understanding of the services offered remotely. The general impression I got was that this type of class should be offered more than once a year and I plan on making that suggestion to the director. Having some hands-on time with computers during the class would also be a good idea. (See ladies, those evaluation sheets are helpful!)

During the class I talked about some of my favorite websites and promised to post them here. Two good beginner social networking sites are Facebook and Flickr. For a "portable" list of favorites use Delicious. The woman who wanted to find people should look at Anywho or People Search. My favorite search engine is Dogpile.

I know I spend entirely too much time in front of my computer and my level of excitement over technology will not be matched by most people. At least an hour of my day is devoted to finding new and useful sites to share with the staff and patrons at DFL. That is my job. What I do hope however, is that I can make your life just a little bit easier, or add a little fun to your day, by sharing the information I have. So to my "students" I say explore, play, don't be afraid to follow links, and remember that you won't break anything. Please take advantage of our Book-A-Librarian program and don't ever be afraid to ask us questions, that is why we're here.