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Technology

Big Huge Labs & Valentine’s Day – Bag of Tricks

Valentine’s Day, LOVE, or as the quote in the movie Princess Bride goes, “tweasure your wuv”. While the Children’s Librarian has probably already accumulated lots of red construction paper and doilies for handmade cards, you may also have some adults or older teens looking to make a card or some sort of holiday specialness. One […]

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Technology

Data Visualization – Bag of Tricks

Ah January, the season of snow and reports! Often January is a month of getting your taxes together,  making reports for the Board, and otherwise wrapping up the year gone by. One tech tool you may want in your back pocket for reports is Livegap Charts (https://livegap.com/charts/). If you can make a spreadsheet, Livegap Charts […]

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Technology

Photo Editing – Bag of Tricks

I do a bit of photo editing for websites and I have used a program called GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) for almost 20 years. GIMP is powerful, but complicated. It is like PhotoShop, but free and open source. I tend to use GIMP most often because I have almost two decades of experience with […]

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Technology

IFTTT – Bag of Tricks

Have you heard the phrase, “the internet of things”? The Internet of Things is the network of devices, vehicles, and home appliances that contain electronics, software, actuators, and connectivity which allows these things to connect, interact and exchange data. So, this is the light bulb that you can turn on from your phone, or the […]

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Technology

Storybird – Bag of Tricks

The other day, my 12 year old niece sent me a pdf of a story she wrote. 100 typed pages. It ends not exactly on a cliffhanger, but leaves room for more adventures. My niece explained that she intends to make it a series. Some of the pages (and the cover!) have beautiful artwork. I […]

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Technology

Broadband – Bag of Tricks

The internet is quite the thing. Since I have been alive, the internet has not only come into being but really changed how people interact with the world. Even 15 years ago, I don’t know that I understood the impact of having the world wide web on a device in my pocket. It reminds me […]

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Technology

Bag of Tricks – Money, Money, Money.

Basic financial literacy can be a great topic for a library program or class. But sometimes it can be intimidating to help patrons with financial matters. I have sometimes had to stop patrons from giving me their Social Security number, online banking passwords, and just ‘Way Too Much Information’ on their personal finances. There are […]

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Technology

Bag of Tricks – NewsGuard

Looking for unbiased and legitimate news sources on the internet can be a vexing task even for experienced reference librarians. A new resource I recently found is NewsGuard, a new company looking at the problems of fake news and distrust in the media by improving media literacy. They have a free program for libraries and […]

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Technology

Bag of Tricks – The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Windows 10 Troubleshooting

Ah, the Windows operating system — I love it, I hate it, and when they change it…[sigh]…well, sometimes I question if it is progress or a sideways step backward with a half turn and a flip. One thing is for certain: if you work with patrons in public libraries you are bound to deal with […]

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Technology

Bag of Tricks – Toward Gigabit Libraries

Have you ever noticed that everything on the internet runs slower after 3 pm when the kids jump on the computers after school? Do phrases like ‘10GB up, 40GB down’ sound like “tech-speak” to you? Fortunately, a new project, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is here to help you understand […]

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Technology

Bag of Tricks – Metaverse

“Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment whereby the objects that reside in the real-world are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information.” – Wikipedia Does augmented reality seem like an alternate reality for you? Not sure your reality needs augmentation? Can you imagine augmented reality as a tool you could use to […]

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Technology

Bag of Tricks – Padlet

Here’s an example of a question you might encounter at the library: “My niece is going off to college and we are having a big surprise party for her. Some of the people can’t come and we want to make a website where everyone can put up pictures and leave her little notes. Can you […]

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Technology

Bag of Tricks – Files Conversion & Charts

Picture this request from a patron: “Excuse me, I am looking for information on Excel. I have the file on my flash drive, but it was created on my nephew’s laptop and I only have a PDF. But it looks like an Excel file. I need to open it and make a chart to put […]