Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cool Apps

Ever wonder what good apps are out there that are free? I hate paying for an app. I'm all about open source especially for public libraries.

So here are a few of my favorite apps. (And now Favorite Things from Sound of Music is in my head).

Cloud Storage
Need a file from your computer? Save it to Dropbox or Google Drive or iCloud (iOS only) and you can open it on your phone!
Digital Library
Love to listen to audiobooks on the road? Try Overdrive (OR it's new companion app Libby) OR RBDigital. Kansas residents have an  RBdigital account through the State Library. CKLS residents have an Overdrive account through their local library.

Love eBooks? Try Cloud Library, Freading or TotalBoox through the State Library of Kansas. Overdrive/Libby through CKLS has a large collection of eBooks too!

You no longer need a WiFi printer to print from your mobile device! You just need your printer wired to the network and find the App for your brand of printer. I have had good luck with Business Canon Print, HP Smart print, Ricoh Connector AND Samsung Mobile Print.

Automate Your Life
Have a document you need to sing and return? Use SignNow. You can open the file, fill out the PDF, sign it, and send it back--All from your phone or tablet!

Need lists and reminders? Try Wunderlist!

Want your profile photos on all your social media to sync, when you change one, they all change? Try Ifttt (If this, then that).

Scan/Photo Editing
Want to see what you look like Old or Young, Male or Female? Take a non-smiling photo and make you smile? Try FaceApp!

Snapseed is an excellent photo editor with filters and tools to improve your photos. Adobe Photoshop Touch is also an option. Lenka provides simple Black & White photos.

Password Keeper
Dashlane or LastPass are great options for securely storing all your passwords. Both will tell you the age and strength of you passwords and offer the option to copy passwords and paste them into login boxes.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Carvey--Better than a 3D Printer?

So I have gotten a new toy. A Carvey (by Inventables) machine! I'm excited because it cuts into plastic, wood, cardboard, pasteboard! To be honest, it's a digitally controlled router.

Set-up is pretty easy but I did have to do some troubleshooting. The carriage belt for the bit was loose, so my first carve looked like this.

Here is a timelapse video of my first carve. 

It stuttered in carving the D and the E! And my logo looks like I tried to carve it by hand.

So with some tightening and some talking with support I got this:
Carving is quicker that 3D Printing because it cuts down existing materials instead of building up from melted plastic.
Also non-techie people can relate better to a digital wood carving router than with a machine building up doo-dads from plastic.

I hope to use this make desk nameplates, nametags, and more. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Eclipse is Over!

No more drop-ins and phone calls from people looking for free eclipse glasses.

It sounds like the perfect time to celebrate!

Friday, July 28, 2017

T-Shirt Tote Bags

A program that teens seem to love (beyond all reason) is T-Shirt Tote Bags. Now I know why I love it: it is cheap, quick and simple.

What's not to love about a program that requires only shirts and scissors?

And with the diversity of shirts you can use, the end results can wind up being pretty unique.

We went to our local thrift shop and bought a couple of "Rag Bags" (aka a bag of shirts that sell mostly to people who use them to clean up in shops and such) for about $2. And that with our supply of fabric scissors (always make sure to properly label your scissors as "Fabric" so they don't get ruined by being used on something else) we have one very inexpensive program.

An alternative would be to have a BYOT (Bring Your Own T-Shirt) event and have them bring a shirt of their own to reinvent. [I will offer more suggestions for redoing shirts later that should make either a BYOT or an investment in starting a shirt stash very worthwhile.]

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sexting Doesn't Hurt Anyone, Right?

Sending your significant other a cute little nude photo. It's no big deal, right? It's private. It's just a little sexting.

24% of high school students and 33% of college students have been involved in sexting.

When their photos were shared, many teens became subject of online bullying. The harassment became so bad some victims have committed suicide.

Many don't see it as a big deal. Many don't realize how easily that very private photo can become so very public.

All it takes is 1 group text to spread the photo. Once someone else is in possession of your photo, you no longer control how they share that photo. "17% of sexters share the messages they receive with others, and 55% of those share them with more than one person."

And if you forward a nude or partially nude photo of an underage girl, you can be charged with child pornography.

So, talk to teens about the real dangers of sexting. Help them see how easily a photo can be shared and the ramifications of sharing that photo.

Dangers of Sexting:

Phycology Today:

Teen Sexting Statistics:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Can You Spot a Malicious Email?

Remember, as Junk Mail filters get better, so do spammers! Nefarious emailers are tricky and they are getting better at their malicious emails.
It's no longer good enough to just ignore the emails from Nigerian Princes, where your name is never in the email and the grammar and spelling are so poor you know it's not legit.
Now,  spammers have your name, use a brand name or store, have an official looking logo, or website, or email. It's been proof read and edited. It looks honest. BUT IT'S NOT!

So, How do you know? 

That's probably the wrong question. Rather, How do I protect myself?

Don't trust a hyperlink. Hover over the link and see what web address it is Really Taking you too. Not what the email says it's taking you to.

Don't trust an email address. Spammers can now clone emails or hide their real email they are using. Make sure to hover over, or click the arrow next to the email address to see who really sent the email.

And don't open attachments that you do not know what they are. Pay attention to the file extension. Never open a file with .zip or .exe.

Don't click on links.  Go to your online accounts by typing the web address into your browser.
And trust your gut. If you think something is off, don't open it.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Librarian Shower Thoughts

Profound thoughts seems to abound when I'm shampooing my hair in the shower.

  • Overdue and Overude are just a typo apart. Coincidence?
  • Why is the noisy teen kicked out, but the rude adult is not?
  • What is it about the full moon and all the most eccentric patrons coinciding?
  • Why do the people who think they know it all, actually know so little?
  • If patrons had to turn in their phones to check out a book, the library would never have overdues.
  • Cleaning out the junk patrons donate in books is like an archaeologist dig.