Libraries have circulated books since the 19th Century, and, as AV materials became available, so did the ability to circulate music and movies (in whatever format was currently available). In the past 5 years, however, there has been an uptick in libraries circulating materials considered “non-traditional.” Patrons of libraries with a “Library of Things” may find themselves checking out Halloween costumes, snowshoes, artwork, instruments, or any number of things their heart could desire. Libraries around the globe are doing what they can to help provide their communities with items to make their every-day lives easier.
Many librarians are scared to take on this new collection since it seems so unprecedented, but fear not. We have collected tips and tricks from around the library-sphere (and internet) to help make the plunge a little bit easier. Read on to have your fears put to rest.
North Dakota is a much larger state than people often realize. With about 70,000 square miles, it ranks in the top 20 largest states (fun fact).
The North Dakota State Library (NDSL) strives to serve all libraries across the state in a timely and efficient manner. Several departments, like Library Development (LD), are frequently on the road conducting site visits and providing assistance to libraries. However, North Dakota’s geography can sometimes be a burden, especially when assistance is needed immediately. Thankfully, technology is here to help.
When a library has a pressing issue (that cannot be resolved via phone or email) and visual assistance is needed, LD utilizes Zoom.
Zoom is a communication platform that allows for collaboration, video conferencing, online meetings, webinars, etc.
With Zoom, LD can easily share their screen and walk you through the issue. This can also work vice versa: You can easily share your screen and visually explain things on your end.
Using Zoom may particularly come in handy with any WordPress questions or during the Annual Report/ State Aid seasons.
Here’s how a Zoom session with Library Development (LD) would work:
- Contact LD about your question or issue.
- If your inquiry cannot be resolved via phone or email and a visual aid would make the situation easier, LD will initiate a Zoom meeting.
- LD will provide you with the Zoom meeting information (either the link to join and/or the meeting ID number).
- Once you get the information, attempt to join the meeting. This can be done by clicking on the meeting link/URL or entering in the meeting ID on Zoom. If you do not have Zoom installed on your computer, you may be prompted to download it. (NDSL’s webinars and NDLA’s meetings are conducted via Zoom. So if you don’t have Zoom downloaded, it would be a good idea to have it anyway.)
- You will be redirected to join the Zoom meeting. In the Zoom meeting, you or the LD representative will be able to share their screen.
- No microphone on your computer? – No problem! The Zoom meeting can be muted and you can talk with your LD representative on the phone while you collaborate and share screens.
- No webcam on your computer? – No problem! A webcam is not required to participate in a Zoom meeting. As long as you are able to view the meeting screen, there shouldn’t be any issues.
- Will there be any costs to use this service? – No! Zoom does have a variety of different plans, some of which have a fee. However, Zoom also has a basic plan that is free. But, there will be no costs for libraries to attending a Zoom meeting that LD sets up.
- Does Zoom have remote desktop capabilities? – No. Zoom is not remote desktop software, so LD will not be able to gain access to your computer via Zoom. Zoom is a collaboration platform and only allows for the sharing of screens. You would still have full access to your computer, but all meeting attendees would be able to see your screen when you share it.
- How can Zoom meetings be joined? – https://youtu.be/vFhAEoCF7jg
- How do I share my screen? – https://youtu.be/9wsWpnqE6Hw
Zoom is very user-friendly, and a meeting would look something like this (when there are no webcams and a screen is not being shared).
Thank you for visiting.
This resource has moved!
It can now be found on the North Dakota State Library’s LibGuides: https://library-nd.libguides.com/fakenews
We’d hate to see you leave empty-handed, so here is an image of a man riding a bicycle down the steps of the U.S. Capitol (courtesy of the Library of Congress).
“A perilous ride,” 1884
Coding Apps, Websites, & More
Coding for Girls
Hour of Code
STEM & STEAM Resources
Books: STEM, STEAM, & Coding
The North Dakota State Library is excited to announce its partnership with Girls Who Code. Girls Who Code brings computer science opportunities to elementary, middle, and high school girls in your community—no coding experience is necessary to facilitate a weekly club.
After signing up, facilitators will receive access to the club curriculum completely free and can learn to code right alongside the students.
3–5th grade club: This club is run similar to a book club and does not need computer access. Books are provided for free. Check out the sample curriculum here.
6–12th grade club: This club does require computer access for each participant. To view the learning platform and sample curriculum, follow the instructions below.
- Visit the online learning platform, Girls Who Code HQ
- Create an HQ Account by clicking Sign Up and “I want to start a club or I want to volunteer for a club.” This does not obligate you to host a club.
- Click on the different icons to learn more about the clubs.
To learn more about the Girls Who Code organization, you can check out these links: Overview; Club Summary
To apply to host a club, click here. Remember to indicate North Dakota State Library as your partner affiliation.
For more information, please contact Abby Ebach at email@example.com or 701-328-4680.
A technology plan outlines a library’s goals and strategies for utilizing technology to achieve its overall mission, goals, and objectives. It also addresses the library’s current inventory of technology equipment and software utilized in the library, as well as a plan for the future purchase/replacement/maintenance of equipment and software.
Standards for Public Libraries
While it is good practice for libraries to have technology plans, not all libraries are required to do so. However, the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries does require a 3-5 year technology plan at the Future-Focused level (F13).
Library Technology Planning for Today and Tomorrow
The following sections are adapted from the “Library Technology Planning for Today and Tomorrow” webinar by Diana Silveira (available online via WebJunction).
Aspects of a Technology Plan
- Technology assessment (evaluate what you have, evaluate current usage, and identify critical issues)
- Community input and the definitions of options
- Goals and outcomes (goals should be S.M.A.R.T.)
- Planning/ timeline
- Criteria for evaluation
- Planning for the future
What Should be Included?
- Internet access (bandwidth)
- Routers, firewalls, etc.
- Hardware (staff and public)
- Software (staff and public)
Connect Your Plan to Your Community
- Who are your users?
- How is your community changing? (age, demographics, etc.)
Determine Staff Needs
- How do staff needs vary from users?
- What software is needed or wanted?
- How do you plan to gather and understand staff needs?
- Quality of technology
- Quality of the product
- User feedback
- Usage Statistics
- Anecdotal evidence
- Training numbers
- Are there issues? (Are there issues with training, maintenance, charging, audience, location, marketing, etc.?)
Plan for the Future
- Use the technology assessment as a living document
- Note recommendations for the next review/ plan
In September, I attended the NDLA annual conference in Jamestown. One of the sessions I attended was “3D Printing @ Your Library” presented by Greta Guck, the director of the Leach Public Library in Wahpeton. I thought it would be an interesting session, but it turned out to be considerably more inspiring than I expected!
Greta talked about how she was inspired to acquire a 3D printer after hearing Mick Ebeling speak at the ALA 2015 Midwinter conference. The founder of Not Impossible Labs and author of Not Impossible: The Art and the Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done, Mick has used 3D printers to create prosthetic limbs for people in Sudan who have lost their arms due to violence in the area.
After the conference, I did some research and one of the articles I found about “Project Daniel” makes an excellent point: “To many people 3D printing can seem trivial or a bit silly, but for some this technology has the potential to transform lives.” Many people probably do think of 3D printing as something neat and cool, without stopping to think about the life-changing applications of the technology. Continue reading
State Historical Society of North Dakota, William E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection (1-28-46-1)
The governor will present his budget to the legislature today. One of the popular topics that has come up in recent years is oil revenue. This isn’t something new as demonstrated in the above photo from 1952. A Williston City Commissioner, Neuman Ditsworth, leads a protest against legislative action on a oil tax bill. You can read more about it on Digital Horizons.
Take a few minutes to explore the new Digital Horizons website and our new content! The North Dakota Memories collection has new items from the Pembina County Historical Society and the North Dakota County and Town Histories collection has a number of new books for your searching ease.
The promise of Virtual Reality (VR) has never really panned out the way pundits expected it would, but it remains an intriguing niche technology that often totters precariously close to mainstream acceptance. The Oculus Rift is the latest headline-grabber, but, it remains overpriced and (in my opinion) underwhelming.
Recently, there a new market emerged in open source cardboard enclosures that combine your smartphone and a pair of biconvex lenses to produce the first truly entry-level and easily accessible VR set. The best in class (if that term is even appropriate for something made of cardboard you wear on your face) seems to be the Dodocase.
There was a large of stack of these for sale when I was in Barnes and Noble last night, and they run about $25/each (you may be able to find some cheaper online). It’s worth noting that at this point there are only a handful of VR apps in either the Android or iPhone market, but all the ones I’ve found are free and fun to play around with. If you’re feeling ambitious, there’s Developer Documentation on the Google Cardboard site, to assist in programming your own Android apps.
A few caveats before you get started: a little DIY hacking is in order if you wish your raw cardboard headset to remain sturdy and hospitable and approximate the comfortable accommodation of human heads. Using some electrical tape, felt pads, or Sugru to shield contact points is a great idea, not just for comfort, but also because cardboard is easily besmirched in gross unsightly ways by our sweat exuding noggins.
That being said, you will not find an easier, cheaper, or more user-friendly approach to VR on the market, and I could definitely see patrons coming in to try it out if presented with the opportunity. Good luck and if you do try it out, I’d love to hear about your experiences with it!