Monthly Archives: March 2011

PLA’s Virtual Spring Symposium

I’m attending the technical track this morning – Mobile Feast: Reaching Library Customers via Mobile Technology and Can Your Library Provide the Electronic Content That People Want and Need. I’ll just summarize both of them in this post, rather than trying to do two at once.

The twitter hashtag for the sessions is #plavss11.

Michael Casey and Christopher Baker started off with a discussion of mobile technology and how to reach patrons. 47% of mobile consumers use connected media – they expect immediate access via the device they choose, they expect it to be easy to use from their device and they expect the resources and functionality of the site. Libraries need to consider cost of delivery for all of this as well as staffing new points of service in the mobile arena.
Michael Casey discussed the use of Library Anywhere which lets your patrons search your catalog – may be a cheaper alternative to III’s airpac (their mobile product). Christopher mentioned the need to make it optional – don’t force tablet users to the mobile site. They also discussed the LibGuide feature that makes a mobile site from each of the guides natively.
Where do you start? With vendors that have mobile sites – Overdrive, Database Apps (Ebsco, etc). The fact that you can’t opt out of Overdrive’s mobile site in the iPad (for example) was mentioned. Bad design.
They discussed the challenges of SMS reference. They use LibAnswers.
They’d like to see increased ILS interoperability, fewer difficulties in creating seamless design transitions. There are limitations of downloadable content, a cost for delivery of this, staffing mobile services appropriately, and understanding shifting points of service.
They also discussed what we control vs. what we don’t. The most important thing we don’t control is the tool that the user chooses to access our services.
Michael started with a Libraries = Community + Content. He showed a slide that shows that 90% of the US population averages $31,244 a year. Reuse space – more digital content means more space for libraries.
He talked about the future of DVDs (see Netflix and Redbox) – libraries should be considering what we will do when movies are only streaming?
Next he showed an info graphic about how Netflix killed Blockbuster. He thinks we need to do what Netflix does – what if we could provide the content to the patrons as well as Netflix.
It’s a question of content access – libraries have to provide access as easily as Netflix and Amazon.
Save Libraries – www.libraryrenewal.org – Library Renewal
ALA EQUACC – ALA presidential task force on equitable access to electronic content – equacc.ala.org

The week in Tweets

  • Social Engineering Training http://ff.im/zxBh4 #
  • @xorpheous So, what’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? #
  • @xorpheous Same here – just wondering what we have to look forward to! #

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The week in Tweets

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Using group policy to control malware

Before the session, I talked to a guy who uses his iPad to manage a lab – insight teacher’s Assistant. Worth a look for our PCC lab.
The presentation started with handouts with the step-by-step directions to restrict software in Group Policy. Beth gave an overview of group policy (which we don’t use enough) and the Group Policy Management Console. She continued with policy precedence. Local to site to domain to org unit. Whitelist or blacklist? Whitelist by directory is coming up. Not a bad idea for the PCC. Computer or user? Hash or software path?
Best practices – if a user can write to a dir, apps shouldn’t run from that dir. If an app can run from a dir, users shouldn’t be able to write to it. Users are local users, not admins. Tips on installing and updating adobe and flash (win update elevates and doesn’t need help). Look for custom install kits. Tips for using virtual machines for gp testing – put the vm in the correct org unit and apply just to that machine until you are happy, then elevate the policy to the whole ou (organizational unit).
Apps usually run from program files, startup folder, windows. Allow windows folder, disallow cmd and regedit – etc – to give more flexibility.
Demos of group policies being applied.
Turn off auto run and push a local hosts policy – if you do nothing else…
Reg entry to turn off IPv6 – might be available through GP. Or cmd line it as a login script through GP. Set the GP to disallow using proxy settings – helpful!!
Mbps.org provides a regularly updated host file that helps to keep staff from malware sites.
Create a folder and share on the server, download host file from Mbps, create GPO – disable DNS client service (in XP) then deploy – TEST.

Library Issues Round Table

Whoops – this should have been posted a long time ago…

We started with discussion of Overdrive and how we all use it. Next up was ILS (Integrated Library System – circulation, cataloging and web OPAC, among other things) versions and many discussions of what ILS we use with lots of complaints about the vendors in the space. Travis Reddick, of MORENet, got lots of props for being a very helpful dude to work with in the networking area of MORENet. There were a lot of comments about hosted ILSs and web-based ILSs.
Next up was a discussion about tech support at the library and how far we go to help patrons as we try to do the rest of our work.

Connections conf day 1 wrapup

At the start of a very long day, I awoke to the sight of some cute ducks on my patio. I blogged pretty heavily about my sessions yesterday, so I won’t go into detail about that. Around the sessions, though, I did a lot of chatting with other library types about a lot of different things that they are doing. I did sort of crap out in the afternoon and ended up skipping a session to hang in my room and do some requested web updates for work. I was getting burned out on all the socializing, if you can imagine…
The library round table in the evening was great (big kudos to Lee Cushing for suggesting it). There were a lot of folks, including some relevant Morenet folks, who had a lot to say. Again, I blogged about that (though now I’m wondering if I posted it – if not, it will show up soon).

Network backup from Morenet

This session will be about something I’m very interested in – network backups. Since a lot of this will be kind of specific, I plan to do a lot of summarizing. He started with network storage, which I don’t need. The network backup, though, I do. They have set it up so that it’s not going across the general Internet. This is nice! Beyond that, it’s all encrypted, both in transit and on the server. Dedups and compression are done before the data leaves the library. Nice! Agentless backups mean that only one backup client necessary. All major OSs are supported, databases are supported. Cost is per GB stored, client included in service. Client statistical mode-we can figure backup size precisely before committed to the service. Data is stored outside MO. Pricing info should be available in a couple of weeks.