or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk


Back to the Future: Migrating to Office 2007

   May 20th, 2010 Brian Herzog

Office 2007 logoWe finally decided to bite the bullet at my library and upgrade from Office 2003 to Office 2007*.

Office 2007 is being installed on all the staff computers first, so that when it's rolled out to the public we'll be able to help them with the new Ribbons menus. And thanks to a heads-up from Dean Baumeister (Memorial Hall Library, Andover, MA), we're going to use some great interactive tutorial guides developed by Microsoft to help make the switch easier.

The neat thing about these guides is that you use a standard Office 2003 menus to do the task you want, and then it shows you exactly how to do that same task using the Office 2007 Ribbons. We're going to put shortcuts to all of these on the desktops, to have easy ready-reference for locating Office functions:

I've only played with Office 2007, so I've been poking around with these guides to see where all the tools and functions I use every day have ended up in the Ribbons. The trickiest thing to find so far has been Word's options. It used to be at Tools > Options, and now it's oddly hidden up in the big round button.

Ah, the joys of learning new software (and trying to make it work as much like the old software as possible).

 


*Yes, I know Office 2010 is due out this summer, but lets not get ahead of ourselves (read more, see more).



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,



Web 2.0 Companies and Libraries

   March 11th, 2008 Brian Herzog

LinkedIn officeA little while ago, grow-a-brain linked to a list of photographs of what some Web 2.0 companies' offices looked like.

I found this interesting, so I thought I'd share. The photo shown here is in the offices of LinkedIn, a social networking website. When I saw it, I thought it could pass for a children's room in a library.

Which got me thinking about what library "offices" look like. Public desks are one thing, but a lot of work also happens beyond the public areas, behind those doors marked "staff-only."

This reminded me there is a Librarians' Desks flickr pool, which has both public and staff desks. Really, they don't look all that different from the Web 2.0 companies.

By the way, here are my public and private library desks.

via



Tags: , , , , , , , ,



Reference Question of the Week – 2/24/08

   March 1st, 2008 Brian Herzog

Microsoft Office logoThis is a question I've gotten in various forms, and I finally have an answer for it. Usually, the reference interview goes something like this:

Patron: I can't open a file on your computer.
Me: Oh; what kind of file is it?
Patron: It's just my resume. My sister updated it for me on her new computer, but her printer is broken, so I came here to print it out. But now it won't open. It works fine at her house.

The two key parts of the patron's last statement are resume and new computer. These words almost always indicate a Word document created on a Microsoft Vista computer running Office 2007. My library's computers have Windows XP and Office 2003, which cannot open Office 2007 documents due to the change in file formats.

That is, until now.

Our IT person found a plugin that will allow Office 2003 programs to open Office 2007 files. This plugin is available from the Microsoft download center.

We have installed this on the computers at the reference desk, but not yet on all the public computers (we are changing the profiles on all of those, and this plugin will be part of it). And of course, since installing it, I haven't gotten this question again.

But we'll be ready for the next patron...



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,