February 12th, 2015 Brian Herzog
This post should have the subtitle, Turning back the clock, one "feature" at a time.
So the internet is all about sharing, right, no matter how small and insignificant the topic? Here's a small and insignificant tidbit I thought I'd share, because I'm an anti-change curmudgeon and this was actually a major deal to me.
I've started the process of updating all the Firefox browsers in my life to the latest version. Apparently the last time I updated was version 32.0.1, and am now updating to 35.0.1. Mostly everything is fine, but I HATE how the "improved" search bar works.
Most of you will probably be familiar with the old way:
You type in your search terms, and can choose whichever engine you'd like to use. And what you type in stays there, and which engine you choose also stays.
The new way is different:
I feel like listing all the reasons I don't like the new method would be petty and whiny (although not unlike me), so suffice to say the way it works just does not fit my workflow.
But happily, Firefox is open source, and offers a way to change back to the old way. A quick search online lead me to the answer:
- Go into the about:config
- Type oneoff in the Filter box
- Double-click to toggle browser.search.showOneOffButtons to false
- Restart Firefox
The old search bar interface comes back, and once again all is right with the world.
January 21st, 2015 Brian Herzog
If you work on your library's website, this infographic on when to use different graphic formats might be useful. Tech things like this always interest me (if you're only a little interested, skip down to the What Should You Use section at the very bottom for the summary). (via)
And speaking of image stuff, Here's a List of More Than 30 Free Image Sites That Don't Look Stock-y. Nice-looking free images are always a good resource. (via)
Tags: file, format, gif, graphic, graphics, image, images, internet, jpeg, jpg, png, web, web design, Websites
November 12th, 2014 Brian Herzog
My library is in the very beginning stage of redesigning our website, so I've been collecting various links on the subject. I thought this infographic was funny, and maybe actually useful too.
The "translations" down the right side are actually a nice little collection of sample ideas. And of course, when our design team starts getting input on early drafts from staff and patrons, the translations themselves will surely be invaluable.
February 24th, 2011 Brian Herzog
Here's something to check out: Hack Library School.
It's mainly a tech sandbox for library school students, but since today's students are tomorrow's librarians, keeping up with what they're doing is well worth the time. Librarianship is increasingly technology-based, and libhackers are well-positioned to be the innovators and leaders.
From the website:
The Web is our Campus.
This is an invitation to participate in the redefinitions of library school using the web as a collaborative space outside of any specific university or organization. Imagine standards and foundations of the profession that we will create, decided upon by us, outside of the institutional framework. Ideas like the democratization of the semantic web, crowdsourcing, and folksonomies allow projects like this to exist and we should be taking advantage of it. What will the information professions be next year if we define it for ourselves today? If we had a voice in the development of curriculum, what would that degree entail? This is our challenge to you; participate or come up with a better idea. How would you hack library school?
Besides, they rank Swiss Army Librarian at #5 of library blog to follow, so you know they've got good taste.
Tags: graduate, hack, hacklib, hacklibraryschool, innovation, libhack, libraries, Library, lis, online, school, student, students, web
November 18th, 2010 Brian Herzog
Thinking about the new design of the San Jose Public Library reminded me that I've been collecting links to tools and articles about web design. I posted a few resources before, but the demise of Bloglines has prompted me to pull out all my bookmarks and do something with them.
I'll be using these when we redesign our website, and hopefully you'll find them helpful too:
Web Design Overview
Design Tips & Goals
Testing & Development Tools
And the final word on this subject will come from Chuck - Design Coding is not only hilarious, it's amazingly accurate:
But I'm sure there are tons of other tools out there, so please share your favorite in the comments. Thanks.
Tags: coding, design, development, libraries, Library, public, site, sites, tools, web, web design, website
October 23rd, 2010 Brian Herzog
This week's question is actually one I needed to answer myself - it's a little bit random, so bear with me.
My library just held our annual thank-you dinner for all of our adult volunteers. To illustrate "the value of volunteers" (in other words, how much money volunteers save us) my director and I came up with a "volunteer stats" bookmark* [ppt, 1.2MB] to hand out.
We had 241 volunteers last year, with a total of 5804 volunteer hours. We figured if we paid them each $15/hour, their labor would have cost the library $87,060. Just to add another little fact to the bookmark, I wanted to figure out just how tall $87,060 was in $100 bills.
So of course, I turned to the internet. I did a search for something like how tall is a stack of money, and after clicking on a few results, I found a forum posting that provided the Excel formulas needed to calculate not just the height of a stack of bills, but also the cubic volume and value of different denominations. Neat.
I copy/pasted the formulas into an Excel spreadsheet* [xls], and after a little tweaking, had my answer. And just to double-check it, I went back to the internet to find a "known value" (in this case, the height of $1 million in $100's). It checked out, so I had my fact for the bookmark, and a job well done, right?
Well, not so fast: being me, I thought, "hey, wouldn't it be awesome to turn this Excel spreadsheet into a web form that other people could play with? After all, that was so popular the last time."
And it turns out, there is: I found SpreadsheetConverter.com, which does exactly that. After you download the software, it converts spreadsheets to a web-ready format with just a click of a button - pretty neat.
But even better was their free demo offer, where you email them your spreadsheet and they convert it for you. Within 24 hours they sent back the converted webpage, and it works great - just enter the height** of your money stack below, and the spreadsheet tells you the value of various denominations, for both a single stack and a cubic block of bills.
One condition of the free demo is that it is for evaluation purposes only, so evaluate away and keep this tool in mind if you ever need to throw a spreadsheet up on your website - it can save you a lot of time. Too bad I didn't know about it when I was coding the Library Use Value Calculator.
The thank-you dinner went well, and the bookmarks were a big hit. Yay for volunteers.
*Feel free to download, edit and reuse our volunteer bookmark* [ppt, 1.2MB]
or the Excel spreadsheet* [xls]
if you like.
**This was designed to figure out height in inches - to use different measurements, the form below will convert those values into inches: