Technical Services Tools Redux


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Presented at ALAO, 10/30/2009.

Presentation Description: Overview: What can technical services departments do to tackle automation, training, and communication issues when they have been doing more with less for years? This presentation will cover several free (or inexpensive) and easy to implement tools that Miami University’s Technical Services department has incorporated into daily operations. Specific software, including wikis, macros, and tutorials will be discussed along with quick ways these tools can help technical services address the above issues.

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  • Tools in this presentation are either free or cheap. All are also easy to implement. Look on your handout for more specific information on the products demoed today, as well as general information about choosing tools.
  • ***Communication*** Problems: Incorrect information, missing information, and bureaucratic procedures in updating informationSolution: Wiki Intranet …. Using for:Polices/proceduresStaff informationStaff calendar (Google Calendar)Resource bookmarking TrainingApplication/macro documentation and updatesAnd more…-- Why PBWorks?Free hosting – server and software maintenance no longer the responsibility of the department
  • Rich TextEditor - Similar to other rich text editors staff use everyday, such as Microsoft Word. The rich text editor in PBWorks removes the barrier of learning a wiki markup language.
  • PBWorksallows for the embedding of widgets and plugins, such as an instant translator and an embedded Google Calendar. The screenshot above show a snippet of the Resources and Tools page on our wiki. We have a variety of plugins, including the ones shown above. This allows us to add external tool functionality in one central place.
  • Document management system: similar to ones you have encountered in Windows. We use ours for macro files. It allows us to organize the good amount of files we have and create a central access point for all our macro files.
  • ***Training***Problems: Un-uniform training materials, gaps between training and doing actual task, training documentation doesn’t existSolution: Tutorials …. Use the green square to mark out what you are going to capture. The program can be told to capture the screen in two ways: timed and input driven. Youcan record audio as well.
  • Wink workspace after capture. Here you can edit what was captured (below menu), add audio, text, images, links, etc. (right menu). When you are done, render and select which format you want the tutorial to be in: pdf, flash movie, HTML page, .exe file, and postscript.
  • Screenshot of a finished tutorial. Go to to see the flash tutorial in action.
  • ***Automation*** Problems: Repetitive actions on computer by humans leaves greater chance of error and is expensive in the long runSolution: Automation - General FeaturesAutomate workflows that involve multiple programsReplicates repetitive keystrokes Automate simple decision making logic processes- Macro Express FeaturesRecord actions to create a macro on the flyWizard for simple macro buildingTwo different macro script editors to choose fromUser and “non-techie” friendly- Goto for a screencast of a ME script. The scripts from this cast are at
  • AutoIt FeaturesVery flexible and powerful, capable of more complex scripts than Macro ExpressBASIC-like syntax, also similar to OMLCompile scripts into standalone .exe filesRegular Expressions supportCreate own Graphical User Interface Go to for a screencast of a ME script. The scripts from this cast are at
  • Technical Services Tools Redux

    1. 1. TechnicalServices<br />Tools Redux<br />Becky Yoose<br />Bibliographic Systems<br />Librarian<br />Miami University<br />ALAO, 10/30/09<br />
    2. 2. Tools featured in this presentation…_<br /><br />$<br />¢<br />
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    12. 12. Questions? Thank you!<br />Becky Yoose<br /><br />Twitter – yo_bj<br />Photo credits:<br />S1:<br />S2, 13:<br />