Technical Services Tools Redux Handout

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Handout for the ALAO 10/30/09 presentation.

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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Technical Services Tools Redux Handout

  1. 1. Technical Services Tools Redux ALAO, 10/30/2009 General Communication What to look for when scouting for new tools: Problems: • Cost Incorrect information, missing information, and bureaucratic o How much will it cost to use the software? procedures in updating information o “Free” means that the software is free. Installing and Solution: maintaining said software will still cost you money. Wiki Intranet • Technical specs and maintenance Tool: o Who will be responsible for troubleshooting or PBWorks (free, hosted), http://pbworks.com/ upgrades? Features o For certain types of software, what are the pros and • WYSIWYG editor – similar to other rich text editors staff cons of using a local server vs. hosted server? use everyday • Technical skills needed to operate • Free hosting – server and software maintenance no o Can the majority of staff confidently use the tool? longer the responsibility of the department o How much training will the staff need to master the • Security – offers private, password protected wiki basics of the tool? options for sensitive information • Licensing • Document manager – folder/file system for macro o What are the restrictions set by the license? scripts, excel files, and more • Does it address the problem? • Plugins – allows for use of widgets and plugins, such as o Are you implementing this tool because of an an instant translator and an embedded Google Calendar existing problem or for other reasons? Uses • Polices/procedures Places to look for new tools: • Staff information Library-specific • Staff calendar (Google Calendar) • Librarian in Black • File sharing o http://librarianinblack.net/librarianinblack/ • Resource bookmarking • Planet Code4Lib • Training o http://planet.code4lib.org/ • Application/macro documentation and updates • What I Learned Today o http://www.web2learning.net/ Other tools General Wiki matrix, http://www.wikimatrix.org/ • Computerworld • Lists available wiki software o http://www.computerworld.com/ • Choice wizard to help you determine which wiki • Google Apps software is appropriate for your situation o http://googleapps.blogspot.com/ • Mashable o http://mashable.com/ • O’Reilly Blogs o http://oreilly.com/blogs/ Becky Yoose, yoosebj@muohio.edu
  2. 2. Technical Services Tools Redux ALAO, 10/30/2009 Training Automation Problems: Problems: Un-uniform training materials, gaps between training and Repetitive actions on computer by humans leaves greater doing actual task, lack of training documentation chance of error and is more expensive in the long run Solution: Solution: Tutorials Automation Tool: Tools: Wink (free, download for Windows/Linux), Macro Express ($40/cpu), http://www.macroexpress.com/ http://www.debugmode.com/wink/ AutoIt (free), http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/ Features (both Windows only) • Capture screen in two ways General Features o Input driven (keystrokes, mouse clicks) • Automate workflows that involve multiple programs o Timed capture • Replicates repetitive keystrokes • Post-capture editing • Automate simple decision making logic processes o Insert and edit text boxes, shapes, navigational Macro Express Features guides, images, internal and external links • Record actions to create a macro on the fly • Capture audio during screen capture or post-capture • Wizard for simple macro building editing • Two different macro script editors to choose from • Create customized templates to use for multiple • User and “non-techie” friendly tutorials AutoIt Features • Output tutorials in different formats • Very flexible and powerful, capable of more complex o PDF, Flash movie, HTML, .exe files, and scripts than Macro Express postscript • BASIC-like syntax, also similar to OML Examples of Wink tutorials • Compile scripts into standalone .exe files • Import macros into Macro Express • Regular Expressions support o http://tinyurl.com/yfpqbnj (Slide Show) • Create own Graphical User Interface o Covers downloading macro files and importing Flash Demos and Example Scripts them into ME • Macro Express • Accessing an item's records o http://www.screencast.com/t/QBzGbsbkp o http://tinyurl.com/yfvannh (PDF) o Demo Scripts (.mex file) at o How to access an item's order, item, and http://tinyurl.com/yla75rh bibliographic records • AutoIt o http://www.screencast.com/t/THTw1n9ty Other tools o Demo Scripts (.zip file) at Jing, http://www.jingproject.com/ http://tinyurl.com/yff3fta • Static and video screen capture • Store captures to disc or host them on screencast.com • 5 minute limit on video, limited editing features Becky Yoose, yoosebj@muohio.edu

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