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Magazines > Computers in Libraries > April 2022

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Vol. 42 No. 3 — April 2022
Presto Chango: Making Magic With Simple LibTech Fixes
by Dick Kaser

Why are the easiest solutions the hardest to see? After trying for nearly a year to make her library’s ILS handle pandemic holds and pickups, Rachel Evans (University of Georgia’s Alexander King Law Library) turned to a deck of strategy cards for inspiration. By ditching the concept that all workflows are managed best in the ILS, Evans was able to fix the problem using the forms capabilities of the library’s web CMS instead. It took less than a month to develop and deploy the simpler solution.

When Morgan Bond and Erin Kovalsky (librarians at the State University of New York–Oswego) realized their new ILS was sending out notices that simply weren’t resonating with patrons, they went back to the drawing board. They set about customizing the messages to, in their words, “include personality, compassion, and utility …,” facilitating actionable responses, interaction, and user engagement. In a few steps, they tell you how.

David Lee King (Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library) reminds us that all you have to do is look around your library to see if patrons are struggling to use their handheld devices. He points out a few simple things you can do to improve the user experience.

Columnist Jessamyn West shares tips for getting around DRM for purely legitimate and legal library reasons. And frequent EDTECH writer Lorette Weldon discusses the Zoom settings she uses to conduct literacy instruction for remote learners and homeschoolers.

Even when it comes to figuring out how AR fits into your library’s offerings, Suzanne LaPierre (Fairfax County Public Library) comes to your rescue by cutting through the dense subject and recommending a few baby steps you can take in rolling out some educational platforms and apps.

Hopefully, these case studies will inspire you to see beyond barriers and work out your own magically simple solutions.

Dick Kaser, Executive Editor
Dick Kaser

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