CCD Scanner and Library Cards

Clip art of a scanner scanning a barcode

Image source: Pixabay User OpenClipart Vectors

Every so often a patron comes in who has her library card stored on her phone. Normal scanners are stymied by the backlight of the phone and can’t read it. So this is a job for a CCD Scanner. CCD stand for Charged Coupled Device, in case you’re curious.

So I bought one. The Datalogic Gryphon GD44xx to be exact. We have Datalogic scanners attached to our Self-Checks but Metrologic or Honeywell attached to our circ desks. I chose the Gryphon because a couple of other libraries recommended it. As usual, the scanner came with a quick start guide complete with barcodes to scan to set it up. But that’s where I ran into trouble.

Library cards and library items use Codabar barcodes. And the quick start guide didn’t include those. I got in touch with Datalogic tech support and they responded tres vite. It was most impressive. But what was more impressive was how quickly they resolved the issue. They sent me a sheet with Codabar codes to scan and viola! (because this post is, apparently, brought to you by France) it worked.

So if you’re in the market for a CCD scanner, I recommend this one. And to help you out, here’s the sheet that’ll set it up to work with library cards:  HH2_Library

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The Danger of Static IPs

Picture of Sonicwall, DNS Manager, and Unifi Manager and what IPs are assigned by each.

The Problem

The laptops in the Young Adult area were taking too long to log into the Cassie system, rendering them usable.

The Troubleshooting

I noticed TeenZone04 and 05 (but not 1-4, which should have tipped me off) still had their static IPs in Sonicwall. The IP is associated with a MAC address. I had previously swapped the wireless access points to VLAN40 to get rid of VLAN50 and removed the wired connections on the laptops since I can have the wireless adapters connect to VLAN40. When I did this, those Sonicwall static IPs had the wrong MAC address. So I deleted those entries and took out the static IPs on the laptop adapters as well. This didn’t work.

I then deleted the Static IPs in the DNS Manager on our DNS Server. Still no luck.

Then I noticed the Print Release Station (PRS) wasn’t on. For whatever reason, when logging into Cassie if that’s off, then the logon takes forever. So I turned it on. Still no luck.

I noticed that the ethernet adapter of the PRS had an “!” next to it. So I checked it out and saw that it was saying there was a duplicate IP on the network.  And therein lied the problem. The static IP assigned to the PRS happened to be in the dynamic IP range specified by Sonicwall. So that when the PRS wasn’t on, it handed out that IP to a patron’s laptop.

The Resolution

I changed the PRS DNS entry to use a static IP outside the dynamic range. But because there’s another issue on the network,  the Cassie printers defined on the Young Adult laptops were using the IP address, not the server name of the PRS. I had to change each of the printers on each of the laptops to use the new IP. Once that was done, everything was coming up Milhouse.

The Postmortem

Networking has never been my forte. I know enough to keep the lights on, as it were, but when things go wrong, it takes me longer than it should to resolve. I followed my predecessor’s precedence and used static IPs for most of the computers. I’m not really sure why.

One “why” I learned through this dealio was why VLAN50 existed. Since we’re using Ubiquity Wireless Access points, we have a Unifi Network Controller. That controller doles out IPs for wireless devices. It was confusion between this, Sonicwall, and the DNS Server that allowed for one of the patron’s devices to nab the PRS IP. This wouldn’t have happened if the wired and wireless networks were on different VLANs. Hence VLAN50 was used for a constantly changing array of devices. But that was an auxiliary mistake. Ultimately, it was the fact that the PRS’s static IP was in the dynamic IP range I specified on Sonicwall. But I was just copying over the Static IPs I found in the DNS Manager when I installed Sonicwall. So I carried over an already conflicting setup.

*DEEP BREATH*

Ok. So, in case you’re in a similar situation, here are the three pieces of software that I have handling IP addresses on the network. I need to simplify this, big time. When I do, perhaps that will resolve why I can’t reference the Young Adult PRS computer by name and am forced to do so by IP.

  • Windows Server DNS Manager
  • Sonicwall Network DHCP Server
  • Unifi Network Manager

Now I hope the picture at the start of the post makes a wee bit more since.

NAS to Cloud Sync

It may not be long before my library’s NAS device goes wherever all those left socks go during their journey from the dryer and to the dresser. The idea of centrally storing docs allows staff the freedom to roam and work. But that freedom is now offered by myriad Cloud offerings. The library has had a Google account for years and recently moved to Office 365, which comes with OneDrive. For the time being, though, the security of not being able access the staff docs (and pics) from outside the firewall is enough to keep things as they are. Well, that and storing 500 GB of stuff would cost a few wheelbarrows of cash. So I decided to start small and just do my Tech Docs folder.

As I state on my Tech Docs page, I’m a fair hand at documenting technological procedures. This hand is constantly in motion. So rather than storing 1 copy on a publicly accessible Google Drive, 1 copy on the consortium accessible OneDrive, and 1 copy on the NAS drive, I found a way to sync all three. Using Synology Disc Station’s Cloud Sync Package I’m able to sync my tech doc folders across all three places. Here’s how I did it

  1. Go to the Package Center and click Backup on the left
  2. Click Install under Cloud Sync

  1. After the install gets done, click Open

  1. Click the Cloud Provider and then click Next

  1. Login and then click Allow

  1. Click Agree

  1. You can leave the Local path: and Remote paths: fields blank if you want to back up everything. I wanted just a pair of folders, so I clicked the folder icon on both fields and specified the folders I wanted.
  2. Click Next

  1. Click Apply

  1. Click OK

  1. If you have other Cloud Accounts, you can click the + in the lower leftand repeat steps 4-10 with that one.

Girls Who Code Setup Steps

Girls Who Code Logo

When I saw Reshma speak at ALA, I knew I had to get involved with Girls Who Code. For a library with little space to spare, I thought it might have been a challenge to set up a club. And it

was, to a degree. My fellow librarians were as eager as me to get involved and we made it happen.

Below is a list of steps I took to get our club started. The GWC site provides you with all the info you need but I thought a quick checklist of what I did would be helpful to others looking into setting up their own club.

  1. Find a space and day that you can reserve for at least an hour a week for 15 weeks. If you choose a day on which holidays usually fall, make sure you can extend the number of weeks by the number of holidays. For example: Monday nights from January to April have 3 holidays. So you would have to make sure the space is available for 18 weeks.

  1. Sign up your location for a club here: https://girlswhocode.com/start-a-club/.

  1. You don’t need any technical background to be a club facilitator, GWC provides you with course materials and support to do it no matter your background. However, if you don’t have the time or comfort level, you’ll want to ask around for volunteers.

  1. Once you have your volunteer facilitators, the recommended number is at least 3, have them fill out the facilitator application here: https://girlswhocode.com/volunteer/. You’ll need to give them your club’s code, which you were assigned when you completed step 2.

  1. Also once you complete step 2, you’re on this page: https://girlswhocode.com/locations/, so you may start to receive inquiries. At this point, you may want to gather information on the girls using a Google Form as they inquire in case you receive more interest than you can handle. For example: If you only have spots for 10 girls, you’ll want to make sure they don’t have any other commitments the day your club will be meeting. You may also want to get their hometown. These two pieces of info are useful when evaluating who should get priority over whom.

  1. Before the club’s start date, hold a facilitator prep meeting. That way they can see the space in which they’ll be working and can review the course materials to come up with a game plan on how they’d like to teach.

  1. Before the club’s start date, have the girls you choose from step 5 sign up on the site: https://hq.girlswhocode.com/login. By doing this before the first class, the girls will be free to start coding from day 1.

    We’ve got plenty of volunteers, and even have our 10 girls, but we’re not starting the classes until January. So check back here for more info as our journey continues.

Curmudgeonly Cartridges

Red PLA Cube 3 Cartridge Disassembled

The longer we have the 3D printer, the shorter my patience grows.

We purchased a Cube 3 back in January of 2015. We actually had to wait for the Cube 3 to come out before getting our printer. We had originally planned on the Cube 2, but since it was being replaced by the 3 in a matter of months and because the 3 allowed us the option of printing in two colors, we decided to hold off and purchase the Cube 3.

We it first arrived , I had a bit of a learning curve but that’s true for any first contact with a technology. I had to learn the ways of 3D printing and was frustrated on more than one occasion, mostly by having to manually level the bed. Mine are not hands that are attuned to fine motor skills. Every so often I’d run into jammed cartridge and got quite adept and taking the cartridges apart and putting ’em back to together. However, now it’s happening to every cartridge every other time we try to print something.

Am I just running into a bad batch of cartridges? Am I not taking good enough care of them? Is it poor design? Is the plastic just simply brittle? I’m not sure what the ultimate cause is.  But what I do know is that I’m looking to buy a new printer and that I won’t buy another Cube 3. I can’t. They discontinued the printer last year. Perhaps that should have been a sign…

 

 

Asking Difficult Questions

Question Marks over a stick figureI almost didn’t post this one because it can so easily be taken as an indictment to my workplace. But I assure you I love my library. While there are difficulties, it’s nowhere near as bad as I’ve experienced before. That said, I thought this would be useful to add to my stash of knowledge of warning signs. It was.

 


  • @658point8 @meganegbert @cswarren321
  • “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Peter Drucker
  • #orgculture
  • “Be intentional and address org culture in your library. Address it head on” @kongtemplation
  • “You cannot change the culture alone.”  @cswarren321
  • “It will take longer than you think and it will be more involved than you can possibly imagine.” @cswarren321
  • Common theme seems to be a director that had been there for decades, like 20,30,40 years and now there’s someone new in charge
  • “Lead from where you are.”  @658point8
  • When discussing problems keep in mind you’re trying to serve the patrons. Ask how is this problem affecting them not how it’s hard on you (or other staff)
  • Hold people accountable but do it with compassion. @kongtemplation
  • Ask yourself “What am I doing to contribute to the problem.”  @658point8
  • Here’s how you build trust: you say you’re going to do something and then you do it. @658point8
  • Trust and Performance are inextricably linked. When one is high so is the other and when one’s low, so’s the other.
  • Be the manager you are. AKA if you’re a thinker, think; if you’re a feeler, feel. (Meyers-Briggs style) @cswarren321
  • Bring questions not answers to people with problems. @meganegbert
  • Leadership meeting: “What’s broken? What’s the Rumor?” @meganegbert
  • How do we address the overwhelming whiteness in the field? Talk about it. Talk about all areas of it. Two other ways: Actively fight oppression and create more pressure to solve the issue. (It’s not an answer but it’s a start and you have to start somewhere) @kongtemplation
  • We have to stop just looking at whom is applying for jobs, we have to start ‘em young. Mentor them and pay ‘em to show them they might want to become one. @meganegbert
  • If you’re white be aware of your privilege and act to give others the same privilege you receive. @cswarren321    

Trust & Transparency During Times of Rapid Change

My big takeaway here is the removing of the Ref Desk and make the ref staff mobile. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of the “Meet them where they are” tactic.


  • https://www.gwinnettpl.org/
  • Customer OutReach and Engagement (CORE) model
  • Take the lib out beyond the 4 walls, take it to the people
    • Upgraded RFID and freed up staff out to other duties (had to shut down lib for a week to roll out tech and train and help staff navigate the changes). Not a single staff member lost a job.
  • Got rid of the service desks (thanks to the RFID) and put in tables, comfy chairs. It removed the barrier b/w staff and patrons. They held a Farewell Party for the desks.
    • Staff feared the patrons wouldn’t need ‘em. It turned out that they’re approached and more ref Qs popped up.
    • Mobile Librarian, a podium on wheels with laptops and printer. Anything they could do on the desk, they could do on the podium.
  • Book = Managing Transitions by William Bridges
    • “Change is external, transition is internal”
    • 3 Phase process
      1. Ending, losing, letting go
      2. The Neutral Zone (this is the crazy time, most anxious, but also most creative)
      3. The New Beginning
  • It’s ok to say “I don’t know”
  • Don’t sell the new thing, tell the staff why things are changing
  • Post all meeting minutes so that there’s transparency for ALL staff, managers to pages
  • Suggestion Ox outside service that allows for anonymous suggestions

The Glass is Half Full

Since I work in a small library, this session seemed right up my alley. It turned out the be so much more than that. I now love the city of Joliet for more than giving us Joliet Jake Blues. The work they’re doing with the homeless is nothing short of inspiring.


  • (Sarah) Poor and Scrappy Libs
  • When you’re working in an underfunded lib you’re forced to think outside the box
  • Strategic Grant applications are a source of money or skills. Choose wisely because the staff time is limited
  • Programming- find partners!
    • Stay and Play, dump toys on the floor and let ‘em play
    • Students for student tutors
    • Art Exhibit virtual tours
    • Blanket Fort Storytimes!
  • Outreach
    • Bike library
    • Farmer’s Market
    • Monthly Health Fairs
    • The Library loves you week (on Valentine’s week)
    • Partner with Schools
    • Little Free Library- disabled adult volunteers restock once a week
  • Welcome to All Posters are big wins 
  • Also: https://resistancebymail.tumblr.com/
  • No fines for kids
  • Embrace Trends like Pokemon Go!
  • Telling stories gets money, don’t even have to ask for money. Just tell what you do.
  • (Denise) Joliet Public Library (Yes the same that gave Joliet Jake Blues his name)
    • Their urban location was deemed an unsafe location. (They treated homeless as patrons not problems!)
      • Homeless folks were hanging around and people perceived as just a homeless location and stayed away
      • No $ for social worker to help homeless
      • Contacted an org that gets money from HUD (housing and urban development)
      • The org was holding meetings to help the homeless but were held in the suburban side and the homeless couldn’t get there. So they held it at the lib and some answers were gotten
      • They worked with org to help the new HUD focus of Housing First
      • Transportation, again, is a big issue (bus system very bad)
      • So, again, Lib becomes a center to help
      • They did a Giving Tree during Christmas focused on the things the homeless needs.
      • “Coffee And…” Program allows homeless to get some coffee and donuts and talk about their problems.
      • To engage the homeless is not an easy process. But connecting with one can start the word of mouth to others to take advantage of the services.
  • (Virginia) Yosemite Research Lib
    • They had boxes and cabinets galore and a mess. No virtual presence
    • No insulation in storage room
    • Issues:
      • Remoteness
      • No wifi
      • No “night life”
      • Dangerous: Fire, rockfalls, downed trees, floods
    • When meeting with decision makers, have your 30 second elevator speech ready
    • Helping people, going the extra mile, can lead to donations. So always put on your customer service face
    • Connected with the SJSU Special Lib Asc to get volunteers to help clean up the mess and give them a virtual presence. The docs in those boxes are starting the be searchable online
    • Again, look for grants
  • (Janice) ALA’s Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table
    • Problem: a student wanted a Dummies book on the Holocaust. So she wanted to change the classroom culture.
    • Sometimes things cost time (time to build relationships to get changes done) but not money but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less difficult.
      • She was able to not only save the library but also keep it from moving to a much smaller location