Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wave Newsletter: Spooky Staff, Freaky Phishing, and Braaiins

The latest edition of WMRL's Wave newsletter is hot off the press. Read it here! 

What treats might you get, you wonder? Only the best and we promise no popcorn balls or toothbrushes!

Spooky Staff Spotlight
Click the link above to see Dennis McPherson (WMRL) as he interviews Angie Garcia and Jewel Braynt, the new teen and YA librarians for the Alice Virginia & David W. Fletcher branch of the Washington County Free Library. Angie and Jewel talk about their new positions and the fun plans they have for the Smoovie app and the Scratch program. 

Braaiins! Help Now! (Powered by BrainFuse)
Click the link above to view the screencast created by Tracy Carroll (WMRL). Tracy writes, "BrainFuse might not save you from zombies (nor nourish you if you are one) but it is the perfect resource for living students looking for homework help, looking to sharping their academic skills or to prepare for a test. Brainfuse also provides resources for adult Learners, helping them to connect, learn and succeed."

Did You Know? New DVDs are Treats!
Click the link above to view Sally Hull and Susie Poper as they talk about newly released DVDs that the Regional has purchased for the three counties coming soon to a deposit collection near you!

Tri-County Treats
If we were to go trick-or-treating in the western Maryland libraries we'd find in our goodie bags: AlleBucks from Allegany County; STEM programs from Garrett County; a new logo from Washington County; and grant updates from the Regional. This article explores all four in more colorful detail. But you gotta go to the Wave newsletter to get these treats! 

Freaky Phishing
Phishing is, "a scam by which an e-mail user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly." (Merriam Webster Online)

Visit the Wave newsletter to learn 5 ways to protect yourself from freaky phishing attempts! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Free Webinar: Cloud Computing

Title:  Cloud Computing: Impact on Library Services
Presenter:  Rita Gavelis
Format:  Webinar
Date:  November 19th, 2013
Start Time: 3PM Eastern

What is Cloud Computing?

Do you know you’re probably already using the cloud?

Want to learn how your library will benefit from using cloud services?

Cloud computing has been around for a number of years. It has become more than just a trend but a dynamic service that has changed not only how companies conduct business, but the services they provide to us, the computer user.

In this webinar, we will discuss what Cloud Computing is, how it has changed the way we use the Internet, and how our libraries might benefit from it.

At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will:

  • Be able to identify 3 types of cloud computing.
  • Know 3 security risks involved with cloud computing.
  • Be able to calculate approximate costs of using cloud services.

This webinar will be of interest to staff from all types of libraries interested in benefits and risks of cloud computing, including IT staff, managers, and those making budget decisions.

For more information and to participate in the November 19th, 2013 webinar, go to

Webinars are free of charge, you can pre-register by clicking on the Join Webinar button now or go directly to the webinar by clicking on Join Webinar within 30 of the start of the event. If you pre-register you will receive an email with login link and a reminder email the day before the event. If you did not preregister and you can register in the 30 minutes prior to the event and directly enter.

If you are unable to attend the live event, you can access the archived version the day following the webinar. 

Check our archive listing at:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Design Thinking Action Lab provided by Stanford University

A life-changing course. This summer I completed the free online class, Design Thinking Action Lab provided by Stanford University through NovoEd at This six-week experiential course focused on the skills and mindsets of design thinking, a methodology for creative problem-solving used by companies and organizations to drive a culture of innovation. The class was set up to help students learn the design thinking process by tackling a real world innovation challenge. The challenge was to help someone who has a stake in the school-to-work transition, and defining a need related to the challenge. I explored the main design thinking concepts through short videos, each paired with brief activities to practice relevant methods and approaches. With participants from around the world we shared our experiences and exchanged feedback. The process helped to develop self-reflection habits through peers reviewing each other’s submissions. By the end of the course, I learned through experience the mindsets and basic tools for each stage of the design thinking process: 1. Empathize: understanding the needs of those you are designing for (ask the right questions, really listen, survey). 2. Define: framing problems as opportunities for creative solutions. 3. Ideate: generating a range of possible solutions (before I usually stopped at about 10 ideas, now I am encouraged to think of many more, like a goal of 50!). 4. Prototype: communicating the core elements of solutions to others (be sure to create the right solution and if you get it wrong, then try again and prototypes help creators & stakeholders to visualize ideas better). 5. Test: learning what works and doesn’t work to improve solutions (this helps to reveal if the solution is what is really needed).  In conclusion: empathizing, defining, ideation, creation of prototypes, and testing will cultivate my creative solutions in my personal life and with our library marketing challenges. How was it life changing? With every challenge that comes up I realize that there can many ways to perceive the challenge and many ways to satisfy a need. If you are interested, Stanford offers free classes at