North Central Library District Newsletter
Going the Extra MileMay 2015
In This Issue

STEM Resources


Need some ideas for STEM projects for kids this summer?  James V Brown has 6 STEM kits available for you to interlibrary loan. There are 3 STEM Science Station kits for children 4 and older: Sink or Float, Motion, and Magnets. We also have 3 STEM Science Lab kits: Alarm Your Pencil Box Lab, Space Lander Activity Lab, and Don't Lose Your Marbles Lab. The Science Lab kits are for ages 9 and up. All the kits are Lakeshore products. Try them out by using this interlibrary loan form. You can have them for up to a month. 

And here are some more STEM ideas: SimplySTEM is a wiki where librarians can share their program ideas. Make it @ your library is a product of an ILEAD USA team whose purpose was to help librarians realize makerspace projects in their communities. 



Compendium Reminder

The Compendium provides information for Pennsylvania Libraries!
Click here to get the Compendium in a new format!


The Big Library Read is back! This year's book is Eyes on You by Kate White. Find more information on the program and the book here. And click here for year to date stats.
Greetings NCLD Members!
The Continuing Education Committee met this week. In addition to the PANO trainings planned for this year, we're looking at ways to get technology training in your backyard, a curriculum to help library staff support patron's technology needs, and a collection development workshop. We'll be supplying details as things progress. 

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Tech Tips from Jerry

When problems with technology arise, it's important to do two things. 

1: Don't panic!

2: Don't do anything you aren't sure about.


On my District Technology Troubleshooting Site, I laid out the two things you could do to fix the problem yourself: 


The first thing to do is to restart whatever machine is causing you problems.  To be honest, this fixes a lot of problems as it clears out the information and the "clogged" memory and files.  You won't lose any information that is SAVED on your computer.  Just shutdown the machine.  If your machine is slow or frozen, push in the power button and hold it until the machine turns off.  Then unplug the machine, hold the power button for another 10 seconds, plug the machine back in, and start it up.  Like I stated, this will fix a lot of issues.  More than likely, when you call an IT Professional, the first thing he/she will ask is, "Have you turned the machine off and on?".


The second thing to do is to check to make sure all cords are plugged in and not loose.  On average, the IT Professional gets 3-5 calls a week where the problem has to do with cords not being plugged in or that they are plugged into the wrong spot.  Obviously, this is for certain problems such as a computer not turning on or no internet access, but it is a helpful tip regardless.


There is one thing that you don't want to do.  You can run a virus scan, but if there are viruses, please let an IT person delete it for you.  Many times a virus can hide in the System Files and if you delete the virus, you delete the system files and then your computer and any information on it will be lost.


Remember, you can always contact me by phone (570.326.0536), email (, or chat. I'm here to help.


New Web Site Hosting

For many years our web sites have been hosted on Hostgator and developed using Wordpress open source software. In recent months some of our web sites have experienced problems when Wordpress releases updates to its open source platform. The updates sometimes wreak havoc with the themes and plugins. Charles finds himself spending much time fixing those themes and plugins. In order to solve this problem, we're moving the web sites to a Managed Wordpress Platform called Edublogs. Here are the new services we get with Edublogs:

-Professional WordPress managed hosting - servers optimized for WordPress.
- 200 mobile responsive themes tested and installed.         
Many pre-installed plugins. Plugins are tools to easily add functions to your library web site.  For example easily find & add copyright free images. Publish by sending an email. Easily create a wide range of forms. Add a PayPal donate button.  Easily embed, customize, and use Google maps. Have patrons download or email a PDF version of your page which is great for special events or calendars.
- Automatic upgrades to software, themes and plugins.
- A content delivery network, ability to host videos, photos and sound files
- 10 times more file space per site  
- Immediate access inside the WP Dashboard  to a complete users guide with written and video tutorials.
- 24/7 email support inside each site.
- Custom Dashboard to keep users from deleting or making changes that would break their site.
- Security software monitoring the site for problems or hacking
- Daily backups of the site

Some web sites are already on the new platform. Charles will be contacting those libraries that need to be moved. Contact June or Charles if you have questions.