Library Development


Tech Tips: Using OCLC Connexion Client Macros

If you use OCLC Connexion client on a regular basis, you probably use text strings or macros to make your work easier. Text strings are lines of text you create with data you use frequently, to insert quickly into records. An example of a text string would be its use with a local note tag. Macros are small sets of instructions which are run against a record to update or change it in some way. There are several default macros which are included in the client, but staff users can create new macros, as well.

using macros in oclc

For updating AACR2 records to RDA records, one default macro: "Add33x", adds 33x fields in a bibliographic record via a menu. Another macro you may wish to add to the client is "RDAHelper(PL)". This macro, written by Walt Nickeson, makes changes to an existing record to make the record RDA compliant. This macro may be found here:

using macros in oclc

Another macro, "DeriveRDA", creates a new RDA compliant record for you. This macro, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, runs through the entire record, tag by tag and updates most data to be RDA compliant, deriving a new record for you. This macro may be found here:

If you are interested in adding text strings or macros to Connexion client, see client Help, or contact me at or 605-773-6391.


Library Lovers Make Good Citizens - How to Keep Them

Many of you are familiar with the ongoing Pew Research Internet Project. Their latest report looks at how people engage with the library. The report sheds light on who is using our public libraries and why they come to us.

Did you know that 30% of Americans make frequent use of the library and library websites? Who are these High Engagement folks? They are 16 years and older and tend to be younger than the general population. They rely heavily on the Internet, and they own tablets and smartphones. This demographic contradicts the commonly held belief that the Internet and tech devices have replaced the need for the services libraries provide. The Pew report suggests that "technology is an "add on" for users that helps them leverage the way they acquire information."

Looking more closely at the habits of High Engagement library users, the report revealed that these are the residents who are most active in their communities. These patrons know their neighbors and have active social lives with family and friends. They are the ones who fill the bleachers at local sporting events and visit museums.

Life events play a role in who uses the library as well. The report identified "key life moments" that send people to the library for information: becoming a parent, becoming a student, or finding oneself in a situation in which research is required to make a decision.

Understanding the habits and motivations of this group can be helpful in planning library services. Don't neglect to provide Wi-Fi, mobile websites, and downloadable media choices for your library users. Do be sure to have plenty of information resources and programming that can help people with key life events like parenting, job searching, and seeking health information and consumer information. You can read this report online: "From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers--and Beyond".


Partner with summer food programs

Summer Food Service Program LogoDuring the school year, 21 million children receive free and reduced-price meals through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs (NSLP). But when school is out, many low-income children relying on these school meals go hungry. To fill this gap, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides federally funded meals through the summer meals programs, including the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the NSLP Seamless Summer Option. These programs provide free, nutritious summer meals to children at approved sites in areas with high concentrations of low-income children. Unfortunately, these summer meals reach only about 16 percent of the eligible children. That is where we need your help.

Local leaders play a critical role because they are trusted sources of information and possess a clear understanding of the specific needs of their communities. Statistics show that providing engaging educational activities, like a summer reading program, in association with the summer feeding leads to a more consistent participation rate throughout the period summer meals are made available to the children in the community.

Below are simple steps that you can take as the community librarian or leader to promote the summer meals programs and expand participation in your community. USDA also has many resources that can help. By working together, we can ensure no child is hungry this summer!

Determine if you have a local agency or school providing free summer meals by either contacting the Department of Education or checking the list of Free Summer Feeding Sites at

Consider providing networking with the summer meals sponsor of summer feeding by providing enrichment activities. These are shown to reduce the achievement gap, ensure children are ready to learn when they return to school in the fall and improve student test scores statewide. While USDA provides funding for meals and the administration of the meals programs, many of these vital summer programs need additional assistance by your partnership and networking skills to be sure the children have access to both programs. Your partnership and input can ensure the meal times are set to fully serve the children in your community.

If your local summer feeding program is part of the Summer Food Service Program, use your visibility to draw attention to summer meals by participating in the 4th Annual National Summer Food Service Program Kick-Off Week, taking place June 2-6, 2014. Events held during this week attract media attention, which helps spread the word to families that free meals will be available in their community.

For more information on summer meals and the USDA resources see


ZoomText assists patrons with visual impairments

by Brittany Moeller, Dell Rapids Carnegie Public Library director and South Dakota State Library staff

zoom text screen

ZoomText is a new and exciting computer program we recently installed on a public access computer at the Dell Rapids Carnegie Public Library. ZoomText is designed to help those with vision problems and works by magnifying everything on the computer screen. Virginia Miller, President of the Dell Rapids Library Board, helped us accomplish the goal of getting ZoomText. Miller, herself, uses ZoomText on her home computer. The Lions Club of Dell Rapids donated $1000 to purchase ZoomText from the company DakotaLink. A DakotaLink representative came to our library, helped us install ZoomText and then worked one-on-one with our staff to show us how ZoomText works. The purchase of ZoomText has been a great addition to the Carnegie Public Library, and we are so happy that we can offer this service to our community.

zoom text keyboard compared with average keyboard

Several options for screen magnification and screen reader software are available. Free options built into Windows computers include Windows Magnifier and Narrator. These can be found on the Control Panel under Ease of Access Center. In addition to Zoomtext, libraries can also purchase such products as Lunar, MAGic, and SuperNova. Lunar provides text enlargement only. The other products can be purchased with text to speech in addition to the text enlargement. Text to speech options include Jaws, Kurzweil 1000, and Window Eyes, to name the most popular.

The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program can provide you with information about audio and braille books and magazines for people who are unable to read standard print. In addition to receiving materials through the mail, advances in technology have made it possible for individuals to download books directly from the National Library Service for the Blind. People can listen to books on equipment provided by the Braille and Talking Book Program or on their personal iOS device. If you would like more information about the materials available through the Braille and Talking Book Program, please contact Colleen Kirby at 605-773-5051 or email

If you are interested in learning more about assistive technology for your library, contact DakotaLink at 1-800-645-0673. You can also checkout their website at Before purchasing any assistive technology you should conduct a survey to determine if there is a need for assistive technology in your community.


accessibility, Braille, community, Dell Rapids, internet, OCLC, programming, public libraries, software, summer reading, technology




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