Have you ever used the Suggest a Title form on the library web site? It lets you ask the library to buy an item that is not owned. This is very useful, but how do you know if or when the library will buy it?

Maybe you have a favorite author/actor and you want to know when the library adds a new book/movie by them? Maybe you’re sick of being number 472 in line for a best-seller? Or maybe you just want to know when the new World Almanac is out? (Really?)

Preferred Searches let you see when new items you are interested have been added at the library. You can set up Email alerts to notify you when new items match your search. You can make Preferred Searches for any Title, Author, Subject, or anything else you look up in the catalog!

These instructions have been added to the suggest a title pages on the library website. Please spread the word about this service!

Here’s how to set up a Preferred Search:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Watch the slideshow.
2. Set up a Preferred Search in the catalog.

If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

Extra: Do you already use Preferred Search?

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uconnseton@Peabody Twitter for emergencies. Got it. But I still don’t see why a friend would care if I’m at Bongo Java.

@Stella I watched the UConn game at a sports bar last week. No one cared when UConn was down, but I could commiserate with friends on Twitter.

@Peabody Instead of just sending eight separate text messages to eight friends, you sent one tweet to all your friends with Twitter?

@Stella Right. And my friends tweeted back – 8 friends talking on Twitter. And my buddy Dan came to watch the 2nd half because of my tweet.

Twitter is a good way to keep up with friends

Last week we talked about how Twitter could be used during an emergency. But Twitter is also useful for casually keeping up with your friends and family.

For instance, you wouldn’t email all your friends just to say you’re watching basketball. And you’d feel foolish emailing all of your friends to tell them you’ll be in Kentucky for the weekend. But your friends might like to hear about the little things that are going on in your life. These little things help us feel connected in between times when we can talk to each another.

So, my brother might tweet “Headed down to Bongo Java for some coffee and cake.” That’s not really worth a phone call or email to 30 people, but it is a fine thing to mention in passing. And who knows, maybe a friend is up for some cake. Because of Twitter you could have an impromptu meet-up, much like we used to stop in when we saw someone out on their front porch.

Twitter is a great way to spread the word

Twitter is a way to know what’s going on outside your own circle. Say you’re on the bus headed for work and you overhear someone talking about the rumored Keith Urban video shooting downtown. You might know one person who’s a Keith Urban fan, so you could email your friend. Or you could tweet the news to your circle of friends on Twitter. Now, anyone you know who has a friend who likes Keith Urban can spread the word to their friends. Without Twitter, the news may have spread much slower in your circle.

With emails, blogs, or texts, we message people we know – our audience is limited. Twitter lets to spread the word to an entire circle of people who can then spread the word to their circle of friends.

Twitter is great for businesses and organizations

If you’re wondering how a business might use Twitter, Comcast is one of the the best examples we have seen. Visit the ComcastCares Twitter page and you’ll see what we mean. You’ll see dozens and dozens of @ replies where the Director of Digital Care it talking to customers who have tweeted to @ComcastCares. If you’ve got a problem with your Comcast service, just tweet a message to @ComcastCares and the Digital Care rep will tweet back and try to help. It is simple, direct and personal.

Starbucks also reaches out to customers through Twitter. Wondering if you should store your coffee in the freezer?  Curious to know a coffee similar to the seasonal Christmas Blend? If you have a coffee question, tweet it to @Starbucks and Brad will get back to you.

H&R Block used Twitter to respond to tax questions. Amazon and Dell often post special deals on Twitter. These are just a few of the ways companies can reach out to customers through Twitter.

You’ll even find the library experimenting with Twitter. If you haven’t checked it out yet, visit the Nashville Public Library Twitter page. You’ll see tweets about upcoming events and even questions about the very first Online Book Club pick. Who knows where it will go from there?

What do you think of all this Twittering?

Do you tweet? Do you follow anyone on Twitter? There’s no activity on this one, so just share your thoughts in the comments.

Email: The Unwieldy Inbox

February 23, 2009

Are you drowning in email?

Do you have more than 20 items in your inbox? Do you look at an email and think “I might need that later” then leave it in your inbox? Or do you leave items you want to save in your deleted items folder? Are there more than 100 items in your deleted folder?

Do you feel like your email is out of control? And are you really tired of getting those notices about how your inbox is over the size limit?

Let’s take control over our email!

Jenny: I’ll tell you a secret, and I’m not proud of it. I have been keeping email in the Deleted Items folder for years. I’m afraid to delete it because I might need to refer back to it. There it is – my secret out there for the world.

But, would I put a paper memo I might need in the garbage can? Of course not. I’d put it in a file folder.

So, the first step in getting email under control: create file folders in Outlook. And where would you create those files? In your Inbox.

Take a look at the tutorial below to see how to create folders in your Outlook Inbox:

* This is the “Move to Folder” icon – at left.


Your mission, should you choose to accept it: 

1. Please Comment: Tell us your tips for managing email.

Email: Friendly Forwards

February 16, 2009

Good morning! Have you opened your email yet?

Are you afraid you’ll have dozens of strange forwarded messages from your friends?

Oh my. That’s a problem. And you can’t tell them to stop because they’re your friends. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

You should check out StopForwarding.us!

Here’s how it works (from stopforwarding.us):

  1. Submit a form with your offending friend’s name and email address.
  2. Your friend will receive this anonymous email.
  3. Wait and hope that your friend will recognize the error of their ways and stop emailing unsolicited jokes, chain letters and urban myths to everyone in their address book.

Why the long face? Did you have something you wanted to forward?

Email forwarding isn’t always bad. Here are some tips to make sure your forwards are welcome instead of dreaded.

1. After you click “Forward” delete everything from the email except the joke or photo or whatever content it is that you’re sending.

That funny joke that Jon sent to Kathy, then Kathy sent to Barb, then Barb sent to William, and William sent to Nate, and Nate sent to Betty? I bet you have to scroll down five pages just to read it.

Not only is that annoying, but if you just click “Forward” without deleting all the earlier text, you’re probably also forwarding the email address of every person who has been sent that message. No one needs their email address spread around like that. Preserve the privacy of your friends and family – delete any email addresses and other junk that isn’t relevant to the joke.

2. If you’re going to forward your message to more than one person, use BCC.

BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy. It means that you can send the same email to 20 people, but if you put the email addresses in the BCC field, no one will be able to see who was sent the email. You get to spread the funny joke, cute photo, or important news story – and you’re friends get to keep their privacy.

3. Check for accuracy before you forward.

Yes, I suppose that crazy story you’re about to send out might be true. But just to be on the safe side, check Snopes.com before you forward any incredible news or gossip you’ve recently gotten in your inbox. Snopes.com is a clearinghouse for hoaxes and misinformation. So, checking there is a good habit to get into – no one wants to be the one who forwards a hoax to twenty people.

4. No one wants to send your message to 20 of their friends.

Refrain from forwarding chain letters. If you get a funny feeling that you really will have bad luck if you don’t forward the letter on, I sympathize with you. But, don’t subject your friends, family, and colleagues to the same turmoil. Remind yourself that you’d have the bad vibes from 20 of your friends for forwarding a chain letter and that is much worse than the risk of bad luck.

For more tips on forwarding and other email quandaries visit Netmanners.com.

paperclip_yellow_backdrop1Aw look. It’s an email from mom.

Wait!!!

Ok. I know it looks like the attachment is from your mother. But, were you expecting an email with a document about dancing poodles?

No? Then don’t open it!

If you receive an attachment in an email that you weren’t expecting, it’s a good idea to check with the sender. Call mom and ask her if she sent you the file.

This might sound like paranoia, but just because an attachment looks like it is coming from your mom doesn’t mean that it is. Scam artists know we’ll be more likely to open an email attachment that looks like its coming from someone important. An email from your bank or the IT department sounds official, but anyone could say they’re from Bank of America or “your IT department.”

What can you do to protect yourself and your computer?

1. Look at the sender.

Don’t open an attachment, just because the subject line says “cute kitty overload.” Check to see who it is from first. If you don’t recognize the sender, delete the email without opening it.

2. If you do recognize the sender, take a look at the attachment.

Files are only supposed to have one extension, like: resume.doc

If you get a file that has two extensions, like resume.doc.exe, delete the file and contact the sender.

Why delete?

.exe stands for executable file. Once you run an executable file, you have given it permission to do anything it wants.

.com and .vbs could also signal an executable file.

3. Were you expecting the file?

You’ve checked that the email is from someone you know. You’ve checked and it doesn’t look like the file has a second file extension. It must be okay to open the email attachment, right?

Nope.

Some viruses are able to take over your address book and send emails that look like they are coming from someone you know. Maybe your friend Julie has the virus and doesn’t know it. Now you get an email attachment in an email that looks like it is from Julie. Open that attachment and you might be sorry.

The last question to ask yourself: “was I expecting this file?”

If it is a photo your brother said he’d email, you can feel better trusting it is safe. If you don’t have any idea what the attachment is and you weren’t expecting it, give the sender a call and ask them what they sent you. You might feel foolish, but you’d feel much more foolish opening a file that damages your computer!

Too big to Email? Drop.io!

December 15, 2008

Attachments are a handy way to share files. One problem, our Email Inboxes are only so big. Sometimes you have a file that’s just too big to send. You need drop.io – a simple private way to share your computer files.

Instead of sending your file to your recipient(s), you upload your file to drop.io. Then, you use drop.io to notify everyone where to get the file. Then, they click on the short link you’ve set up, like http://drop.io/humungouspowerpoint, to access the file.

How?

  1. Go to drop.io
  2. Come up with a short name for your drop, or use the random suggested code. You’re link will be drop.io/yournamehere.
  3. Load the file, just like you would for an attachment.
  4. You can set the file to be removed after a few days or weeks. You can even password it for extra protection.
  5. Plug-in the Email addresses you want to send the file to.  You’re done.

RSS & Email: Journal Alerts

November 24, 2008

Broke, hard times. Need to cancel some magazine subscriptions. Some of these magazines are in TEL, but that would require me to login to the library web site and look up each magazine; that’s too much hassle. If only there were another way for me to read my favorite issues every month without a subscription.

Wait, what’s this? Journal Alerts? I can have the latest issues delivered to my Email Inbox or RSS Reader as they become available each month? Then, I can link directly to the articles by title? No login, no searching! Awesome!

How Does It Work?

  1. Visit TEL and do a Publication Search for the magazine’s title.
  2. On the results list, choose .