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Key Notes Blog

Bringing you weekly posts on conference planning, happenings at Keystone, or how better to put KLAS to work for you!

KLAS at Virtual APH 2020 Annual Meeting

As with almost any other conference this year, the 2020 American Printing House for the Blind Annual Meeting will now be virtual. Also, did you know registration for this year is FREE? Yes, this means you don't have to worry about budget or travel restrictions keeping you from participating this year! If you are an IRC / IMC staff member who has never been to APH, this is a great excellent opportunity to learn more about APH's services and products and network with other IRC / IMC staff.

In addition to the move to an online meeting, the APH staff have also made some changes to the usual schedule. Things are starting a bit later each day to accommodate persons in western time zones and the schedule is a bit more compressed, but many of the typical sessions are still being offered, such as the tours of APH. We're already making plans for the KLAS Users' Group Meeting which will be on Thursday morning of the meeting as usual, but our start time will be a bit later than normal at 10 AM Eastern / 7 AM Pacific.

Do you want to attend the KLAS Users' Group session at the Virtual APH 2020 Annual Meeting? If so, be sure to register and select the KLAS concurrent meeting on Thursday, Oct 8 at 10 AM Eastern.

Unfortunately, being virtual means we won't be able to provide breakfast for our attendees, but we do encourage you to grab a cup of coffee or tea at home and join us for the KLAS IRC / IMC Users' Group meeting. We will share recent updates to KLAS and Keystone services, plans for upcoming development, and provide opportunities for feedback and Q&A. If you have any topics or questions you'd like us to be sure we address, please post them to the klasusers.com IRC / IMC discussion forum and / or email Drea (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Katy (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with your suggestions.

So remember, if you want to attend the KLAS Users' Group session at the Virtual APH 2020 Annual Meeting, register for the conference and be sure to select the KLAS concurrent meeting on Thursday, October 8 at 10 AM Eastern.

We look forward to "seeing" you there!

A new way to Meet

A couple of years ago now, we started offering webinars to help keep the Users’ Group informed and connected, from the open forum KLAS Q&A with Katy webinars to library-specific Duplication training webinars. As we transition to an every-other-year conference format, we’ve ramped up the webinar schedule, including user-led sessions and roundtables in addition to our Keystone-presented sessions.

COVID has only increased the need and popularity of these sessions—and not just for us, but for everyone who uses webinar platforms.

For most of the past few years, we’ve been using Join.Me and had mostly positive experiences and feedback for its ease-of-use and reliability. However, with offering so many more webinars to a broader selection of our users, and with Join.Me’s servers a bit bogged down from increased use, there was a definite shift.

This was particularly apparent in the Keystone Updates and New Features in KLAS sessions that we held in place of our usual Users’ Group meeting during the online NLS conference. The turnout for those sessions was fantastic, but unfortunately caused a few technical issues as our platform and our moderator struggled to keep up with the turnout.

In light of all that, we started the search for a replacement.

This month, we are officially making the switch to Google Meet. From our testing in-house and with a few pilot meetings, we’re confident that it will be easier for us as hosts, and will see a lot less of the lag that was plaguing our attendees.

Illustration of a digital meeting with four attendees.

Read more: A new way to Meet

Shuffle the Deck – Feature Preview

One of the new features in the 7.7.36 update is the ability to Shuffle a Service Queue.

This feature was suggested by Arizona Talking Book Library staff, and I think a lot of you who are have transitioned to a Duplication service model will definitely be interested in it

From the Release List:

A function has been added to shuffle a Patron's Service Queue. This will place all titles currently in the Queue into a new, random sequence order, then rearrange titles that are in an Ordered Series to ensure that they are in order relative to each other.

This update is scheduled to be released at the end of the week, so let’s take a look!

 A pair of hands shuffles a deck of playing cards on a wooden table.

Read more: Shuffle the Deck – Feature Preview

2020 Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Updates

Here in North Carolina we usually think of late summer / early fall as the start of hurricane season. Well, this year is different (as is everything else in 2020) and we've already had a couple of named hurricanes develop, with one hitting Outer Banks in late July. Therefore, we wanted to go ahead and review what we do ensure we can continue to serve your library, your staff, and your patrons after a natural disaster, and share the additional improvements we've made this year to our Disaster Preparedness and Recovery plans. We've spent a significant amount of time building infrastructure, reviewing procedures, and planning for an untimely incident.

In fact, much of what we put into place as part of our disaster preparedness plan is what allowed our staff to begin to work from home in March and continue to do so even today and for the foreseeable future.

"Rest assured that we're well-equipped to keep your data safe and any interruptions to your service at a minimum."

Read more: 2020 Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Updates

Keystone COVID-19 Update

Last week we updated you on how our Washington, New Mexico, and Kansas talking book libraries are faring as their staff and patrons continue to face the ongoing challenges of keeping themselves healthy and safe while operating during COVID-19. Today we want to bring you a similar update from Keystone. 

Illustration of Coronavirus

Read more: Keystone COVID-19 Update