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News & Events

  • Hello from DC

     Hello from DC

    Drea and I are in Washington, DC exhibiting at the ASAE TEC 2019 trade show, meeting Association KLASusers and potential users. We'll be back with a regular blog post next week!

     Hello from DC

     

    Join us next Tuesday for our regularly scheduled Key Notes blog posts.

  • 2021 Julie Klauber Award Info

    2021 Julie Klauber Award Info - image of the document. Document description in full type in body of article.

    Keystone Systems wishes to recognize the support that volunteers and staff provide to their organizations. We do so with the Julie Klauber Award. Each organization may nominate one staff member or volunteer. Please use the Julie Klauber Award Nomination form to do so.

    Nomination Deadline: Friday, May 21

    Award nominees should:

    • Work with KLAS in their daily job functions
    • Show an outstanding service to their organization and / or their community in the spirit of Julie Klauber during his / her time with the library.

    The Julie Klauber Award Recipient will be honored as part of an online award ceremony held Tuesday, June 7 during the 2021 KLAS Users’ Conference and receive a personalized plaque to commemorate their achievement. For 2021, we especially wish to recognize someone who went above and beyond during the last year’s challenges.

    Award finalists will be selected from all nominated individuals by a selection committee1. James Burts, Keystone Systems, will determine this year's recipient after consulting all the finalists' supervisors.

    Printable flyer and online award nomination link:

    Who was Julie Klauber and why is this award named after her?

    Valerie Lewis sent the below text in an email to the klasusers listserv on January 24, 2011:

    It has been more than eight years since Julie passed away. Her name comes up every day.....truly, it does. I work with 5 other people who worked with Julie for many years. I sit in the office that was once hers. Her husband and sons are often in my home. I work with her husband Avery, to continue the important work that she and he started many years before I was lucky enough to meet them.

    Julie was a librarian, but more she was the truest advocate for access to library programs, services and materials for all, particularly people with disabilities.

    In addition to being the librarian for the sub-regional library that served Long Island, NY, Julie and her husband established a non-profit organization that provided information and referral resources for librarians, service providers and individuals living with disabilities.......long before and into the earlier days....of the internet.

    Julie spent truly all of her time making sure that people with disabilities had access to information.....all information. She created partnerships with local and national corporations that brought assistive technology to local libraries. She created library resources in alternative formats and worked with libraries and librarians across the country, to promote accessible library services.

    It has been my honor to be a member of the Julie Klauber Award Committee. It has given me the opportunity to read about lbph staff and volunteers who create new and innovative ways of making library materials, services and programs accessible to their patrons. Something still so difficult to do, even in these technologically advanced times.

    You may think that the daily practices and procedures of operating a library for the blind and physically disabled are hum-drum and nothing out of the ordinary, but think again. It is through the work and creativity of each and every member or your organization, that people with disabilities have access to information....something we treasure so dearly and take so for granted.

    On that note, we encourage you to think about how the wheels of your organization turn and who are the people turning it.

    With warm regards,

    Valerie Lewis, Director
    Long Island Talking Book Library

     2021 Julie Klauber Award Committee Members include:

    • Teresa Kalber, Colorado Talking Book Library
    • Lisa Nelson - Utah State Library Program for the Blind and Disabled
    • Chandra Thornton, Palm Beach County Library System
    • Kimberly Tomlinson, Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library
    • Pepper Watson - Oklahoma Library for the Blind, Accessible Instructional Materials Center
    • Andrea Ewing Callicutt - Keystone Systems, Inc.
  • 2021 KLAS Users' Group Business Meeting Minutes

    Screenshot of the first paragraph of the 2021 KLAS Users' Group Business Meeting Minutes document.

    The minutes of the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference which occurred on Thursday, June 10 at 11:30 AM Eastern Time / 8:30 AM Pacific during the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference are below.

  • Birds of a Feather Moderator Guidelines

    Birds of a Feather Moderator Guidelines
    1. Be quiet. Your job is to help the conversation happen.
    2. Be firm. Let them know you are the leader and hope to make this worthwhile.
    3. Be prepared. Know the subject. It is hard to steer a discussion that you don't understand. Have ready possible questions, or whatever conversation starters you think will work.
    4. Be able to multitask. This is a biggie. You will need to listen to the current discussion, while watching the time, how long the current discussion has gone on, and how to move on.
    5. Be deferential. You're not the star. The audience is. You're just there to keep things moving along.
    6. Keep on track. While you're not the star, you need to be the audience's advocate on time, answers, and issues. Cut off chatterers. Cut off discussion if it is going on too long or off track. Indicate that maybe this topic is something to bring up at the end of the session or in another venue.
    7. Be timely. This is so important. Get the session started on time, keep it moving, and get it done on time. Let people see you confidently keep the discussion moving.
    8. Be fun. If you don't have fun, your panel won't have fun, and your audience won't have fun. The world does not need more unfun conference panels.


    Suggestions:

    • Have two moderators. Depending on the group’s size split the group for a period of time and then meet together as whole for a group wide discussion.
    • Have something to give to those willing to participate. It doesn’t have to be much or expensive, e.g. penny candy, pencils, bookmarks, etc. Reward those who are willing to talk.

    Adapted from: 10 Rules for Being a Great Panel Moderator (Accessed: December 4, 2008)

  • Coming Soon: Duplication on Demand Roundtable

    Coming Soon: Duplication on Demand Roundtable

    "Duplication" is the word of the day / week / month / year for National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled network libraries. Whether you've already made the fundamental shift to providing duplication on demand materials for your patrons or are still trying to make decisions about how to shift your library to a duplication on demand service model, there's many questions, decisions, and challenges faced during the process.

    With this in mind, the KLAS Users' Group Program Committee is providing another opportunity for KLAS Users' to come together in a session focused on this topic. Go ahead and mark your calendar now for the upcoming KLAS Users' Roundtable: Duplication on Demand to be held on Tuesday, December 15 at 3 PM Eastern / Noon Pacific.

    Note: We expect this session to last two hours rather than the usual one. Also, we plan to record this roundtable and post it to klasusers.com for later reference.

    During this roundtable, three representatives of libraries using Gutenberg and three representatives of libraries using Scribe will each discuss their experience implementing duplication equipment, decisions regarding policy and staff changes, and more! After each shares a brief description of their process, there will be an opportunity to ask questions, discuss issues they've brought up, etc.

    Gutenberg Panellists:

    • Hope Williams, Nevada Talking Book Services
    • Elke Bruton, Oregon Talking Book & Braille Library
    • Ricardo Cisneros, San Francsico Public Library - Talking Book and Braille Center

    Scribe Panellists:

    • Connie Sullivan, South Dakota Braille & Talking Book Library
    • Angela Fisher Hall, Alabama Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
    • Nancy Holt, Idaho Talking Book Library

    Before the roundtable...

    To help you prepare for this roundtable we encourage you to review Duplication Info Quick Reference page where you will find articles, quick tips, how-to documents, and more related to using either Gutenberg or Scribe. Several of the documents have just been updated to reflect changes in recent versions of KLAS, so make sure to check those dates to make sure you have the most current info!

    You can also help our panellists prepare for this session by posting questions to this KLASUsers Discussion Forum post. Of course, day-of questions are also welcome, but posting your questions ahead of time will ensure that we get to them (even if you can't make the session itself) and that the panellists will be able to consider their answers.

    Access Info:

    Tuesday, 12/15/2020 @ 3pm Eastern Time / Noon Pacific

    To connect:
    Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/rmv-fgvs-eba

    Dial-in audio option:
    ‪US‬ ‪+1 575-459-0037‬
    PIN: ‪950 920 249#‬‪

  • KLAS UC 2021 Attendee Feedback Form

    Thank you for attending the 2021 Online KLAS Users' Conference. Whether you were a speaker and / or attended sessions, this event was a success because of your presence. Now the KLAS Users' Group Officers' and Planning Committees ask you to please take some time to share your thoughts and feedback about the event including the content, the platform, etc. Your responses will help shape future conferences and other ongoing KLAS Users' content.

    Response Deadline = Friday, July 9

  • KLAS UC2021 Virtual Event Interface

    Screen shot KLAS UC 2021 Lobby page

    All attendees of the 2021 Online KLAS Users' Conference will access the conference via PheedLoop's Virtual Event Portal. Here, you will find opportunities to network with speakers and other attendees, browse, search, and add sessions to your personal schedule, access all sessions and their related resources such as PowerPoint presentations, handouts, etc., and more!

    Lobby

    First, let's take a look at the Lobby area. Here you will find the public and private chat functions, recent event announcements, our virtual photo booth, and more.

    The page is organized into four columns:

    • Main menu: use this to navigate the conference
    • Social area: the Event Feed will display social media posts that tag #KLASUC2021. Need a great selfie for that conference post? Launch the photo booth for a fun background - it's not quite the same as travel photos, but we hope it'll make you smile.
      Finally, the Private Chats widget is hanging out at the bottom of the column. You can use the Private Chats feature to follow up with peers after a session, reach out to a new attendee to introduce yourself, or otherwise get to know each other. The widget will stay in place as you navigate the site, so you can use it from anywhere. Start new Private Chats from the recipient's speaker or attendee profile.
    • Announcements: watch this area for any posts as things come up during the conference.
    • Lobby Chat: Get that "around the coffee station" feeling by chatting with all your fellow attendees here (you'll need to supply your own coffee or tea though). Also, don't miss those icons right above the lobby chat!

    Screenshot of the lobby as described.

    Finally, there a couple important things in the top corner. In the upper right of the screen, you will find notifications, language features, accessibility controls, and a count of total attendees currently online. Use the accessibility icon (a circle with a person's silhouette) to bring up the accessibility menu, where you will find preset profiles and a bunch individual controls.

    Closeup of the notifications area, showing that it is found directly above the Lobby Chat. The icons are in order: attendees online, language, accessibility, notifications.

    Backstage (speakers only)

    Next on the main menu, speakers will find the "Backstage" menu option. If you are presenting a session using PheedLoop's Meet & Stream, go here to start the session. If you're presenting in Zoom or using a pre-recorded session, there's no need to use the backstage. Make sure you schedule a dress rehearsal / practice session so you know where to present your session from, and you're comfortable with all the back-end "stuff." 

    Sessions

    The sessions area displays a list of all the conference sessions, with an expanded view of the selected session to the right, then finally the session chat.

    Session list: You can search for sessions or use any of the preset filters (including day, track, speaker, personal schedule, and live now) to browse the list. Use the calendar icon to access the advanced schedule views. As you find sessions that interest you, add them to your personal schedule by selecting the plus sign next to the session title. 

     Screenshot of the sessions list, with the filter set to

    Session Details: This is where you will attend the session when it goes live! You can also share it via social media or email, or add it to your digital calendar (Outlook, etc). 

    Session Chat: The session chat box has the same look and feel of the lobby chat, but is specific to that session. The chat will remain in place for as long as the event portal is live, not just during the session - so you can ask questions ahead of time or refer back to information shared there even after the session is over. 

    Speakers

    The Speakers area is just like Sessions--but for people. You can browse or search the list of conference presenters, see their bio and other info, review the sessions they're presenting, and even start a chat with them.

    Screenshot of Katy's speaker profile, with a Website link, a large button to start a Private Chat, a bio, and the list of Sessions.

    Networking

    Networking is a great place to connect with other attendees. Here, you can find all conference attendees' profiles. There are also options to join in or create a group chat around a specific topic. Finally, you can send a private message to any fellow attendee (which you can both view and reply to in the Private Chats widget).

    Screenshot of Drea's attendee profile, with a large button to start a Private Chat and her bio.

    Account

    You can view attendee profiles in Networking--but where do they come from? From the attendees themselves! Go to the Account menu item, and here you will be able to edit and add all the info you need to - your profile picture, everything other attendees see when they access your profile, and files you want to share. There's also controls for how you receive event notifications and the option to change your password.

    Please take the time to fill in your profile, so your fellow KLAS users can get to know you!

    Don't feel pressured to share any info that you don't want to, but some things to consider adding: your pronouns, what your role is at your organization, how long you've been using KLAS, and links to social media you use professionally. Finally, as you can see, the photos are never shown very large, and it can be very helpful to put a face to the name. A simple headshot is best! However, if you decide not to share a real photo, a pet or something iconically "you" will still help other attendees recognize and remember your profile. 

    Screenshot of the account page, which is divided into two columns. The first includes information viewable by other attendees, which controls for what should be shared or hidden. The second column includes the password reset and the controls to upload files. 

    We hope this brief tour of the KLAS UC 2021 Virtual Event Portal will help you get acclimated and have the best experience possible during our very first fully online conference! We're so excited to see you all there!

  • KLAS Users' Conference App Privacy Policy

    The KLAS Users' Conference app does not collect or share personal information for our use or to be shared third parties. We are not responsible for content republished from this app without our permission.

  • KLAS Users' Webinars & Roundtables

    KLAS Users' Webinars & Roundtables

    Upcoming Webinars & Roundtables

    New Webinar & Roundtable Platform: In an effort to provide a better experience for online training, webinar, and roundtable participants we are moving from join.me to Google Meet. You will NOT need a Google account to join a Keystone hosted Google Meet. We hope this change will address some of the bandwidth and other issues we know some attendees have experienced with join.me. As an additional bonus, Google Meet offers auto closed captioning.

    2/18/2021 KLAS New Features with Katy

    3 PM ET / Noon Pacific Thursday, Feburary 18


    During this session, she will describe and demonstrate new features and functionality added to KLAS. If there's something specific you wish her to discuss or demonstrate, feel free to email your question to  

    Google Meet Link: https://meet.google.com/rwk-bpmz-oco
    Join by phone: +1 314-226-1417‬ PIN: ‪769 402 631‬#‪

    Previously Held Webinars & Roundtables

    Recordings and / or PowerPoints from the below previously held webinars and KLAS Users' Roundtables are available. You must be logged into klasusers.com to access any of these articles.

    • 12/15/2020 KLAS Users' Roundtable: Duplication on Demand Updates
    • 11/19/2020 Keystone Webinar: Reports
    • 10/22/2020 KLAS IRC Users' Roundtable
    • 09/17/2020 KLAS Users' Roundtable: Virtual Programming
    • 8/12/2020 KLAS New Features Update
    • 05/19/2020 KLAS Online KLAS Users' Group Meetings
    • 4/23/2020 KLAS IRC Users' Roundtable
    • 03/19/2020 KLAS Users' Roundtable: Duplication on Demand
    • 02/20/2020 KLAS Q&A with Katy
  • klasusers.com Extension Issue

    On Wednesday, July 31 we applied an upgrade to an extension for klasusers.com causing problems on the admin side of the site but undetectable from the user side. To resolve the issue, we had to restore a July 30 backup version from prior to the extension being upgraded. Unfortunately, doing so caused us to lose some discussion forums posts and replies.  We saved each and are reposting them to the best of our ability reflecting the author and time / date of posting. Thank you for your understanding. We are sorry for any inconvenience or confusion.

  • Preparing for Hurricane Florence

    NOAA Hurricane Florence image

    As many of you will be aware, Hurricane Florence is forecast to bring heavy rains and high winds to central North Carolina, including the area where Keystone's offices are located. We are monitoring the storm closely, and are making plans to minimize the impact the storm may have on us all.

    1. We have a generator for critical functions of the office. In the event that our electric power goes out, our systems, servers, network, email, and phone system should remain unaffected.
    2. If the roads are unsafe for staff to travel to the office, our phones are VOIP and our customer support staff all have work-issued laptops. This would allow customer support staff to work from home over a VPN and keep supporting you all.
      Depending on the severity of the storm, we may have difficulty responding to support calls as quickly as we'd like, but we'll be doing the best we possibly can.
    3. Customers that have their database hosted with us-- for years, we have been storing backup copies of everyone's databases off-site (in encrypted form) in case of emergency. In case the hurricane is really terrible in this area, we have an emergency operations site prepared to be able to bring up all the hosted customers on cloud-based servers within a number of hours. Should this be necessary, connecting to those cloud servers will require local admin rights to load a new set of KLAS support files. We will be sending out information about the backup connections and plans to affected customers as needed.

    Another area that we have been seeking to improve: providing a consistent place for customers to be able to check on the status of their database and connections so that it is quicker to identify where an issue might be occurring. As part of the 7.7 release that we are in the final stages of testing, we have been planning to roll out new status pages to report on the status of each library's database.

    For this weather event, Keystone is going to use an early version of this system to provide information to all customers on how we are weathering the storm. The Keystone Status notification site is now accessible from the "Keystone Status" menu item on klausers.com and at this URL: https://uptime.statuscake.com/?TestID=emlREBtN3e

    This site will show the status of our Support and Hosting networks, and also provide us with a location to post any announcements. The Keystone Support network indicates, among other things, whether our email server is still receiving emails, and if we can expect our phone system to work. The Keystone Hosted Customers ISP indicates whether our hosting network is still communicating with the Internet, and therefore should the customer expect to be able to connect to the database with the staff functions.

     

  • Reviewing the Refreshed KLASUsers.com

    Screenshot of the new KLASusers.com home page

    As announced yesterday (and clearly visible from visiting the site) KLASUsers.com has undergone a pretty big redesign and refresh. We've added new features and functionality, but also reassessed how we organize content to make it easier to find and use. Some of the most important things to know about the redesign are:

    1. The new Knowledge Base & KLAS News menu items
    2. Logged-in users can now comment on articles
    3. Using article tags to find what you need
    4. The site's enhanced search functionality
    5. The log-in function is now available from every page, and won't redirect you from whatever you are currently viewing
    6. A Support button on all pages gives you a quick shortcut to contact Keystone Customer Support anytime you need help

    Today I want to talk about the first four on the list... 

    Knowledge Base & KLAS News

    All still-relevant articles from the old klasusers.com are still available, but the old menu items have been collected under the new overarching categories of Knowledge Base and KLAS News.  This simplifies the Main Menu, and should keep you from needing to guess whether the info you need is in a document or a recording.

    The main page for each of the new menu items will display the most recent articles in that general category, and a link to the related subcategories can be found at the bottom of the page.

    A screenshot showing the Subcategories and page selector at the end of the KLAS News main page. The Subcategories are in as H3 headings.

    Under Knowledge Base, you will find two subcategories:

    1. Recordings, including general and customer specific training and webinars
    2. Documents, including MARC Record Updates, Release Lists, and quick reference

    KLAS News' subcategories include:

    1. Key Notes Blog posts
    2. Events
    3. KLAS Users' Group info

    The five most recently added or updated articles in each category are also listed in the site's footer, so you can easily jump to the new content from any page. We hope this reorganization will help you get to the content you want quicker and easier, without needing to remember where things are filed away.

    Screenshot of the footer section showcasing the most recent content. Knowledge Base and News / Events are the headers at H3.

    Article Commenting

    We're excited to see how this new feature adds to our site! Logged in users now have the ability to comment on any article on KLASUsers.com.

    If you aren't logged in, you can still view any posted comments, but to add a comment you will need to log in, either from the comments section or the link at the top of the page. All comments can be viewed from the article page itself, or in the forum, so it's easy to find the latest discussion! New comments are visible right away with no approval necessary, although our site administrators can moderate comments if needed.

    We hope you will find this a great new way to ask for more information or provide feedback--we'd truly love to hear when you find an article interesting or useful, or if there's something you'd like to add to the discussion. We challenge you to make this the first article you comment on!

    Screenshot with a snippit of text from the end of an article, followed by

    Article Tags

    You will now see subject Tags listed on all article previews and at the top of all full articles. These words or phrases are ways of categorizing articles and such with similar content. For, example you can select the "duplication on demand" tag to see a list of all articles with that tag applied.

    Screen Shot of an article preview, with several tags including Duplication on Demand. Each tag is visually similar to a button, and allow the user to select that tag to browse the whole category.

    We have actually been tagging articles all along, but the new site puts them "front and center" so you can easily spot them or quickly click through to a category you want to browse more of. We've also reviewed the tags we used previously to streamline them and make sure we're using the feature in the most useful way. If you find examples of misapplied or missing tags, please let us know. Also, don't be afraid to speak up if you feel we need to add a new tag!

    Enhanced Search Capabilities

    This might be the thing I am most excited about (unless it's article comments... we're really excited about the comments). I love when I can easily create and execute a search to find just what I'm looking without any muss or fuss. The search bar allows you to seamlessly search for anything from anywhere with a simple keyword search.

    You can also choose to employ additional Search Options such as looking for all (or any) instances of the word or the exact phrase as typed to narrow down the results to exactly what you want to see. You can also choose how you want your results displayed. Options include: Newest or oldest first, most popular, alphabetical, etc. If you only want to look in a certain area of the site, there's also options to limit your search that way. Finally, you can also control how many results you see on each page using the "Display #" drop-down.

    Screenshot of a search for

    We know y'all are busy, so the faster and easier it is to find what you need, the better. We hope the new site search will allow you to jump right to the info you need.

    Final Notes

    We've put a lot of thought and effort into the refresh, but with increasing "technical difficulties" from the old site, we went live before we had the chance to test the site as well as we would have liked. If you encounter any problems with the new site or spot something we missed! In particular, if something is not accessible, please let us know! The reorganization and the big changes to the look and feel of the site may take a little getting used to, but we hope you'll all agree that this is a big step forward for KLASUsers.com.

  • Why I attend the KLAS Users' Conference

    Why I attend the KLAS Users' Conference

    Why do you attend the annual KLAS Users' Conference? Here is what some our of conference attendees had to say:

    • "I attend because it's my one opportunity to share face-to-face my issues and triumphs with others in a way that email and online just can't." - Craig, NC
    • "I attend the KLAS Users' Conference to network with other Talking Books Libraries, which provides me with new ideas to serve the visually impaired." - Sarah, FL
    • "Through collaboration with colleagues and Keystone staff, I learn new, better, and more efficient ways to utilize KLAS that I can bring back to my co-workers." - Teresa, CO
    • "Learn about new features in KLAS. Network with other users and discover functions you have not tried before." - Edith, CA
    • "I go to talk to the other attendees and see what's going on at their libraries." - Erin, OK
    • "I like to attend the conference because I like to hear about the different ways other libraries handle their workflow. Always come back with some good ideas to shake things up." - Sharon, IL
    • "As the only staff librarian in Oregon, I often feel like I work in isolation. The work LBPH libraries do doesn’t translate very well to other library work and relating to my in-state colleagues leaves me unfulfilled. The KLAS Users’ Conference is a great way for me to recharge my batteries and other professionals who can relate to the joys and challenges of LBPH work." - Elke, OR
    • "Attending the KLAS Users' Conferences provides me the opportunity to encounter awesome ideas and tips...tangible ideas I can take home to improve my library's services...from Keystone staff and personnel from other libraries for the blind." - Andrew, OK
    • "The KUC is a chance to get together. We gather to discuss issues technical, and mundane. We laugh, we confer, and we hear from the staff at Keystone. Moreover we are exposed to new places (new to some), new ideas, and new ways to do things." - James, MA
    • "The KLAS Users group gives us an opportunity to learn more about our ILS. We can do a better job for our library patrons if we can make the best use of the catalog." - Pat, GA

    We hope you join us for June 3-6 for the 2019 KLAS Users' Conference hosted by the Palm Beach County Library Talking Book Service in West Palm Beach, FL!

     

KLAS Users - Keystone Systems, Inc. logo

Keystone Systems, Inc.
8016 Glenwood Ave., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27612
800-222-9711