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Key Notes

  • 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.

  • 12/14/2021 APH Integration Update Webinar

    Save the Date for the APH Integration Update Webinar to be presented by Katy & Kyle on 12/12/21 at 3 PM ET!

    On Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 3 PM Eastern / Noon Pacific Katy and Kyle will be offering a live webinar focused on sharing information and details about the integration between KLAS and APH's ordering system and catalog of products. During this session, we plan to demonstrate KLAS screens, discuss planned workflows, share development updates, take suggestions, and answer questions. We invite any and all Instructional Resource / Instructional Materials Center users to mark your calendar now and join us for this special Keystone webinar!

    If you have any questions or comments you wish to submit in advance, you can send them to:

    In the meantime, we invite you to review the recordings of the APH 2021 KLAS IRC / IMC Users' Meeting from 10/12/2021 and the recent KLAS IRC / IMC Users' Roundtable held on 11/3/2021 during which we discussed the current status of the KLAS / APH Integration Project.

    Full Connection info:

    Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87018666883?pwd=WUZhSW5YVTBwRmxlVnRIQlpwZHhjUT09

    Meeting ID: 870 1866 6883
    Passcode: 632597
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    Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kda33PJihT

  • 2019 ASGCLA Awards Breakfast

    J2019 ASGCLA Awards Breakfast

    At 8:30 AM on Saturday, June 22 the Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Libraries held their annual Achievement Awards Breakfast at the Grand Hyatt Washington as part of the American Library Association Annual Conference. Keystone is a proud sponsor of the breakfast and the ASGCLA / KLAS / NOD (National Organization on Disability) Award. This year two members of the KLAS Users' Community were honored at the breakfast, and I was excited to be there to see them recognized for their hard work to promote accessible libraries and inclusive library services.

    Kim Charlson, Executive Director, Perkins Library, received the 2019 Francis Joseph Campbell Award citation and medal for "her strong commitment to inclusion and empowerment, her tireless efforts on the passage of the Marrakesh Treaty for the Visually Impaired, and her life-long passion for bringing the joy of reading to all."

    • ASGCLA 2019 Francis Joseph Campbell Award Press Release

    South Carolina State Library Talking Book Services received the 2019 ASGCLA / KLAS / NOD Award for its Assistive Technology Petting Zoo. "The Zoo was developed as a new outreach initiative in 2015 to raise awareness for Assistive Technology and its ability to make public libraries more accessible and inclusive.... One of the most significant contributions the Zoo has made has been allowing South Carolina’s public librarians hands-on experience with Assistive Technology, creating a desire for the library to offer these tools on a daily basis."

    • 2019 ASGCLA / KLAS / NOD Award Press Release

    Below are a few photos I took during Saturday morning's Award Breakfast. You can see all of them in an album on Keystone's Facebook Page.

    Kim Charlson poses for photos with 2 ASGCLA representatives after being recognized as the 2019 Francis Joseph Campbell Award Winner.

     J2019 ASGCLA Awards Breakfast

    Kim shows off the citation she received as the 2019 Francis Joseph Campbell Award Recipient.

     J2019 ASGCLA Awards Breakfast

     Members of the South Carolina State Library staff gather around a table before the ASGCLA Awards Breakfast begins.

     J2019 ASGCLA Awards Breakfast

     ASGCLA representatives and South Carolina State Library staff pose with me for a photo after being presented with the 2019 ASGCLA / KLAS / NOD Award.

     J2019 ASGCLA Awards Breakfast

    The certificate presented to the South Carolina State Library Talking Books Services as part of the 2019 ASGCLA / KLAS / NOD Award. They also receive $1000 from Keystone Systems as part of their recognition.

    J2019 ASGCLA Awards Breakfast 

    You can see the rest of the photos I took in the 2019 ASGCLA Awards Breakfast album on Keystone's Facebook page.

  • 2019 Holiday Potluck & Gift Exchange

    2019 Holiday Potluck & Gift Exchange

    Every year, Keystone's staff get together for a bit of fun one Friday during December. Everyone contributes a dish to our potluck lunch and brings a gift for our White Elephant gift exchange. For this week's blog post, I thought y'all might enjoy a look at some of last Friday's festivities.

    We had a wonderful spread of food including all the holiday favorites like sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and more!

    This year's potluck included a battle of the soups between John O's Sausage Toretellini soup and my Chicken Taco soup, but in the end, both were declared a winner!

     2019 Holiday Potluck & Gift Exchange

     

    This year James and Colin contributed what might have been "THE BIGGEST APPLE PIE EVER" (TM). In addition to being enormous, it was also super tasty!

    2019 Holiday Potluck & Gift Exchange 

    It's always fun to try to figure out who brought what present. Be careful, heavy doesn't always mean good. ;)

     2019 Holiday Potluck & Gift Exchange

     

    Happy Holidays from the Keystone staff! One of the greatest joys of this season is getting to say THANK YOU for the opportunity to serve you and to wish you the very best for the New Year!

  • 2019 Year in Review

    2019 Year in Review

    I don’t know about you, but when I stop and look back at how far we’ve come since January, how my goals and focus have shifted to keep up with your needs and all of our new developments...it’s been a long year!

    KLAS Version 7.7

    The new version of KLAS is a major update, with some big changes on the back-end, high-volume Duplication on Demand support, and a rapid “Agile” development cycle.

    The Beta deployment of 7.7 to North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the beginning of the year allowed us to track down and fix a ton of issues -- all while getting Gutenberg integration in place and developing the new deployment processes. We were finally able to start bringing more libraries on board in May, and are now working on bringing our IRC/IMCs up on the new system as well.

    All but three Keystone-Hosted libraries now have at least a 7.7 Preview database, we’re making steady progress on self-hosted libraries, and we’ve begun work on the Perkins National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (PNDB)’s database as well as our first 7.7 IRCs!

    It has been a long road, but we’re now well on our way to a full conversion to 7.7. Development for the new version has been rolling along beautifully all the way up to our current version, 7.7.20.

    New Features

    There have been too many New Features over the past year to name, but here are some highlights:

    • The new installation and upgrade processes reduce or eliminate the need for admin access, IT assistance, and multiple downloads.
    • KLAS can now handle the extended UTF8 character set, including more diacritics.
    • HTTPS encryption replaces VPNs to keep your data secure while allowing a more streamlined installation.
    • eCommerce Integration is now available.
    • The Merge Query Function has been added to the Patron and Catalog modules, allowing you to do more with queries than ever.
    • The ability to Query on Patron Subscription information is now available in Patron.
    • The Apply / Remove Headings to Query Set tool allows you to update Subjects or other Headings on a batch of Titles all at once.
    • The Batch Update Patron Medium tool allows you to apply Profile changes to a batch of Patrons.
    • You can now print eDocs from the Shipping Wizard.

    And that doesn’t include the numerous new features implemented to support Duplication on Demand!

    Duplication on Demand

    As those who’ve used or are still using the original PCC workflow know: it’s a very hands-on process and unfortunately prone to errors.

    The new Duplication workflows, which leverage a dedicated appliance such as a Scribe or Gutenberg, were designed to shift as much of the work as possible from library staff and external programs back to KLAS itself. A complete conversion to Duplication on Demand, rather than just using DoD or PCC as a supplement to traditional circulation, is a huge paradigm shift which necessitated some trial-and-error -- and a whole lot of development.

    We found it necessary strike a balance between updating and re-using old processes (like mail card batches and the nightly programs now used to refill Service Queues), completely new programming, and everything in-between.

    We are very pleased that we now have four libraries actively using Scribe (with a fifth being brought online this month) and two live on Gutenberg!

    The duplication workflows continue to be refined as we receive feedback from our pioneering libraries including the new KLAS screens (such as the Service Queue and Duplication Order tabs), the duplication appliances, and all of the communications in-between that make it all work.

    KLAS Users’ Conference 2019 and More!

    In early June, the Palm Beach County Talking Books Service and the Friends of the Palm Beach County Library hosted the 2019 KLAS Users' Conference in West Palm Beach, FL. It was a great opportunity to work with some of you in person during a hands-on pre-conference, a variety of Keystone- and user-led sessions, and even a duplication Petting Zoo where we demonstrated the workflows of both the Scribe and Gutenberg.

    However, as we head into the off-year between conferences that doesn’t mean there aren’t any opportunities to learn more about KLAS or network with your fellow users. We introduced a variety of other opportunities this year -- from Q&A Webinars to an IRC Symposium. Thanks to all your positive feedback, we’ll be offering even more things like this next year as well!

    KLASusers.com Content

    Finally, we’ve made a significant effort in the last year to be more proactive in communicating what’s happening at Keystone and with KLAS. We hope you’ve found it beneficial even when we’re racking our brains trying to come up with yet another blog post topic or forum tip. So, if there’s something you’d like to have us cover in a webinar, a blog post, or a discussion forum tip please let us know.

    In sum, it has been an amazing (and busy, and sometimes difficult, and ultimately rewarding) year, and I am looking forward to discovering what 2020 will bring.

  • 2020 Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Updates

    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.

    Our September 11, 2018 Key Notes Blog Post was written as we faced the threat of Hurricane Florence and shared details about we'd implemented at that point including a combination of both procedural and physical preparedness such as:

    • A gas-powered generator at our office
    • Redundant internet providers, firewalls, and network routers
    • Daily backups of data to our on-site servers
    • Weekly data backups stored offsite
    • Encrypted database backups on AWS S3
    • VOIP Telephone system to allow staff to work remotely
    • Keystone Status Page to communicate database availability, even if we’re unreachable
    • Contingency plans and equipment needed for remote database and customer support


    On August 15, 2019, Katy posted to share the news of some additional steps we'd taken to further enhance our disaster preparedness and recovery efforts including:

    • Back-end changes to KLAS 7.7 to it quicker and easier to create and store database back-ups
    • A move to storing back-ups in the cloud, so they are safe and retrievable no matter where disaster strikes

    A new monitoring app so staff can be notified right away if something goes wrong with the servers and any emergencies can be dealt with as quickly as possible

    Today I'd like to share this year's improvements to our disaster recovery and preparedness process and infrastructure, which include:

    • Cloud-based databases running in multiple regions, to better place the system geographically near the library
    • Incremental transaction data backups happen every 10 minutes
    • Database backups are saved in the local region, as well as to a separate region. If a database hosted on the east coast has a disaster, there is a copy of the database backup in another region.
    • Database backups are saved to the local server, as well as copied to S3 storage
    • Database backups are also copied from Amazon's data centers to Google Storage
    • A new automated system restoration process which had been manual prior to the beginning of 2020. As an automated process, it takes about an hour while the previous manual process took 10-12 hours at a minimum.



  • 2021 Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Update

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

    Since 2018, we've made an annual post detailing our infrastructure and planning efforts to serve your library, your staff, and your patrons after a natural disaster, and share the additional improvements we've made in the last 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. For this year's post, we starting with our most recent upgrades and working backwards to our original September 2018 update.

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

    2021 Updates & Improvements

    To prepare for this year's post, we asked Lee what he felt were important updates or changes made in 2021, or for any other info he wants the KLAS Users' Community to know about our efforts. The two items he mentioned are:

    1. The recovery process is the the same as before, but note that restoration of databases is sequential (per server), not parallel. So, while a one-hour recovery for a database at top of the queue is possible others at the bottom of the list will have a longer wait as the recovery process works through the list.
    2. We have added weekly server snapshots to our AWS backup servers. For an end user, this makes no difference to restoration, but it makes Keystone staff's jobs infinitely easier.

    2020 Updates & Improvements

    Much of what we put into place as part of our disaster preparedness plan in 2020 is what allowed our staff to begin to work from home in March of that year and continue to do so even today and for the foreseeable future.

    On September 1, 2020 posted a list disaster recovery and preparedness process and infrastructure improvements we'd make over the past year such as:

    1. Cloud-based databases running in multiple regions, to better place the system geographically near the library
    2. Incremental transaction data backups happen every 10 minutes
    3. Database backups are saved in the local region, as well as to a separate region. If a database hosted on the east coast has a disaster, there is a copy of the database backup in another region.
    4. Database backups are saved to the local server, as well as copied to S3 storage
    5. Database backups are also copied from Amazon's data centers to Google Storage
    6. A new automated system restoration process which had been manual prior to the beginning of 2020. As an automated process, it takes about an hour while the previous manual process took 10-12 hours at a minimum.

    2019 Updates & Improvements

    On August 15, 2019, we shared the news of some additional steps we'd taken to further enhance our disaster preparedness and recovery efforts including:

    1. Back-end changes to KLAS 7.7 to it quicker and easier to create and store database back-ups
    2. A move to storing back-ups in the cloud, so they are safe and retrievable no matter where disaster strikes
    3. A new monitoring app so staff can be notified right away if something goes wrong with the servers and any emergencies can be dealt with as quickly as possible

    2018 Updates & Improvements

    Our September 11, 2018 our first Emergency Recovery & Disaster Preparedness Key Notes Blog post was written as we faced the threat of Hurricane Florence and shared details about we'd implemented at that point including a combination of both procedural and physical preparedness such as:

    1. A gas-powered generator at our office
    2. Redundant internet providers, firewalls, and network routers
    3. Daily backups of data to our on-site servers
    4. Weekly data backups stored offsite
    5. Encrypted database backups on AWS S3
    6. VOIP Telephone system to allow staff to work remotely
    7. Keystone Status Page to communicate database availability, even if we’re unreachable
    8. Contingency plans and equipment needed for remote database and customer support
  • 2021 in James' Rearview

    A street sign with two arrows pointing in opposite directions. The lower arrow points left and has 2021 with a red slash over it. The top arrow points right and has 2022 on it. In the background is a green traffic light, signaling that we are good to go for 2022!
  • 2021 KLAS Users' Conference Flashback

    Screen shot of a portion of the session page for TL;DR or Too Long; Didn't read. It shows Nancy and Katy on webcams, a slide describing several newer Batch Tools, and a section of the chat bar, in which people are reacting to the batch tools or sharing appreciation for them.

    The 2021 KLAS Users’ Conference presentations are now available for download!

    In case that feels a little late in coming... no, we didn’t just forget. In fact, the presentations have been available to attendees this whole time, along with the full session recordings, on the PheedLoop conference platform. The reason these presentations are now available here as well is to make them available to those who were not able to join us for the conference.

    We want to make sure that those who pay to attend the conference get ample value for it, and plenty of justification for their state agencies. The conference is nota profit-generating event for Keystone, but those registration fees are necessary to cover expenses, whether those expenses are for online event hosting or in-person. With an online conference, there was concern that, if the full recordings were available to everyone, funding agencies may wonder why they should pay for you to attend live sessions at the next conference.  

    However, we also know that you don’t necessarily choose your funding agency or their restrictions, and many states have very real budget constrictions. We don’t want to leave those of you who can’t attend the conference in the dark!

    In committee discussion, this was identified as our solution: the conference presentations (but not the full recordings) would be made freely available after a delay.

    We hope this is a help to those of you who weren’t able to join us (without causing trouble for those who were)!

    Not sure where to start? We had a fantastic slate of presentations this year, but here are a few of my personal recommendations:

    TLDR; Too Long, Didn’t Read

    Have trouble keeping up with all the KLAS New Features? Just want to make sure you haven’t missed something important? This session was a look back at some of the best improvements and new features of 7.7, hosted by Nancy and yours truly. In addition to the presentation, instructions and an example user.ini are also available, due to request during the live session.

    Nightly Configuration: Understanding How Titles Make It To The Service Queue

    Sam Lundburg did a lot of research and testing and knocked it out of the park with his deep dive into Nightly Configuration for Duplication. If you want to know more about how Nightly chooses books for the Service Queue and how you can adjust it to work in your favor, don’t miss this presentation! (Note: please do not hesitate to contact Keystone Customer Support for assistance with your Nightly Configuration.)

    X MARCs the Spot: Subject and Series Mapping in KLAS

    If you have questions about subject mapping or just wonder what the deal is with the subjects that do (or don’t) show up with new MARC records, read up on it here. Erin Pawlus and Dylan Calhoon share their experiences and lessons about Subject and Series mapping, with plenty of great takeaway information.

    P.S. Google Drive Tip

    Did you know you can download multiple files from a Google Drive all at once? Due to the number of files available, we felt that this feature would be worth hosting the files on Google rather than on KLASusers itself.

    Select all of the files you want (using shift or control), then use the menu icon and choose Download. Google will collect all of the selected files into a zipped folder and start the download automatically.

    Screenshot of Google Drive shows several presentations selected. The

  • 2021 KLAS Users' Conference Planning Updates

    2021 KLAS Users' Conference Planning Updates

    We're excited to announce that initial planning for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference is underway. This will be our first biennial conference AND the first hosted by an Instructional Resource Center.

    We sincerely thank Dr. Kathy Segers, Director of Accessible Instructional Materials and Outreach Services, Tennessee School for the Blind for being our local host for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference. We look forward to working with you to plan an informative, inspirational, and rewarding experience for all our attendees.

    2021 KLAS Users' Conference Dates & Location



    I suspect what y'all really want to know is when and where the conference will be, so here you are...

    Dates: June 29-July 1, 2021

    • Location: Nashville, TN
    • Host: Tennessee Instructional Resource Center at the Tennessee School for the Blind

    Also, we've identified a few possible hotels in the area and will be contacting them soon for availability and pricing information. We'll let you know ASAP after one has been selected what our conference hotel and room rates will be.

    Thank you to everyone who's already helped get us this far, including everyone on our conference planning committees.

    Conference Planning Committees



    The Planning Committees for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference have already started meeting, and are looking forward to sharing additional information soon. Below are the current committee members, but we are always looking for additional KLAS Users who might be interested in helping out. You can contact Program Committee Chair Erin Pawlus () or Logistics Committee Chair Chandra Thornton () if you're interested in serving on either.

    Program Committee Members

    • Erin Pawlus, Committee Chair, Arizona Talking Book Library
    • Kathy Segers, Local Host, Tennessee Instructional Resource Center
    • Cyndi Reimer, California Instructional Resource Center
    • Michael Lang, State Library of Kansas, Talking Books Service
    • Katy Patrick, Keystone Systems
    • Drea Ewing Callicutt, Keystone Systems


    Logistics Committee Members

    • Chandra Thornton, Committee Chair, Palm Beach County Library System - Talking Books
    • Kathy Segers, Local Host, Tennessee Instructional Resource Center
    • Craig Hayward, North Carolina Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
    • Andrew Shockley, Oklahoma Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
    • John Mugford, New Mexico Library for the Blind & Print Disabled
    • Sarah Smedley, Palm Beach County Library System -Talking Books
    • Kimberlee Hodges, Bayside Area Special Services Library
    • Drea Ewing Callicutt, Keystone Systems


    Conference Planning Survey



    The KLAS Users' Group officers and Program Committee are working on a conference planning survey that will be sent out in early September to help us bring you the best content in the most useful formats. Please be on the lookout for it and be sure to fill it out once you receive it.

    In the meantime, mark your calendar and start planning for next summer in Nashville. We look forward to having you join us!

     

    TN School for the Blind

  • 2021 KLAS Users' Conference Take 2

    2021 KLAS Users' Conference Take 2

    First, we want to thank everyone who responded to our 2021 KLAS Users' Conference Planning Survey. We heard you, and we're moving forward based on your input.

    The Program and Logistics Committees, the KLAS Users' Group Officers', and Keystone staff have been working diligently to figure out how to shift the conference to an online event. We're really embracing our conference theme of "Challenges, Changes & Creativity"! In the past few weeks, we've shifted our planning timeline and had discussions about dates, schedule, event management software and services, registration costs, session proposals, and more.

    Today, we're excited to share that the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference will be June 7-10, 2021 with the below proposed schedule for each day:

    Eastern Time Pacific Time Session Type
    11:30-1:30 PM 8:30-10:00 AM General
    1:00-1:10 PM 10:00-10:10 AM Break
    1:10-2:00 PM 10:10-11:00 AM Breakout
    2:00-3:00 PM 11:00 AM-Noon Lunch
    3:00-3:50 PM Noon-12:50 PM Breakout
    3:50-4:00 PM 12:50-1:00 PM Break
    4:00-5:00 PM 1:00-2:00 PM General

    To give all our attendees the best experience possible, we're planning to use an online event platform. We've evaluated a number of different ones and currently plan to use PheedLoop. Last week, the Planning Committees and Users' Group Officers had an opportunity to see the event participant side of the platform and were impressed with their available features for networking, session scheduling and access, and extensive accessibility options.

    Using this platform, conference attendees will be able to attend sessions live or review the recordings later on, message each other privately or in subject groups, and even share files with their fellow users. While it can't fully replicate the feeling of all sitting around the same table, we hope that this format will allow us to bring as much of the full conference experience as possible.

    Individual and group registration rates are still being finalized and will be announced soon.

    We're hoping more KLAS Users will be able to participate in this year's conference than ever before, since there is no travel required! See you there!

  • 2021 KLAS Users’ Conference Registration

    2021 KLAS Users’ Conference Registration - How to sign up!

    As announced on the e-list yesterday, registration is now OPEN for the 2021 KLAS Users’ Conference! The deadline to register is 8:00 PM Eastern / 5:00 PM Pacific Friday, June 4.

    To make this year's process easier than ever, we chose to use the PheedLoop platform to handle registration and even credit card payments. Yes, you can pay via a credit card this year! If you prefer or need to still pay by check, you can also download an invoice directly from the registration page. 

    • $25 for individual attendee tickets
    • $50 for small group tickets (2-5 persons)
    • $100 for large group tickets (6-10 persons)

    Group Ticket Purchases: If you're purchasing more than an individual attendee ticket, one person from your organization can register, select the combination of the tickets needed, and include each individual attendee's name and contact info. Each listed attendee will be emailed their ticket info separately. An organization can purchase whatever combination of individual, small, and large group tickets makes sense for the number of staff they want to attend.

    Example: To purchase one Large Group Ticket for 10 people, select 1 "Large Group Ticket" with your name listed as the "Attendee". Then proceed through the payment and checkout options and then add the other 9 persons as "complimentary ticket" holders when prompted to do so.

    Follow this link to begin your 2021 KLAS Users' Conference attendee registration or read on for more information about the registration platform.

    1. Registration Category

    Begin the registration process by selecting “Attendee” – since our conference does not have sponsors or exhibitors, this is the only registration category that will be listed.

    screenshot of the registration page. It shows “Register” selected in the main menu, instructions to select the registration category, and a large button reading “Attendee.”

    2. First Attendee Info

    You will then need to fill in details for the first person registering for your library. If you will be purchasing for a group, there is an option to add additional attendees’ information later on as complimentary ticket holders. For now, just enter your own information, or pick someone from the group that will be attending, then proceed to checkout.

    There is an optional field if you would like to give us a heads-up about any accessibility requirements. One reason we chose the PheedLoop platform to host the conference was its extensive suite of accessibility options, but don’t hesitate to let us know what you may need. We want everyone to have full access to the conference!

    On the second page, please select what pronouns your fellow attendees should use for you during the conference. You can select multiple options if desired (for example, if you are comfortable being called either “she” or “they” and want people to use both options for you).

    3. Ticket Selection

    Next up is the ticket page, where you can select the ticket or tickets you are purchasing for your organization. For example, if you want to register a total of 5 people for the conference, add 1 “Small Group” ticket (which will cover your registration, plus up to 4 additional individuals, listed as complimentary ticket holders). For 15 people, select 1 Small Group ticket and 1 Large Group ticket then proceed to checkout. And of course, if it’s just one person, scroll down to “Individual.” 

    Once you have added at least one ticket, fields will be added to designate the Ticket Owner--just leave the info that is brought in with your own details. There will be a place later in the process to add the info for the additional people you will be registering under a group ticket.

    Screenshot from the registration process, showing the small group ticket. It has plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease the number of tickets needed, and details of the number of people who can be registered for that ticket cost. There is currently 1 ticket selected, and the Ticket Owner Details have been filled in automatically.

    4. Payment

    You can pay by credit card, or select “Other Payment Method” to generate an invoice and pay by check. You can download once your registration is submitted, and it will be emailed to you as an attachment as well. The invoice will include information on where payment should be sent, and what information to include with it. 

    When you have selected all desired tickets and your payment type, use the Checkout button to proceed.

    Screenshot shows the selected ticket and the total, then radio button options for Card Payment (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express) or for Other Payment Method. At the bottom is a Checkout button.

    5. Success Page

    Congrats, you are not officially registered! If you selected "Other Payment Method," your registration will be pending until payment has been received.

    If you've included any group tickets in your registration, the success page will allow you to register the additional attendees included in the ticket price. It does not collect as much info for them as it does for the original ticket holder, but they can fill in additional info in their profile later on. 

    Screenshot of the success page, confirming that my "Demo" account has registered for the conference. An alert message instructs me to update the complimentary tickets I received with my group registration. Each complimentary ticket is listed, with fields for the individual attendee's name, email, title, organization, and dietary restrictions. There is also an Update Ticket button.

    Note that the fields include "Dietary Restrictions" by default, but since this is a virtual conference, we don't need to know that! Feel free to use that field to report any Accessibility Requirements instead.

    Be sure to use the Update Ticket button for each ticket once you've assigned it to the proper individual. You do not need to assign any of the complimentary tickets to the person whose info you already filled in--that person is already registered.

    Finally, the success page also includes the option to download your invoice (if you selected Other Payment Method) or your receipt (if you paid by credit card).

    Screenshot of the Registration Summary section of the page, which includes details of the registration, and a Download Invoice button.

    Questions?

    If you have any problems with or questions about the registration process, please let us know at ! The occasional wrinkle is inevitable, with this being our first-ever online conference, but we will do everything we can to make it a smooth and easy experience for our attendees.

    Thanks for your patience as we get this all worked out!

  • 2021 Online KLAS Users' Conference

    2021 Online KLAS Users' Conference

    Below you will find the latest udpated about the 2021 ONLINE KLAS Users' Conference. Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information.

    2021 KLAS Users' Conference Website & Attendee Portal:

    Theme: Challenges, Changes & Creativity

    Overview Schedule:

    Screenshot of KLAS UC 2021 Overview Schedule

    Format:

    To give our attendees the best experience possible, we will be using the PheedLoop online event platform. The Planning Committees and Users' Group Officers had an opportunity to see the event participant side of the platform and were impressed with the features for networking, session scheduling and access, and extensive accessibility options.  

    Using this platform, conference attendees will be able to attend sessions live or review the recordings later on, message each other privately or in subject groups, and even share files with their fellow users. While it can't fully replicate the feeling of all sitting around the same table, we hope that this format will allow us to bring as much of the full conference experience as possible.

    Registration:

    Go here to begin your 2021 KLAS Users' Conference attendee registration

    The deadline to register is 8:00 PM Eastern / 5:00 PM Pacific Friday, June 4. If you have any questions about the group registration process, check out this step-by-step for a detailed explanation with screenshots.

    Conference Registration is now open!To make this year's process easier than ever, we chose to use the PheedLoop platform to handle registration and even credit card payments. Yes, you can pay via a credit card this year! If you prefer or need to still pay by check, you can also download an invoice directly from the registration page.

    • $25 for individual attendee tickets
    • $50 for small group tickets (2-5 persons)
    • $100 for large group tickets (6-10 persons)

    Group Ticket Purchases: Example: To purchase one Large Group Ticket for 10 people, select 1 "Large Group Ticket" with your name listed as the "Attendee". Then proceed through the payment and checkout options and then add the other 9 persons as "complimentary ticket" holders when prompted to do so. Each listed attendee will be emailed their ticket info separately. An organization can purchase whatever combination of individual, small, and large group tickets makes sense for the number of staff they want to attend. For example, a library can purchase one small group and one large group ticket for a total of $150 to cover up to 15 attendees.

    Registration fees go towards the conference platform and video streaming services. This is not intended to be a profit-generating event! That said, the math on this kind of thing is difficult. The per-attendee cost of the event will vary significantly based on how many attendees we have, and while we have a lot of experience budgeting for and operating an in-person conference, an online conference is new to us. If we find that we undershot on the registration fees, Keystone will cover the additional costs. If we end up generating a little extra, it will be used towards the next conference.

  • 2021 Year in Review

    Graphic of gold and silver star garlands and sparklers, reading: From the Keystone Staff: Happy New Year! Here's to fresh starts and new adventures!

    It’s been another turbulent, often-difficult year, but once again, we’ve made it through. In fact, this year has seen a number of highlights for us! Here are a few of my high points:

    We’ve revamped KLASusers.com to modernize it, make it more easily searchable, and present content by topic instead of by format. We’ve recently made another big stride towards this goal by adding the tag listing to the Knowledge Base and News areas, allowing you to easily browse some of our top topics.

    We hosted our first-ever all-online KLAS Users’ Conference, allowing us to not only hold this years’ conference safely, but to include more of our users than ever before. We learned so much from this experience, and I’m sure we’ll benefit from that experience even if and when we move back to a primarily in-person event.

    We continued to improve Duplication on Demand to make it as reliable, customizable, and powerful as you’d expect from KLAS. This included adding the Duplication Orders by Status report, new options for managing patron’s Service Queues, check-in alerts, and even (in our latest update) customizable sound support for Scribe systems, along with countless smaller tweaks, bug fixes, and “quality of life” improvements.

    For our IRC customers, we have a strong start on integration with APH’s ordering system, which will allow you to submit Purchase Orders directly from KLAS, with Catalog integration coming soon as well. If you missed our update on this project earlier this month, make sure to check out the recording!

    I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it here for now. After all, it’s about time to be closing the door on 2021, and looking ahead to the possibilities and promise of next year. Until then: best wishes for a happy and healthy 2022!

  • A look at the KLAS roadmap

    A roadmap with a red push pin placed at the point of two divergent routes.

    KLAS v7.8 is coming!A roadmap with a red push pin placed at the point of two divergent routes.

    After two years of small updates, we’re really close to bidding farewell to KLAS v7.7 and rolling over to v7.8. This will not be a big change at all from your perspective, but I want to give you a heads-up about what’s coming and why.

    The first KLAS v7.8 release will likely include other fixes and improvements, but the update triggering the version change should be completely invisible. That update is to Open Edge (OE), the framework and programming language we use to build the KLAS interface. The new version of OE will provide us access to new options for programming KLAS, keep us up to date and allow us to get any bug fixes on that end of things. However, nothing should change to the look and feel of KLAS. How it runs, what is available for users, and how we support it will all remain the same.

    To make sure the update to the back-end doesn’t introduce any problems on the front-end, we’ll be doing a lot of rigorous testing. We’ll also rely on feedback from our Early Release customers even more than usual so we can be sure we haven’t missed anything. Fortunately, we do not anticipate any changes or problems. This won’t be a major conversion (like the one from 7.6 to 7.7), just a big update. 

    So, in short, v7.8 will be an update for us, but not any different for you. Don’t worry, we’ll keep those bi-weekly small updates coming with all the bug fixes, improvements, and new features we can squeeze into them.

    So... whatever happened to v.8?

    If you attended the 2018 KLAS Users’ Conference in Idaho, you probably remember testing our prototype user interface for the web-based KLAS v.8. It’s something that we and you were really excited about, so it makes sense that we get questions about it on occasion.

    For quite a while, we didn’t have much to say. That’s because, right after the 2018 conference, we realized just how big the need was to get Duplication on Demand up and running at full scale ASAP. We shifted gears pretty hard, switching our attention to: taking Scribe from a proof-of-concept to a fully-realized appliance capable of supporting a library’s full circulation; getting Gutenberg integration in place; and building screens, workflows, and features to support this whole new approach to service.

    Additionally, we needed to keep up with the development needs of our IRC/IMC customers, bring new customers online, and keep everything else running. That “keep everything else running” was complicated by the deployment of 7.7 and all the development needed to support it, and a massive server crash that prompted our migration to all cloud hosting.

    Unfortunately, the pivot to duplication ate up the time and resources we’d hoped to devote to KLAS v.8. But there’s is good news! With Duplication on Demand finally getting to be as robust and fully-featured as we envisioned, and the needs of our IRC / IMCs lining up with some things we needed to do anyways... we’re finally able to provide an update: we are at work on the foundations of v.8!

    To be clear, it’s still a very long road ahead. Building an entirely new UI (informed by the prototypes and user testing from 2018, and everything new we’ve added to KLAS since) is a huge undertaking requiring a lot of development resources. However, the other major task will be the need for the UI to communicate with the database storing all of your information by way of APIs. Finally, the APIs needed to be built and implemented so that they allow existing programs in KLAS to function alongside any user interface we build moving forward—we know from painful experience that we can’t rebuild all of KLAS at once and release an entirely new interface with everything you need ready and working on day 1.

    We’re excited to say this key building block, the suite of APIs that will provide the machine-to-machine communications needed for v.8 to function, is now underway!

    You may have noticed these APIs cropping up in Release Lists this year, and more are coming. For now, IRCs that maintain student data, orders, and catalog info in more than one system are using and will be using these APIs to integrate with third party systems, but the beauty of APIs is that once they are in place, any compatible system can use them.  The programming we’re doing now to integrate with other systems will be the thing that allows us to integrate with the browser-based KLAS v.8 in the future (while still allowing the v.7 interface to be used during the transition).

    How long will this take? It’s really hard to say. It ultimately depends on what other development is needed, what new needs crop up which we haven’t anticipated, and what resources open up for us to take this on. But getting the APIs in place is incredibly important foundational work, and we’re really excited to finally get them on the front burner and in progress.

  • A look back: KLASUsers 2020 Highlights

    A look back: KLASusers 2020 Highlights

    There were days that cast it into doubt, but some good things did happen in 2020! Let's have a look at some of them from this very website (with lots of links to get caught up if you missed something in the tumult).

    We had a very successful series of webinars, covering both LBPH and IRC topics of interest, and including Keystone-led, User-led, and roundtable formats. Additionally, we had the chance to meet with y'all at the APH online conference and at the NLS online conference. We also transitioned KLAS Administrator's Training to an online format with a renewed and refreshed curriculum to better meet the needs of our Admins.

    Back in January, we introduced the Scribe Mini! This little guy can store the entire digital collection, can either run a full Scribe Tower, or be used as a stand-alone device at a front desk or outreach location. On the other side of the hardware aisle, Teresa Kalber of the Colorado Talking Book Library, one of the first KLAS libraries to implement Gutenberg, shared their experience in the Hot off the Press blog series.

    Then Covid took over the news and turned our expectations for the year on end. Even when things were hard though, KLAS Users put in their time and effort to help each other, including by sharing their experiences, lessons, and strategies as we all adjusted to lock-downs and quarantines.

    Despite the difficulties of the year, business continued as best it could, including the need to track and report on statistics. In Get to Know the Circulation Report, I shared some info to help you make friends with one of our most powerful reports.

    Finally, we continued to refine and improve our Disaster Preparedness and Recovery processes, ensuring that we can respond to anything and keep you all up and running as best as possible.

    Despite the uncertainty ahead our excellent user committees continued to plan the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference, balancing the need for flexibility with the planning timeline. Watch for the latest information and the results of the recent planning survey coming very soon!

    Over on our other website, we re-launched KLAS.com with an all-new (and much improved) look and feel! We were so happy with the results, in fact, we're actively working to provide KLASUsers.com with a similar refresh.

    Here's to 2021! This year is shaping up to be plenty weird and challenging in its own way, but we do we expect it to bring an easier-to-use and more modern KLASUsers.com, and plenty of new content to keep you all informed and empowered as users!

  • A New & Improved klas.com

    A New & Improved klas.com

    In March of this year, Katy and I undertook a rather large project that we're now happy to see come to fruition. For the past few years, we've been discussing updating the look and feel of Keystone's website with the goal of creating something more modern, with some additional features, but still maintaining our commitment to providing info on an easy-to-use and easy-to-navigate site. To help us with this endeavor, we chose to work with Alison Meeks of AM Graphix. We're excited to say that as of yesterday, the new and improved klas.com is now live!

    The content we previously provided is still available, but we hope we've enhanced it and made it all easier to find. One of the great new features we added for current KLAS Users is the ability to submit a "Support" request from any page on the site using the "Support" button in the right-hand corner. Also, the whole site is mobile-friendly and responsive to the size of your browser window.

    Below are some additional screenshots of the shiny, new klas.com. We invite you to spend some time checking it out!

    The Current Customer OPACs page has been updated to a modern, graphical style, showcasing the logo of each library or organization in addition to the text name. It has also been broken into new sections: Featured, Talking Book Libraries, and Instructional Resource Centers. (Note: Prefer a text-only approach? We've added that version of the list to the KLASusers.com menu!)

     Screen Shot 2020 07 28 at 11.46.53 AM

     

    The Products and Services: Scribe Duplication System page is new! It includes information about the Scribe, as well as some photos.

     Screen Shot 2020 07 28 at 11.45.45 AM

     

    We've included some new testimonials from KLAS users on the home page. Thank you to everyone who provided a quote for us--we appreciate your kind words and support!

    Screen Shot 2020 07 28 at 11.43.35 AM

     

    Finally, this is and will be an ongoing effort. Now that the new look and new organization is in place, we have plans to edit much of the content, so we'd love to hear your feedback!

     

  • A new way to Meet

    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.

    It also has some features that we think will prove beneficial, including automatic captioning, and the ability to show attendees’ webcams in a tiled display for a better “round-table” feel. You’ll be able to enable or disable the captioning and change views any time to suit your preferences, so give it a try!

    You do not need a Google account to join us using Meet! However, if you are logged into a Google account, it’ll automatically bring you into the meeting with that account name. If you don’t want your personal or otherwise irrelevant Gmail name visible make sure to log out or switch accounts before joining the meeting.

    We hope you’ll try it out and join us at the upcoming Virtual Programming roundtable this Thursday or at one of our other upcoming webinar sessions! Hopefully, this will be an improvement for everyone who had technical difficulties or bandwidth issues with Join.Me. If you do have any feedback about the new platform or difficulties joining a session, please let us know as we keep working to provide excellent online sessions!

  • A Note from James, plus Tips & Tricks part III

    A Note from James, plus Tips & Tricks part III

    First, we'd like to share a note with you from James Burts, Keystone Executive Vice President,

    "Dealing with the new realities of Covid-19 has certainly been a very strange time. At Keystone, we began having staff wanting to work from home and self-isolate on March 12th, and over the following 2 weeks had increasing numbers of staff opting to work from home. As of March 30th, our local county mandated that we all self-isolate and work from home. I certainly hope you’ve not seen a change in our ability to support you all.

    Fortunately, we’d already taken the steps necessary to allow all our staff to work from home effectively— steps we’d taken expecting that it would help us in the event of a snowstorm or hurricane that made roads unsafe. Instead, the road are nearly empty, but it’s simply getting people together that’s unsafe. Who would have thought??

    We continue to be available to help you and your staff in anyway we can. Whether that’s helping create new workflows to quarantine materials, or helping your staff work on record cleanup while they are working from home without access to your collection— we are here for you all. We have provided some ideas for managing these strange times on KlasUsers.com, and are always interested in hearing other ideas you may have. If you have any questions, or any ideas that you would like to implement, please reach out to us. We’ll be happy to help talk through your thoughts, and help address your needs."

    Next up, as part of our ongoing work to support you, a few more tips and tricks, this time for:

    1. Strategies for serving patrons when you have a restricted card run
    2. Blocking service to prisons or other institutions

    Or you can follow these links for our previous suggestions:

    • How can you connect to KLAS if you use a Mac?
    • How can I quickly increase the number of books we're sending our patrons and / or titles we're duplicating onto a cartridge for them?
    • Do I need to shut off Nightly?
    • WebOPAC Notice
    • Emailing your newsletter
    • Record clean-up

    Tip 1:

    Strategies for serving patrons when you have a restricted card run.

    Nightly sorts patrons that need service by:

    1. Serve Code (least frequent to most frequent, with List Only ahead of Autoselect)
    2. Last Served date (none to oldest to most recent)

    This gives priority to patrons who haven’t been served for a while, and gives List Only patrons a better chance of getting their titles before they go out to Autoselect patrons. Under normal circumstances, this setup ensures that everyone will be served in a reasonable timeframe, even if you restrict your card run and don’t get to everyone who needs service each day.

    However, these are not normal circumstances. If you’re currently running on a skeleton crew and severely limited card run, your Nightly Auto patrons might languish at the end of the list.

    While these circumstances are in place, or even when the floodgates re-open and you need to play catch-up, you may want to switch up this order from time to time. If you would like to change up the order of the Nightly sort to give different patrons a shot at getting books, please contact Keystone Customer Support—and then be sure to let us know when we should put it back.

    Tip 2:

    Blocking service to prisons or other institutions:

    If your Department of Corrections requires that service is suspended during this time, we can apply a block to all inmates for you. This will stop all circulation to those patrons for a specified period of time, though it does not impact their NLS direct magazines. Please let us know how to identify incarcerated patrons (such as by Patron Type), and how long you need the block to remain in place.

    If a nursing home or other facility requests that you stop service to their patrons, you can apply a similar block. You would first need to set up a "Quarantine" block (let us know if you need assistance). Then, find the patrons who live in that place and add the block to each record. If you don't already have relationships set up linking the patrons to the facility, you can find them by querying on the address.

    Quick Search –

    • Main Status | Equals | A
    • City | Equals | Raleigh

    Advanced Search –

    • Address | Street Address | Matches | 8016 Glenwood

    This query will limit your results to active records in the target city, with an address matching the facility’s street address. The idea is to be just specific enough, hence why I recommend searching the street address only for the number and street name. If it isn’t a common street, you might even leave off the number, and review results to see if the facility has multiple buildings.


    And that's it for this week's tips! We hope these have been helpful for you; please continue to let us know how we can help!

  • A Snowy Day in Raleigh

    A Snowy Day in Raleigh

    For this week's blog post, we thought you'd enjoy some of our staff's photos of the snow we got in Raleigh over the last couple of days.

    Let's start with a .gif of Katy's cat Paws watching the snowfall through the sliding glass door of her townhouse.

    Here was Drea's view out her home's front door on Monday.

     A Snowy Day in Raleigh

    Also, these two pictures of the table, chairs, and pergola on her upper deck show just how much snow accumulated. We got approximately 7 inches of snow on Sunday and even more fell on Monday morning. Raleigh usually averages 6 inches of snow total per season.

     A Snowy Day in Raleigh

    A Snowy Day in Raleigh

    Finally, this is what her backyard looked like blanketed in all the white stuff. Her dogs definitely didn't appreciate it as much as she did. You can see their tracks going off the lower deck and around the firepit.

    A Snowy Day in Raleigh 

    Nancy shared this picture trees in her backyard covered in snow.

     A Snowy Day in Raleigh

    Katy also enjoyed the snow on the tree outside of her window.

     A Snowy Day in Raleigh

    And, her kitty, Paws, enjoyed watching it fall through the large sliding glass door.

    A Snowy Day in Raleigh 

KLAS Users - Keystone Systems, Inc. logo

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