Working remotely

  • Keystone Quarantine Kitchen

    Keystone Quarantine Kitchen

    With the Governor of North Carolina's stay at home order going into effect, all Keystone staff are now working remotely. We're extremely happy to be able to continue you providing the support and services you have come to expect from us even during this challenging time. Our past few blog posts have been focused on tips and tricks to help you continue working and providing as many books to your patrons as possible depending on your library's current status. This week we'd like to share something a bit lighter, so here's some recipes from Keystone staff we like to cook when we're stuck at home.

    Read on for our Keystone Quarantine Kitchen Recipes including:

    • Sour Cream Pound Cake
    • Margon's Brownies
    • Crawfish Etouffee
    • Homemade Chex Mix
    • Mac & Cheese Pizza
    • Sweet Potato biscuits
    • Greek meatballs, burgers, or meatloaf
    • Butternut squash and sausage soup

    From Nancy Underwood Honeycutt, Manager, Customer Support

    Nancy shared her recipes saying, "My brother just asked for my mom's recipe for pound cake. Turns out it is the same as what Paula Deen uses. I figure mom cut it out of the newspaper or magazine. I'll also send a bonus recipe for brownies."

    Sour Cream Pound Cake

    2 sticks butter
    3 C sugar
    6 eggs
    1 tsp - 1 tbs vanilla
    3 C flour
    1 C sour cream
    1/2 tsp baking soda

    Cream butter and sugar with mixer.
    Add eggs and beat, followed with the rest of the ingredients
    Bake in greased tub or bundt pan at 300 until knife inserted comes out clean and top is brown - about 1 1/2 hours.

    Margon's brownies

    (from family friends. We assume Margon was a relative in Nebraska)

    3/4 C butter
    3 squares chocolate
    2 C sugar
    3 eggs
    1 3/4 C flour
    optional -nuts

    Melt chocolate and butter. Add to sugar and eggs and mix. Add flour, vanilla & nuts
    13x 9 pan
    250 degree oven
    1 hour.
    The top of the brownies gets a nice crust on it.

    From Brian White, Senior Developer

    Brians Crawfish EtoufeeCrawfish Etouffee

    It's hard to beat Crawfish Etouffee. Since the frozen crawfish are available at WalMarts everywhere, it should be doable for most customers.

    Emeril's recipe will suit just fine - https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/crawfish-etouffee-1-3645763



    From Mitake Burts, Vice President, Products & Technology

    Homemade check mixHomemade Check Mix

    This page has a number of different Chex Party Mix Recipes: https://www.chex.com/recipes/?chex-mix

    Mitake says, "The advantage of making your own is that you can decide that cashews are vastly superior to mixed nuts, and not have to pick around the parts you don’t like."


    From Katy Patrick, Technical Writer

    Mac n Cheese PizzaMac & Cheese Pizza

    My family's favorite comfort food is Mac & Cheese Pizza.

    Cook Mac & Cheese according to the box
    Add a large egg and stir
    Spread into foil-lined pizza pan. Or use a pie pan for a thicker "crust".
    Bake at 350 for 15 minutes
    Remove from oven, cover in pizza sauce, and add your favorite pizza toppings
    Put back in the oven until the extra cheese is melted. I like to turn the broiler on at the end for a little extra crispness to the toppings!

    From Marion Campbell, Customer Service Representative

    Sweet Potato Biscuits FrontSweet Potato Biscuits

    Here's what's cookin': Sweet Potatoe Biscuits
    From the kitchen of: Dorothy Wright

    4 cups packed of sweet potatoes
    1 cup Crisco
    1 cup of sugar
    4 cups of self-rising flour

    Peel sweet potatoes and boil until done.
    While hot mash and add to them Crisco, sugar, and flour.
    Mix good.
    Work into biscuits.
    More flour is sometimes needed. Depends on wetness of potatoe to be able to handle the mixture.
    Bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes. Depending on size of biscuits.
    Mix handles better if cooled.
    Bake on greased cookie sheet.

    From Drea Callicutt, Marketing, Sales & Communications Coordinator

    Greek Meatballs

    1 lb. ground turkey
    1 package feta cheese
    1 10-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed
    1 raw egg
    Greek Seasoning (I prefer Cavender's )
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 of a small red onion, diced
    Italian Bread Crumbs
    Salt (I prefer Kosher Salt)
    Black Pepper (I prefer Fresh Ground)
    1 tbsp Olive Oil
    1 tbsp Butter
    Cookie Sheet

    Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.
    Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and the butter. When the butter melts, add the chopped red onion and chopped garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the onion and garlic to a large bowl to cool.
    Add ground turkey, feta, greek seasoning, egg, garlic, onions, and spinach to a large mixing bowl. Then add the Greek Seasoning, Oregano, Salt & pepper to taste.
    Get your hands dirty. Take off your jewelry and stick your hands in the bowl and start mixing it all together. The bread crumbs you add incrementally until you get a good consistency. You want to mixture to be moist but not runny. If you add too many bread crumbs, you can always add another egg for more moisture.
    Wipe a cookie sheet down with Olive Oil.
    Roll meatballs together between your palms and place on the cookie sheet approximately 2" apart.
    Bake for 30 minutes and 350 degrees.

    Notes: I use this same recipe to make burgers, meatloaf and meatballs. For the burgers, I can get 3-4 from 1 lb. of ground turkey and will either pan cook them in some olive oil, or grill them. For meatloaf, I place the whole mixture in a loaf pan greased with a bit of olive oil and then cook it at 350 for approximately 1 hour. Meatballs can either be pan fried or baked. I prefer baked cause it helps to reduce the amount of fat.

    Butternut squash sausage soup

    Butternut squash sausage soup8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
    3 carrots chopped
    3 stalks celery chopped
    1 onion chopped
    1 butternut squash
    3 cloves minced garlic
    Olive oil
    Salt & pepper
    8 oz Cream cheese
    1 lb sausage

    Preheat oven to 400*F.
    Half butternut squash lengthwise and put in a casserole dish.
    Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
    Cook at 400* for approximately 45 minutes or until you can easily spear it with a fork.
    Remove squash and set aside.
    In a large pot sautée onions and garlic in olive oil on medium heat.
    Season with salt & pepper.
    Add stock, carrots, and celery.
    Add sage, tarragon, parsley, and ginger to taste.
    Scrape roasted squash out of skin and transfer to the pot.
    Bring to a boil.
    Reduce heat to low, put lid on pot and let simmer for 2 hours.
    Use immersion blender to combine vegetables until smooth.
    Add cream cheese and blend again.
    Brown sausage and transfer to pot.
    Cook for another 20-30 minutes.



  • Working Remotely - Tips & Tricks

    Working Remotely - Tips & Tricks

    In the past few days, we've gotten more than a few questions about how to setup KLAS and / or prepare your library for a work from remote situation. If you haven't seen our earlier announcement, make sure to read this Important Coronavirus Info first, then come back for some additional tips.

    The frequently-asked-questions I'm sharing our tips for are:

    1. How can you connect to KLAS if you use a Mac?
    2. 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?

    If you have any other inquiries about how to connect to KLAS remotely or other ways to prepare your staff, library, & patrons for these unique circumstances, please contact Keystone Customer Support.

    Finally, because we know these are stressful times, make sure to check out the Off-Topic section of the forums to "meet" our Work-From-Home coworkers (formerly known as pets).

    Tip 1:

    How can you connect to KLAS if you use a Mac?

    KLAS staff-side will work on a Mac if it is running Windows as a virtual machine (VM) - this can be done using Parallels or VirtualBox (For example, our Keystone staff who use Macs run Windows in Parallels and then can connect to the KLAS staff side). If the Mac is able to run a VM with Windows, the specs should be enough to run KLAS inside that VM.

    Once you have a VM set up, installing and connecting to KLAS works just like it does on regular Windows. If you are running KLAS 7.7, you should be able to launch KLAS, log-in and start working immediately (though Self-Hosted customers may need additional support).

    If you are a KLAS 7.6 library, to be able to run KLAS remotely you will need to run a current version of OpenVPN before opening KLAS. This is the same process that you use at your library, you just need to make sure the VPN software is installed on the laptop if it isn't already. If needed, Keystone customer support can assist making sure you can connect successfully using SimpleHelp.

    Tip 2:

    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?

    Increasing the number of titles your patrons can receive is a great way to help get them enough books to tide them over in for a bit while you might be short staffed, or if your library closes for a period of time. There are a few ways to approach this:

    Raise NS Cutoff for Everyone

    The simpliest, way to do this is to temporarily raise your NSCutoff for all patrons. However, be very cautious if you choose to go this route as you might be unintentionaly overwhelming your circ staff and sending books to patrons you don't really want to. If you can handle the extra circulation and want to make a bulk change for all patrons, please get in touch with us and let us assist!

    We can run a program that will raise every patrons' NSCutoff by a specific number, while keeping a log of the original setting. This way, once you've pushed out the extra books, we can return everyone to their usual setting. Again, however, bear in mind that this method can create a lot of extra work for your staff.

    Raise NS Cutoff for a Query Set

    Another way to handle this is to increase the NSCutoff for a select group of patrons. For example, one library contacted our customer support team seeking help to just this, but they did not want to send anything to patrons who've been inactive for over a year because they hit their max number of books and haven't returned them.

    The way we suggested going about this was to:

    1. Do a query for Active Patrons with a Last Served Date between 1/1/2019 - today, and an NSCutoff of 20 (or your library's usual cap).
    2. Once you're in the Query Set you can then use the Batch Update Patron Profile function to change the NSCutoff for the selected query set to your new max number of books.
    3. Don't forget that you have a library-wide maximum as well as the individual patrons' NSCutoff. If you need assistance adjusting yours, just let us know what the new hard cutoff should be.

    See below for a document with information about the Batch Update Patron Profile tool. Also, note that this tool is only available in 7.7; for 7.6, you will need to contact us for bulk changes.

    Raise Max Titles on Cart

    If you are operating in a Duplication on Demand service model, you can increase the "Max Titles on Cart" value to globally increase the number of titles you are having KLAS put on a cartridge.

    1. Do a query for Active Patrons with a Delivery Method of Duplication.
    2. Once you're in the Query Set, use the Batch Update Patron Profile function to change the Max Titles on Cart for the DB Medium.  Leave all other fields blank to keep their current values!

    Here's a Quick Tip document on how to use "Batch Update Patron Profile".

    Finally, don't forget to check out the Off-Topic section of the forums to "meet" our Work-From-Home coworkers (formerly known as pets) if you need a little stress-relief.

  • Working Remotely - Tips & Tricks part II

    Working Remotely - Tips & Tricks part II

    As we continue to answer questions and work with libraries to handle this challenging situation, I wanted to share some additional tips gleaned from our inbox and experiences working with your fellow users.

    1. Do I need to shut off Nightly?
    2. WebOPAC Notice
    3. Emailing your newsletter
    4. Record clean-up

    If you have any other inquiries, please continue to contact Keystone Customer Support--we're still here to help!

    Finally, because we know these are stressful times, make sure to check out the Off-Topic section of the forums to "meet" our Work-From-Home coworkers (formerly known as pets).

    Tip 1:

    Do I need to shut off Nightly while no one is in the library to handle circulation?

    Short answer: Nope! The majority of Nightly circuation is generated by check-ins, so without any check-ins, the volume of assignments created drops steeply. It may find a few additional things over the next few days, but the number of assignments will continue to drop day by day until it has done all it can. Those assignments will then sit around until someone can come in and send them out, and that's fine! They don't expire and they don't interfere with downloads; though they might frustrate OPAC users who see the assigned Titles sitting on their Has Now lists that'll be it.

    Tip 2:

    WebOPAC Notice recommendations

    Have you posted a notice on your OPAC yet? This is an easy avenue to get information out to patrons and those who order for them.

    Something we saw one library include that we think is a great idea: Include the recommendation that patrons keep the books they currently have until you re-open! Not only will this keep them out of the pile of books awaiting your return, but even better, it will give them at least something to listen to in the meantime.

    You can also let patrons know that local downloads (such as Shelf titles) along with BARD will remain available.

    Need help posting the notice? Just send the full text with any formatting you want to , and we'll be happy to post it for you!

    Tip 3:

    Emailing your Newsletter

    If you can't get to the office to physically mail a large print newsletter, you can at least email the contents to those subscribers who have an email in KLAS.

    In KLAS 7.7, you can get a list of these patrons and their emails to export using this query:

    • Patron - Main Status - Begins - a
    • Subscription - KlasID - Equals - (your large print newsletter's KLAS ID, for example SER-NEW2)
    • Subscription - End Date - Equals - ?
    • Media - Pat Medium - Begins - L
    • Media - CirMagStatus - Equals - a
    • Address - EMail Addr - Is Between - 0 - ZZZZZZZZ

    Version 7.6 does not have the ability to query on Subscription in the Patron module, so that one is a bit more complicated. If you are still on KLAS 7.7.6 and need a list of subscriber emails, let us know.

    Tip 4:

    Record clean-up recommendations

    With circulation tasks unavailable, some staff may find themselves with extra time. If so: this is a great time to do some patron maintenance and catalog clean-up!

    Patron module:

    • Take a look at the Insufficient Requests Report to find patrons with as many or fewer requests as their NS Cutoff. You may need to contact these patrons to update their request list, or determine that they want to suspend their service. (Reports Menu -> Items and Titles -> Insufficient Requests)
    • The Patrons Below Cutoff Report will find those patrons KLAS has been unable to serve, even after running Nightly a few times without check-ins. These patrons may need additional subject preferences or requests, or to have their older HasHads cleared out (for example, a patron who only reads Westerns). On the other hand, there may be something stopping them from getting service, such as no Reading Level or Language! (Reports Menu -> Service Provision -> Patrons Below Cutoff Report)
    • The AutoSelect with No Subjects pre-defined Query is always good to check on now and then, to find patrons who either need to provide reading preferences or be switched to List-Only service. (Query Menu -> AutoSelect w/ No Subjects)
    • And finally, the Batch Patron Status Review tool is the best way to find and review patrons who haven't been served in a long time, and Suspend them. Additionally, you can review patrons who have been Suspended for a long time and make them Withdrawn and purged.

    Catalog module:

    We have some Catalog clean-up tasks in the Are you Ready for Duplication? (And is your Catalog?) post.

    Additionally, you can query for:

    • Language - Not In - ENG,SPA (comma-separated list of all the languages your library has records for)

    --to turn up any records with invalid language codes.

    Anything else you want to check for? Need help with a strategy to fix something you've found? Let us know how we can help!

    And that's it for this week's tips! Don't forget to check out the Off-Topic section of the forums to "meet" our Work-From-Home coworkers if you need a little stress-relief.

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Keystone Systems, Inc.
8016 Glenwood Ave., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27612