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Key Notes Blog

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

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:

Read more: A Note from James, plus Tips & Tricks part III

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:

Read more: Keystone Quarantine Kitchen

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). 

Read more: Working Remotely - Tips & Tricks

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).

Read more: Working Remotely - Tips & Tricks part II

Important Coronavirus Info

As efforts to slow the spread of the Coronavirus / COVID-19 ramp up, we wanted to share some info with you all:

1) Keystone Support will still be available

We are prepared to work from home if needed, and currently have no plans to close or restrict hours.

2) Working from home with KLAS

Working from home can't help you keep up with circulation during closures, but letting Reader Advisors (and other staff who do their jobs only or primarily in KLAS) work from home is easy with v7.7.

Because KLAS v7.7 secures your connection with seamless HTTPS instead of a VPN, Keystone-Hosted users can connect from anywhere. So long as your staff have access to home internet, they can take KLAS home with them. It will just work--no VPN or additional set-up required.

If you are still on Keystone-hosted version 7.6, you can connect from home using the instructions we gave after recovering from the SAN failure. No special VPN required, just the correct version of the OpenVPN software. If you need us to re-send instructions, let us know. 

For Self-Hosted users, additional set-up may be needed to connect to your servers off-site. For 7.7, we should be able to create an activation key that will allow remote access. For 7.6, start with your own IT, and let them know that we're here to assist if needed.

Finally, if you have reduced staff handling your mail, we have strategies in this Forum Post: Short Staffed? Strategies to keep up.

3) Quarantined Inventory

If you need to quarantine returned books or other inventory from some or all of your patrons, contact Customer Support.
We can help you set up an addition circulation status (NAC:QTN), allowing you to track what inventory is currently set aside to allow any contamination to die off. If you find other measures are called for, we can discuss your needs and help you determine the best strategy.

In short, please know that we are here to support you and any efforts you are taking to stay healthy and protect your patrons.