Showing posts from December, 2018

MeL - Your Secret Weapon for Reading Recommendations

Brought to you from the team at MeL -  Anyone ordering new materials for their library knows firsthand the annual number of books being published has exploded. Some estimates cite the number at over 1 million! How are we ever supposed to keep up with all of these new titles? NoveList Plus and NoveList K-8 Plus are two great eResources available in MeL that can become your secret weapons for finding your, or your patrons', next great reads. A source for expert read-alike recommendations, NoveList adds about 30,000 new titles every year. Approximately two-thirds of those are for adults and one-third are for kids. There are over 78,000 audiobook titles and over 34,000 series titles. With books for every reader bothNoveListeResourcesoffer a wide range of features to help you narrow down your search for a great book. Recommendations by title, author, and series are available.Search for titles based on your favorite things...favorite genre, subjects, appeals, types of characters, time peri…

Google Calendar - Changing Event Times

(This is a continuation of yesterday's post.) For many of us, scheduling an event doesn't mean it is going to happen at the time we schedule it - sometimes the event needs to be lengthened or shorten.  You don't need to create another event, instead you can modify it while in the week or day view. 

First, switch to either the week or day view from the list at the top of the calendar:

When you mouseover the bottom of the event, you will get a line with arrows at both ends:

You can grab the event when you see that icon and then drag the event down (to add time) or up (to subtract time):

Google Calendar - Moving Events

For many of us, scheduling an event doesn't mean it is going to happen - often the event is rescheduled and needs to be moved to another date and/or time on our calendar.  You don't need to create another event, instead you can move it.

Here is a video on how to move events, if you prefer.

There are a couple different ways you can move an event in Google Calendar.

Method 1 - Click and drag
You can simply move the event by clicking on it and dragging it to the appropriate date/time.  All information stays the same when you do this.  This works great if you can see the new date/time when looking on your calendar.  It's not so great if you cannot see it.  Here are 2 examples of this - one in the 2-week view and one in the week view:

Method 2 - Click Edit to see event details
When you click on an event, you get several options.  Click on the pencil icon to see the event details:

You can change the information in the event details as needed:

Contest for MI Students - Help Design the 2020 Wild Turkey Patch

From the Michigan Department of Natural Resources - 
Help design the 2020 wild turkey patch K-12 students, here’s a chance to make your mark by submitting the winning design for the 2020 wild turkey patch! All entries must be received by Dec. 31, 2018. Original, hand-completed designs should include an eastern wild turkey or components of a turkey (e.g., feathers, tracks). Drawings may be done in any medium (pencil, oil, pen and ink, chalk, crayon, etc.) and be color or black and white. If color, no more than 13 colors may be used. All entries must be submitted on 8.5-inch-by-11-inch paper, and submitted without mat, glass, frame or cover sheet (spray chalk with fixative). Each patch design entry must include the following phrases or elements: "Wild Turkey Management Cooperator""2020"The DNR logo (or simply create a circular placeholder for the logo)The web URL "" First-, second- and third-place winners will receive cash awards of $100, $50 a…

FREE eBook - Code Club Book of Scratch

From the Raspberry Pi blog -

This week we also launched the brand-new Code Club Book of Scratch, the first-ever print publication from the team at Code Club.

You can learn more about the book on the Code Club blog, and you’ll also find it in the Raspberry Pi Press store, and in bookstores alongside The Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide. You can download the free PDF here, but the print version of the Code Club Book of Scratch is rather special. As well as being stuffed full of amazing Scratch projects to try down at your local Code Club, it also comes with magic glasses that reveal secret hints in some of the guides. It’s spiral bound, so it always lays flat, and there are 24 exclusive Code Club stickers as well! The pictures here don’t really do it justice – it’s a wonderful book, even if I am a bit biased.

2019 Map Michigan Contest

What: Map Michigan Contest! 2019
Who: High School (grades 9-12) and Middle School (grades 4-8) students
When:Entry form due by March 22; submission deadline is May 15
Prizes: 10 - $100 prizes for each level

Learn more at 

Synopsis From MDE Memo #172-18:
Details for the ArcGIS Online United States Competition 2019 in which students create and share maps about their home states are now available.
"The competition is open to students in both middle and high school who can analyze, interpret, and present data via an ArcGIS online presentation, web application, or story map.  To participate, a school must complete an entry form by March 22, 2019. A school may submit up to five projects to the competition website.  Submissions must be received no later than May 15, 2019."

Software is freely available for K-12 instructional use from Esri.  To learn more about how to access this free software go to  Instructional materials post…

Google Calendar - Hide/Show Calendar Events

Your calendar can quickly become cluttered if you have a variety of calendars - both your own and those shared with you.  It is very easy to have access to calendars, yet have the events on those calendars only showing when you WANT them to.

Here is a video on how to hide or show a calendar if you prefer.

On the left side where your calendar list is, notice the colored boxes:
Those that are filled in are the calendars you are viewing.  Those that are empty are those you have access to, but the events are hidden.

At any time, you can click on the colored box to either hide or show the events for that calendar.  In the example here I am clicking the calendars "off" to hide the events:

Clicking on the box again will fill it, and display the events for that calendar along with your other calendars you are viewing.

FREE eBook on Raspberry Pi

From the Raspberry Pi blog -

[T]his week, we’re pleased to announce the release of The Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide, a 244-page book that will help get you well on your way to Raspberry Pi domination.

The Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide
From setting up your Raspberry Pi on day 1, to taking your first steps into writing coding, digital making, and computing, The Official Raspberry Beginner’s Guide is great for users from age 7 to 107! It’s available now in the Raspberry Pi Press store, with free international delivery.

As always, we have also released the guide as a free PDF.

Google Calendar - Create a Second Calendar

Here is a video on how to create an additional calendar, if you prefer. Using multiple calendars is a good strategy for controlling what information is shared with others.  There are 4 reasons I often hear educators creating multiple calendars -  reminders for you (that don't make you "busy" when others look at your main calendar)for events specific to a project (to separate them from your day-to-day events)managing tasks with due dates (especially items you do not want on your main calendar)shared events with a group (a calendar where everyone can add/change events without changing each others main calendar) To create a second (or additional) calendar to use, go to the + by the "Add a coworker's calendar" in the middle of the left side bar:

Click on that + to see a variety of options - select New calendar:

A window will pop up, enter in the Name of your additional calendar, then click on CREATE CALENDAR:

That's it!  The calendar will now show up over i…

Google Calendar - How to Change the Calendar Color

Many people do not know that they can change the color of their calendar.  This is especially helpful if you are both visual and maintain multiple calendars. is very easy to do.

Here is a video on how to change a calendar's color, if you prefer.

First, if you are viewing your calendar in full screen, click the "pancakes" (three stacked bars) to view the mini-calendar and list of all your calendars -

For the calendar you want to change color of, mouse over until the "Options" pop-up (also called the "More menu" - the three stacked dots) -

Click on the Options, and then you can select the color you wish the calendar to be -

If the provided colors are not enough for you, click on the plus under the colors -

You will be able to pick from a million plus colors.  Literally.

Google Script - Making a Form Question from Spreadsheet Data

This is totally a revisit of the post I did on made on October 31, 2016 about "Google Script - Create a Drop-Down List from Spreadsheet Column"

I had another use for this today.  I wanted educators completing a form to fill in their district.  Yet the thought of all the different spelling/acronyms I might give was going to make the data analysis crazy.  For people from my organization alone in the first 5 minutes I got Calhoun ISD, Calhoun, Calhoun Intermediate School District, CISD.  Seriously.

I remembered this script I used before to create a drop-down from a spreadsheet, and figured I could revamp it for use with a Multiple Choice item - one where people could input their district if it was not there yet using the 'other' option.

Viola!  Here it is modified for a multiple choice - much is the same as before, but there are some differences.

To do this yourself -
1. Create your form.  
Really important step.  Make sure to create your multiple choice item and give it a…

Google Calendar - How To Change Your Viewing Option

There are several viewing options for how you can look at your calendar.  Depending on how busy your calendar is, or how far out you like to see, you might want to change from the Week view.

Here is a video on the viewing options, if you prefer.

You can find your options by clicking on the drop-down to the right of the searching bar -

Here are the options you have:

Day - view only 1 day; this will let you see several calendars side-by-side if wanted.

Week - view 1 week; this is the default view when you first start using Calendar.  You can actually click & drag the length of an event when in Week (or Day) view.Month - view an entire month; full day events are in reverse color (text on color) while timed events have the text color of the calendar.Year - quick way to jump to days in the further past or future, or to find date/day information; double-click on a date to jump back to the previous view but on that date

Schedule - a list of upcoming events; dates with no events are skipped…

MeL Minute: AtoZdatabases

Supporting Michigan Libraries - November 15, 2018 From Liz Breed of MeL - 
We're excited to offer AtoZdatabases, a new eResource in MeL. This powerful tool offers content useful for demographic profiles, business site location studies, traffic studies, proposal/grant writing, mapping a geographic area, conducting city or regional comparisons, research and development, and studying industry segments. Whether you currently offer support to your local business community or you're considering doing so in the future, AtoZdatabases can help enhance and build your efforts. Some of the most common questions small business owners ask can be fielded using AtoZdatabases. How do I find new customers to grow my business?Should I expand my business in this new geographic area?Where can I get a mailing list to promote my new service or products?How can I learn more about my community?I need to secure additional funding. Where can I find information about the potential in my market? There is …

Google Calendar - How to Create an Out Of Office Event

Google Calendar has a little-known feature (at least in our area) to help you mark your out-of-office time.  This feature is handy as it will automatically decline any invitations that are sent to you once you have set it.

The following video shows you how to create an out-of-office event, and what it looks like and does.  Note that just like a regular event you can set it for a partial day OR multiple days.

Video on creating an Out Of Office Event

If you prefer written guidance, here those are with screenshots:

1. Click on a date to add an event.  In the pop-up window that appears, type in the name of the event-

2. Select the "Out of Office" button that is an option below the event name-

3. Update the following information as needed:

Starting and ending dates and times (it can be a partial day, full day or multiple days as needed)The customized message you want sent to people that invite you to eventsThe visibility of your event by others able to see your calendar
 4. Click …