Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Community Organizations Directory

The Waterloo Public Library web site took a step forward this morning when staff transferred the Community Organizations Directory--a joint effort of the library and the Greater Cedar Valley Chambers of Commerce--from an Adobe Portable Document File (i.e., PDF) to a Google Documents spreadsheet. The new format is easier for patrons to use and much more efficient for staff members to update.

The old format required editing of a Word document, conversion to PDF format, followed by transmission to a webmaster would then FTP it to the website. The use of a Google documents spreadsheet allows the staff member in charge of the directory to make changes in real time from any Internet capable computer.

As time goes on, look for us to move more library generated content to web documents that can be edited online. It's faster, cheaper, and provides better service to you, our patrons.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Public Access Computer Behavior

All patrons of the Waterloo Public Library are entitled to use library assets so long as their activities are not disruptive. Recently, we have seen some violations of our Public Access Computer Use Policy, which states that no more than two patrons may use a computer at any one time.

Library employees will be especially watchful for violations of this policy. When we observe more than two patrons at a computer, a warning will be given. If the behavior recurs, the session of the patron logged into the computer will be terminated.

If you are using a library computer and are bothered by groups of patrons gathering around a computer, and a staff member does not intervene, please ask for assistance at the desk. If you prefer to do so anonymously, use the "Library Help" utility on the upper-right hand portion of the Reference Department home-page. Ask for help, and if the virtual reference stations is active, you should get a quick response.

To report problems or make suggestions, please email me, Mike Dargan, at

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Friday, May 11, 2007

Motorized Cart

With 60,000 square feet (about 1.3 acres) of floor space, getting from one end of the Waterloo Public Library to the other can be quite a hike. For those of us who find walking to be a challenge, yet still wish to browse the stacks, the library provides a motorized cart. If you wish to use the cart, go to the Welcome Desk and ask.

Once you've acknowledged having heard the instructions by signing a form, you'll get the key and off you go.

If you're a caretaker and would like some help getting your charge into the building, we have a wheelchair that can be used to bring someone in from the parking lot.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

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