Slack is a cloud-based collaboration tool. Their tagline is “Be less busy.” I feel like I could stop talking about it right now, and many of you would be sold… but I digress. Slack has chat rooms, called channels, where any part of your team can join the conversation. You can also have private channels or send direct messages, but the real beauty of this tool is that any member of your team can jump in with their thoughts. You can also upload files into your channels. Slack is very social media-esque. You can “like” things or reply to certain comments instead of an entire thread. Most of this will come intuitively. The BEST feature: everything on Slack is searchable, and I mean everything. Slack also has the ability to work with many tools you’re probably already using, like Dropbox for instance.
Who’s ready to be less busy? I know I am!
Icons make websites visually interesting and can simplify navigation for users. The Noun Project collects and catalogs icons and symbols contributed by designers. Only icons that meet Noun Project standards are accepted. With a free membership, you must credit the designer or pay $1.99. For $9.99 per month you get unlimited royalty free icons. Everybody knows what an icon is, so there’s nothing left to do except start searching! The Noun Project is your one-stop shop for your icon and symbol needs.
Whether or not your organization is bound by Section 508 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to meet accessibility standards, can we all just agree that making your library’s online content accessible to EVERYONE is the right thing to do? Good. Now that we’re on the same page, use WAVE to evaluate the accessibility of your website. All you do is enter a URL and WAVE embeds various icons at potential problem areas throughout the page. It’s not important to know what they all mean because you can click on each for more information and tips for improvement.
*No accessibility tool can replace a real human being, but WAVE is a great place to start.
Beeline Reader aims to make reading on the web faster and easier. It uses gradient color options to keep lines of text from running together. Ads are also removed for a more streamlined view. In addition to boosting efficiency, the tool can be helpful for those with visual impairments, dyslexia, and ADD. There are a few options for using the tool: a browser plugin, a mobile app, a PDF reader option, and the “Pasteboard” option to BeeLine (used as a verb here) any text you can copy and paste. You can even BeeLine eBooks on your Kindle. It’s not for everyone, so take the BeeLine Reading Challenge to see if this is a useful tool for you.
Use PermaCC to create a permanent, archived record of a webpage. Even if the original page content is changed or the site removed completely, you’ll have your perma-link to reference. This prevents what PermaCC calls link rot, or broken links. Why might you need to create a permanent link? Well, if you cite webpages in an article, you’ll want to make sure in six months (or even six years!), your readers can refer to your sources. The PermaCC link you create includes a link to the original source and the date and time of the archived version. Here’s the example provided by PermaCC: https://perma.cc/T8U2-994F.
Individual users may create a free account where up to 10 links may be captured per month. Libraries play an important role in the maintenance and upkeep of PermaCC. If you need to create a high volume of links, you’ll need to go through a library. Don’t worry; it’s still free. If your library would like to become involved, request a library account.