O&M News

Outreach & Marketing News from SALS

What's New With Wordpress?

Wordpress Update to 4.4 (AKA Clifford)

25% of the web runs on Wordpress. With the newest Wordpress update, suddenly all of those sites will have responsive images that'll adjust based on the device being used to view it (unless the image already has preset dimensions coded in-- an issue we might run into with some of the graphics in our widget areas). But, in most cases, you should expect your site to automatically re-size your graphics to accommodate the screen size it's being viewed on (phone, iPad, etc.). Read more about the Wordpress switch to responsive images.

We've been pushing the update to Wordpress 4.4 through behind the scenes and verifying that your sites will not be significantly changed by the update. If you notice anything off about your site since the update, please let me know.

Also new in Wordpress 4.4:

1) A new default Wordpress theme: 2016

2) They've made it easier to embed posts from other WP sites

3) Theme settings now must appear on the Customize screen where you can visually see the edits you make to your site. Some themes seem to have gotten around this by linking to their Theme Options on that screen and then bringing you back to the back-end. Others are already fully compliant and options specific to that theme will appear in Customize, instead of being hidden somewhere in the back-end.

Read even more about what's new with Wordpress 4.4.

What's new with the switch to GoDaddy?

After you were done working with Jason to move your site over to the GoDaddy Server, you might have noticed a few changes on your site in terms of new plugins.

  1. Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall: This Anti-Malware scanner searches for Malware, Viruses, and other security threats and vulnerabilities on your server and it helps you fix them.
  2. Postman: Postman is a next-generation SMTP Mailer, software that assists in the delivery of email generated by your WordPress site. Postman is the first and only plugin to support the latest security standards.
  3. Wordfence: Wordfence is also one of the best security plugins out there. But, you might have noticed that a pop-up appears on the bottom left of your screen and asks for your email so it can send you alerts. To dismiss this pop-up once and for all you can either input your email address or mine; to set your email preferences (including frequency) visit Options under the plugin menu.

Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?

Take the Google Mobile Test

Some member sites still use MobilePress, a plugin that creates a simple site based on your menus and posts for mobile users to access.

If you're concerned about your library's mobile site, or if you're still using MobilePress and want to switch to a newer theme that's more mobile friendly, please contact me.

Facebook Corner

New Facebook feature under development to increase Accessibility:

Facebook is an extremely popular social media site with millions of users. Many of those users have some degree of visual impairment. In order to increase accessibility for visually impaired users, Facebook is testing a new feature. This feature utilizes an artificial intelligence that describes photos to individuals. Hopefully this feature will become available sometime soon and libraries will be able to start utilizing it to make their Facebook pages more accessible to all patrons. Read more about this tool

-Karen Balsen, Outreach, Networking, and Regional Advisory Team Leader

New Wordpress Plugin for Events & Facebook Chat:

Facebook Brings Facebook Messenger to Websites, and more updates from the Social Media Examiner.

Page Manager Facebook App

Did you know that you can install an App to help you manage your library's Facebook Page from your mobile phone?

Why is this helpful? Well...

1) Quickly visit your page insights, publishing tools & more!

2) No more accidentally mixing library business with your personal Facebook account!

3) Get alerts on your phone that display differently than normal Facebook alerts!

4) Post photos, videos & updates to your library's FB page right from your phone without having to switch users!

Check out the app at the Google Play Store

Facebook Suggests These Dimensions For Your Cover Photo:

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And Have You Checked Out OverDrive's Newest Marketing Materials?

OverDrive has a great Winter Promo Pack,

as well as suggestions and guides for Programming & Events,

templates for Press Releases,

and the option to embed eBook samples right on your site with OverDrive Readbox.

Still struggling to get readers in your community comfortable with OverDrive? Check out this 30 minute video packed full of ideas to engage patrons with eBooks.

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Hashtags, Ahoy!

Looking for some fresh ideas for social media tags?










Do you have a great hashtag? Send it my way!

Free Images Available from NYPL

The New York Public Library just released 200,000 images available for free use.

Check them out!

iGard Survey

The iGard interest group is circulating a survey about library services to persons with Alzheimer's and Alzheimer's-related dementia. The survey is still open if you'd like to contribute; and the raw data is posted here: http://www.ala.org/ascla/interestgroups/igard

Music and Memory

In case you missed it on Facebook a few weeks ago:

The non-profit organization Music & Memory brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly. Nursing home staff and other elder care professionals, as well as family caregivers, are trained on how to create and provide personalized playlists via iPods so those struggling with Alzheimer’s and other related dementia can reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories.

If you’d like your library to be involved with this organization, visit http://musicandmemory.org/request-guide/ where you can request more information about hosting an iPod Donation Drive.

Books for People Living with Alzheimer's & Related Dementias

A discussion on the IGard (Alzheimer's & Related Dementias Interest Group) List-Serv mentioned a couple of first-hand accounts of people living with dementia.

These books are as follows:

Dancing with Dementia: My Story of Living Positively with Dementia –by Christine Bryden

Christine Bryden was a top civil servant and single mother of three children when she was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 46. This book is a vivid account of the author's experiences of living with dementia, exploring the effects of memory problems, loss of independence, difficulties in communication and the exhaustion of coping with simple tasks…..The same author also wrote Who Will I Be When I Die?

Alzheimer's from the Inside Out --by Richard Taylor PhD

The author, who was diagnosed at age 58, shares his account of his slow transformation and deterioration. Addresses complexity and emotions surrounding issues such as the loss of independence, unwanted personality shifts, struggle to communicate, and more.

Free Multicultural Health Planners Available

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There's a limited supply of the planners.

Please visit their site and request any materials that you feel your patrons would benefit from ASAP.


The NYS Talking Books & Braille Library is asking for your help in assessing the level of awareness about Talking Book Library services among currently enrolled public libraries and library staff. Please give a few minutes of your time and provide us with valuable feedback by filling out this survey.

We know that a large percentage of the population in New York State (approximately 300,000 people) is probably eligible for Talking Book services due to low vision, blindness, a range of physical disabilities, or reading or learning disabilities.

But many of these eligible patrons are simply not aware of this free service or how to sign up, and we want to actively involve public libraries in helping to connect these patrons to Talking Book services. We would like to start by gauging awareness among those libraries that are already enrolled in TBBL service. Filling out this survey will help us refine our outreach efforts to public libraries, and determine where more outreach and education is needed to help public library staff fully understand the Talking Book Library service and application process.

BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is available to all TBBL patrons. Download the complete digital collection to play on the digital talking book player or use the new bard app for your Android, iPad or iPhone. Read more about BARD.

NLS Reference Guide

This Reference Guide provides contact information for companies and organizations that produce calendars in Large Print, Large Print/Braille, Braille and Audio formats.

VITA: Tax Prep

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) is looking for people to train on how to assist members of the public in doing their taxes on MyFreeTaxes.com.

You will receive training to provide free tax help for low-to-moderate income families who need assistance preparing their tax returns. If you are interested in volunteering for this training, visit https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Tax-Volunteers to get started.

Did you know that no one who makes under $62,000 needs to pay to file their taxes? Get more information from the United Way.

Or encourage your patrons to search by zip code to Find Free Tax Prep in your area.

Funding Opportunities

Big Read Grant: If there’s one big idea promoted by the Big Read, it’s that books have the power to bring communities together and ignite conversations. The initiative is now accepting applications for its 2016-17 grant program, which will award 75 organizations grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. The deadline is 1/27/2016

National Leadership Grants for Libraries & the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (two-page preliminary proposals due 2/2/2016), and Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries (due 2/1/2016)


Rural Grant Opportunity: Funding for STEM Programming for Adults- $3,500 and access to public program materials, professional development, ongoing programming support, and an online peer-to-peer community. Participating libraries will be working with the project for up to four years. Applications due 2/15/2016


Community Garden Grants

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s GRO1000 Grassroots Grants help foster the development of gardens and green spaces in the United States. Grants of up to $1,500 are awarded to local communities throughout the country to help bring edible gardens, flower gardens, and public green spaces to more neighborhoods. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies. Applications due 2/22/2016