Keeping Seniors Safe Online: Fraud Prevention & Privacy Resources

Image of a poster for a library program reading "Seniors, Don't Be Scammed!"

Flyer for a library program assisting seniors with scam and fraud prevention.

We recently received a question asked about what materials we might have that address online fraud prevention, especially for seniors. After we compiled the list for our user, we thought others might be interested in these resources, too. So, read on!

In addition to tomorrow’s TSLAC webinar entitled Information Literacy Among the Elderly (free, register here) that will address scams that target seniors, you’ll find more resources below:

The AARP has a few resources that provide information that can assist in creating a workshop or class for your community

  • Catch the Con Quiz (quiz + video explanations)
  • Watchdog Alert Handbook (pdf download with a list of scams to avoid and tips to keep yourself safe)
  • Fraud Watch Network Helpline can be reached at 877-908-3360

The National Caregivers Library has a Fraud Targets guide on things to recognize and be aware for both seniors and caregivers and links to the Texas Consumer Protection offices. Additionally, through them I found a 40 minute video presentation on How to Help Stop Senior Fraud and Scams.

GCFLearnFree.org has a few tutorials on Internet Safety that would assist in helping seniors keep themselves safe online

The Federal Trade Commission provides a frequently updated scam alerts list as well as an initiative called Pass It On, which provides downloadable outreach materials covering different kinds of scams and fraud schemes.

Additionally, here’s one way that a library has addressed fraud prevention to seniors:

What are some resources that you’ve find helpful to address this topic with your community? Tell us below in the comments or send an email to Cindy Fisher at cfisher@tsl.texas.gov.

New You Can Do I.T. Workshop Series – Teaching Technology in Libraries

We are excited to announce the next series of You Can Do I.T. workshops: Teaching Technology in Libraries!desktop computer displaying an image of a heart

This 6.5 hour workshop will provide you with best practices in teaching technology to adults and provide ample time to practice these new skills through individual reflection, hands-on activities, and small and large group discussion. The overwhelming feedback from our Texas Public Library Technology Survey was that you want training to help patrons with technology, whether it’s one-on-one or in groups so here’s your chance! This workshop will be led by Cindy Fisher, Technology Consultant at the Texas State Library, who has over ten years of experience teaching technology to adults of all ages.

In addition to our traditional workshop set-up, we’re also trying something new!
During the afternoon we will host a Tech Tour & Talk where attendees will learn from on another. Bring your most pressing technology questions whether it’s about offering or preparing technology programs for your patrons, getting recommendations on hardware or software, or sharing technology tips and inspiration! At each location, we’ll also take time to tour the host library to learn about their technology services and providers.

For more information and to register, please hop on over to https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/workshops/youcandoit/registration

Our Fall 2017 locations are:

Oct 12       Seguin
Oct 26      Hewitt
Nov 16      Wichita Falls
Nov 27      Robstown
Nov 28      McAllen

Literacy Texas Conference, July 31-Aug 2, 2017

Does your library offer adult literacy programming? If so, consider attending the Literacy Texas Annual Conference, held in San Marcos, TX, from July 31-August 2, 2017.

This conference offers training on best practices in adult literacy, with an emphasis on nonprofit organizations and libraries. Sessions cover everything from strategies for front-line instructors to concepts of management and administration, and the smaller conference size offers great opportunities for networking. Click here to learn more about the conference.

Literacy Texas is the statewide literacy coalition, connecting and equipping literacy providers through resources, training, networking, and advocacy.

Dispatches from Texas Libraries: La Joya Public Library and Hidalgo Public Library

Dispatches from Texas Libraries –  La Joya Public Library and Hidalgo Public Library
In our effort to highlight the libraries that we visit while on our travels, this post is a part of our ongoing blog series titled Dispatches from Texas Libraries where we will raise up a library and the work they are doing for their community.

I had the great fortune of visiting not one, but two libraries while in the Rio Grande Valley supporting Kim Lehman’s STEAM in Preschool Storytime workshops back in mid-March.

 

I first visited with Library Director Susana Villegas at the La Joya Public Library in La Joya, TX.  Susana toured me around her library and showed me some of their seasonal décor such as the decorated tree celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and how they engaged the community with a coloring contest included in their city’s water bill to each household. We also talked at length about how Susana can use Edge to assess her library’s technology needs, get a customized action plan for ways in which to communicate those needs to stakeholders, and compare her library’s technology with other libraries of her size.  Edge is available for free for accredited public libraries in Texas and is courtesy of the Texas State Library and IMLS.  Before I left, we took pictures in front of their environmentally friendly and up-cycled reading nook igloo made from gallon milk jugs!

 

I then made my way to Hidalgo Public Library, which sits just two miles north of the border of Mexico and Hidalgo’s sister city of Reynosa.  Upon entering the library, I was excited to see members of the library and the city IT department upgrading the software of their 3D printer; the library is one of seven libraries in the Rio Grande Valley that received a 3D printer and training through CTLS via a TSLAC special projects grant entitled 3D Labs @ Your Library.  Already they have hosted a few classes from the local elementary school to introduce students to the concepts of 3D printing and to show students how to print 3D objects.

Director Raul Sanchez, Assistant Director David Vergara, and City I.T. Manager Rick Mendoza then toured me around the library as we chatted about the kinds of technology that Hidalgo Public Library has implemented. Their meeting room includes a large flat screen monitor to project from the meeting room’s computer.  When it isn’t booked for official meetings, it can be used by the public and the screen doubles as digital sign board.

One of the most impressive features of Hidalgo Public Library is its huge computer lab which contains 10 Apple iMacs and 30 PCs! The computers are in high demand from their community and they will begin offering digital literacy workshops in the near future; during our conversation  we discussed available digital literacy resources such as GCF Learn Free curriculum, along with TechBoomers and the State Library’s adaptable digital literacy toolkit. Hidalgo Public Library currently uses Fortress Grand for their print and time management software and Asst. Director David Vergara walked me through the process of how they assign patrons to their respective computers. It’s a very neatly organized and efficient system!

In addition to supporting members of their community with their resources, HPL also hosts many amenities found in a print shop such as a large format printer and a laminating machine. This service makes them indispensable to other city departments for printing signage and other needs of the municipality.

Last but certainly not least is one of my favorite parts of the Hidalgo Public Library – their children’s area and teen space. I was very lucky to visit their library after they had just finished decorating the teen space with an entire wall dedicated to comics and graphic novels.  While they are in the process of moving around some furniture to expand their children’s area, they also wanted to highlight their graphic novel collection.  Children’s and teen librarians Anabel Pintor and Suhey Rios hit upon a great idea to decorate the wall with visuals from their collection!  It’s hard not to be drawn to this collection with wallpaper like this! (Not to worry, no books were harmed in the making of this wall!)

I am so grateful to the library staff at both La Joya Public Library and Hidalgo Public Library for taking time out of their busy day to show me around and show off the wonderful ways you are impacting your community.

Do you want to us to visit and highlight the work your library is doing? Email me (Cindy Fisher) at cfisher@tsl.texas.gov, Kyla Hunt at khunt@tsl.texas.gov or Katherine Adelberg at kadelberg@tsl.texas.gov.

Registration for Digital Literacy Workshops Now Open

As part of a Texas Workforce Commission-funded project to build partnerships between libraries and adult literacy providers, TSLAC is hosting 10 regional day-long workshops.

A recent survey conducted by TSLAC found that 87% of library respondents reported having unmet digital literacy needs in their community, and 75% of reporting libraries indicated that they weren’t partnering with a local literacy provider. TSLAC developed a customized training to address these needs. Attendees will receive the following:

  1. Free digital literacy toolkit, including presentations, lesson plans, student manuals, promotional materials, and more, originally developed by TSLAC in 2012 and revised in 2016 by a top-notch digital literacy trainer
  2. Three hours of training in using the toolkit
  3. An introduction to TRAIN PD @ TCALL, the state’s online professional development center for literacy providers, previously unavailable to the library community, now available for free
  4. Training in partnership development, focused on libraries and adult literacy providers

Here is the workshop schedule:

Region Library Host Date
San Antonio San Antonio Public Library Jan 12
Richmond (Houston) Fort Bend County Public Library Jan 27
Corpus Christi Corpus Christi Public Library Feb 27
Rio Grande Valley McAllen Public Library March 1
Waco Waco Public Library March 7
Amarillo Harington Library Consortium March 30
El Paso El Paso Public Library April 7
San Angelo Tom Green County Public Library May 5
Melissa (Metroplex) Melissa Public Library May 18
East TX Panola College Library, Carthage May 31

Registration is open to library staff and adult literacy providers. You can register for the workshops here

Libraries and Literacy: Scholarships, Grants, Training available

libraries-and-literacy-logo-750x430-jpeg

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has partnered with the Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Division of the Texas Workforce Commission to build partnerships between libraries and adult literacy providers.

We’re pleased to announce the following programming in support of these efforts.

  • Scholarships for library professionals to attend the Texas Association for Literacy and Adult Education (TALAE) Annual Conference in San Antonio, Feb 2-4, 2017. Funds will support conference registration and travel costs. Conference content is most relevant for library staff engaging in direct Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) instruction. This application is time-sensitive and due December 20, 2016. Download full scholarship information and the application here.
  • Mini-grants for libraries to purchase equipment and supplies that will enhance adult literacy services. The Libraries and Literacy reimbursement grant is available to public, community college, and 4-year college libraries. The grant provides up to $2,000 for libraries serving populations (public or student) of 25,000 or less, and up to $4,000 for libraries serving populations (public or student) of 25,000 or more. Applications may be submitted now through the deadline of February 24, 2017. Grants will be made on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted. Prior registration to attend one of the workshops referenced above is preferred for applicants. Click here for more information and to download the grant application.
  • Regional day-long workshops for library staff and literacy providers. A recent survey conducted by TSLAC found that 87% of library respondents reported having unmet digital literacy needs in their community, and 75% of reporting libraries indicated that they weren’t partnering with a local literacy provider. As a result, TSLAC has developed a day-long workshop to address these needs. Attendees will receive the following:
    1. Free digital literacy toolkit, including presentations, lesson plans, student manuals, promotional materials, and more, originally developed by TSLAC in 2012 and revised in 2016 by a top-notch digital literacy trainer
    2. Three hours of training in using the toolkit
    3. An introduction to TRAIN PD @ TCALL, the state’s online professional development center for literacy providers, previously unavailable to the library community, now available for free
    4. Training in partnership development, focused on libraries and adult literacy providers

 

Region Library Host Date
San Antonio San Antonio Public Library Jan 12
Richmond (Houston) Fort Bend County Public Library Jan 27
Corpus Christi Corpus Christi Public Library Feb 27
Rio Grande Valley McAllen Public Library March 1
Waco Waco Public Library March 7
Amarillo Harington Library Consortium March 30
El Paso El Paso Public Library April 7
San Angelo Tom Green County Public Library May 5
Melissa (Metroplex) Melissa Public Library May 18
East TX Panola College Library, Carthage May 31

Registration is open to library staff and adult literacy providers. You can register for the workshops here.

Questions? Visit the Libraries and Literacy webpage for more information on these projects, or contact Jennifer Peters at 512-463-2214 or jpeters@tsl.texas.gov.

 

Keep Doing I.T. – Patron Privacy Tools and Resources

It may seem overwhelming to keep up with privacy issuescomputer displaying a heart on the screen related to our library work, and yet privacy and intellectual freedom are core to our profession. For this installation of Keep Doing I.T., I’ve selected two resources that delve into the current state of patron privacy, tools that we can implement for ourselves and our patrons, and ideas to consider as we continue to experience rapid technological change. You’ll find related resources from the Texas State Library’s Library Science Collection available for your check-out and use available at the conclusion of this post; they were hand-picked by Christina Manz, who manages and curates the collection. And if have questions or are interested in training on any of these topics, please get in touch with me: cfisher@tsl.texas.gov or call 800-252-9386.

 

Presenters: Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and Michael Robinson, chair of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Privacy Subcommittee and Systems Librarian at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
This short one hour webinar is extremely accessible and acknowledges head on the issues librarians face in the “privacy versus convenience” struggle when providing services to our patrons.  In addition to a variety of tools and resources, they also shared two important concepts:
  1. The role that library staff play in managing patron privacy has evolved because the tools we use to serve our patrons have changed: we contract out to third-party services such as eBook vendors and cloud-based Integrated Library Systems that may not have the same commitment to patron privacy as libraries.  The presenters encourage librarians to be aware of the policies embedded in vendor licensees that allow them to collect and share patron data.
  2. Teaching digital literacy has become a core library service, whether in a formalized setting or one-on-one. The next step is helping patrons understand the implications of what Robinson calls “commercial surveillance,” or the collection of user data by commercial companies for a profit, often under the guise of providing more convenient and seamless online experiences,  such as using your Facebook login to sign-up to a new online service instead of creating a separate username or password. While not intrinsically bad, it is, as Robinson argues, important for librarians to be knowledgeable in this area in order to help patrons become aware and ultimately decide for themselves what data they want to disclose.
Some of the tools and resources mentioned during the webinar include:

 

Online Tool: Virtual Privacy Lab from San Jose Public Library
This interactive website created by the San Jose Public Library in California allows librarians and patrons alike to learn more about privacy issues and build a customized toolkit of resources. Using examples and clear language, readers can choose from the following topics:
  • What Is Online Privacy?
  • Data Sharing & Data Mining
  • Security: How the Internet Works
  • State of Online Privacy
  • Social Media & Online Sharing
  • Your Information Footprint
  • Anonymity & Tracking
Within each topic are links to further resources out on the web, making this a great one-stop-shop as an aggregator for helpful privacy tools and resources. With full articles translations in Spanish and Vietnamese, the Virtual Privacy Lab is an invaluable resource for privacy advocates and privacy novices alike.

 

Check These Out! Privacy Resources from Texas State Library’s Library Science Collection (LSC)
The Library Science Collection is Texas’s premier Library for Librarians, available at the State Library, and serving all librarians in Texas with access to professional materials.

Texas residents can borrow directly from the Library Science Collection by e-mailing requests for materials and information to lsc@tsl.texas.gov, and non-Texas residents can access the collection via interlibrary loan services. The service has no cost, other than the responsibility of return postage at the library mail rate. See previous topics highlighted.

pppspfpcProtecting Patron Privacy: Safe Practices for Public Computers (2015)
Author: Matthew Beckstrom
ipfflaip

Information Privacy Fundamentals for Librarians and Information Professionals (2015)
wyntkaplAuthor: Cherie L. Givens


What You Need to Know about Privacy Law: A Guide for Librarians and Educators
(2013)
Author: Gretchen McCord

Keep Doing I.T.! : Technology Resources and News, June 20

Keep Doing I.T.! computer displaying a heart on the screen

One of my goals as your newest Library Technology Consultant focusing on small and rural public libraries is to provide technology resources, tips, and news in a regular series called Keep Doing I.T. (information technology).

In each update, you’ll find a few resources that further build upon your technology skills. Since it’s hard to keep up with so many great resources out there, each post will detail how or why you might use the resource for yourself and for your library. If there are tools, webinars, or other resources you’ve added to your I.T. toolbox, please do share!

Resource #1: TechBoomers.com
https://techboomers.com/
In their own words, “Techboomers aims to improve the quality of life for older adults and other inexperienced technology users by empowering them to learn how to use popular and trusted websites and Internet-based applications.”

Their step-by-step text and photo tutorials are very easy to understand and cover a range of online sites such as Facebook, Netflix, Paypal and YouTube to web applications like Instagram, Pinterest and Google Maps. They also have an Internet 101 course that covers basic Internet Safety and Internet Privacy and explains the nuances of using the Internet with top considerations and tips for new users.

In addition, they have a dedicated area just for Libraries, as they recognize that libraries are a major provider of  digital literacy instruction. They are continually adding new content and taking suggestions for what tutorials to develop.

In full disclosure, I used their tutorial to figure out how (and why!) to use Snapchat so its utility is not limited to basic computer or Internet users!  I’ve also found it useful to see how they explain these sites, so if you are already providing digital literacy classes at your library, these tutorials may offer a different perspective, additional considerations, or helpful language for your instructional materials.

To learn more, view the webinar Teaching Digital Literacy with Techboomers.com.

Resource #2: Technology Basics: PC Troubleshooting and Maintenance webinar
http://www.techsoup.org/community/events-webinars/pc-troubleshooting-and-maintenance-2016-05-26.
This short webinar is a great introduction or reinforcement of some of the small, free, or low-cost things you can do to create a better computing experience for you, your staff, and your users.  Topics include:

  • When to upgrade your software versus when to upgrade your operating system
  • How to make your computer run faster without installing or purchasing anything
  • Good internet practices
  • Importance of running antivirus software

Because this is a basic introduction to computing, this is a great webinar to share with your staff or users who may have expressed unease or anxiety about technology.

News
New workshops confirmed! We have finalized all of our Fall workshop dates and locations for the You Can Do I.T. program, this time focusing on hardware and software. Register now for these free workshops and please spread the word!

  • Tues. Sept 6, 2016 — TLL Temple Memorial Library and Archives, Diboll, TX
  • Wed. Sept 7, 2016 — The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points, TX
  • Thurs. Sept 8, 2016 — Weatherford Public Library, Weatherford, TX
  • Mon. Sept 19, 2016 — Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library, Edinburg, TX
  • Tues. Sept 20, 2016 — Nueces County Keach Family Library., Robstown, TX
  • Thurs. Sept 22, 2016 — New Braunfels Public Library, New Braunfels, TX
  • Wed. Oct 19, 2016 — Alpine Public Library, Alpine, TX
  • Thurs. Oct 20, 2016 — Tom Green County Library, San Angelo, TX

Questions or comments? Hit the reply button or contact me at 800-252-9386 or cfisher@tsl.texas.gov.

Please take our 3-minute survey on adult literacy partners

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is working with the Texas Workforce Commission to expand connections between libraries and adult literacy providers. Would you please take this 3-minute survey so that we can build a program that meets the needs of libraries (public and academic) and adult literacy providers around the state?

Questions? Contact Jennifer Peters, Community Engagement Administrator, at 512-463-2214.

Hello from the newest member of the Library Consultant and Continuing Education team!

Cindy Fisher, Library Technology Consultant, TSLAC

Cindy Fisher, Library Technology Consultant

I’m thrilled to join the Library Development and Networking Division here as a Library Technology Consultant, along with the fantastic Henry Stokes. I’ll be focusing on the You Can Do I.T. program, among other digital literacy and technology projects. My passion for teaching technology and bridging the digital divide brought me to TSLAC and I’m looking forward to meeting you all and learning about you and the amazing things you are doing within your community.

Previously, I worked at the University of Texas Libraries as the Learning Technologies Librarian, where I taught information literacy and research skills to first-year students.

I’d love to hear your questions, comments, or suggestions about programs, training, or other ways we can help support you. Drop me a line at cfisher@tsl.texas.gov or 800-252-9386.