Happy Holidays from Keystone

We wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season! May you in find joy and warmth in the holiday lights and comfort knowing a new year is just around the corner! From our homes to yours...here's to a cheerful holiday and a fresh 2021!

Our office will be closed Thursday, December 24, and Friday, December 25, 2020 in observance of Christmas. Regular support hours will resume on Monday, December 28, at 8:00 AM ET. The office will also be closed on Friday, January 1, 2021 for New Year's. Regular support hours will resume on Monday, January 4, at 8:00 AM ET.

If you need to arrange special support hours for these days, please call or e-mail us as soon as possible.

Coming Soon: Duplication on Demand Roundtable

"Duplication" is the word of the day / week / month / year for National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled network libraries. Whether you've already made the fundamental shift to providing duplication on demand materials for your patrons or are still trying to make decisions about how to shift your library to a duplication on demand service model, there's many questions, decisions, and challenges faced during the process.

With this in mind, the KLAS Users' Group Program Committee is providing another opportunity for KLAS Users' to come together in a session focused on this topic. Go ahead and mark your calendar now for the upcoming KLAS Users' Roundtable: Duplication on Demand to be held on Tuesday, December 15 at 3 PM Eastern / Noon Pacific.

Note: We expect this session to last two hours rather than the usual one. Also, we plan to record this roundtable and post it to klasusers.com for later reference.

During this roundtable, three representatives of libraries using Gutenberg and three representatives of libraries using Scribe will each discuss their experience implementing duplication equipment, decisions regarding policy and staff changes, and more! After each shares a brief description of their process, there will be an opportunity to ask questions, discuss issues they've brought up, etc.

Gutenberg Panellists:

  • Hope Williams, Nevada Talking Book Services
  • Elke Bruton, Oregon Talking Book & Braille Library
  • Ricardo Cisneros, San Francsico Public Library - Talking Book and Braille Center

Scribe Panellists:

  • Connie Sullivan, South Dakota Braille & Talking Book Library
  • Angela Fisher Hall, Alabama Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • Nancy Holt, Idaho Talking Book Library

Before the roundtable...

To help you prepare for this roundtable we encourage you to review Duplication Info Quick Reference page where you will find articles, quick tips, how-to documents, and more related to using either Gutenberg or Scribe. Several of the documents have just been updated to reflect changes in recent versions of KLAS, so make sure to check those dates to make sure you have the most current info!

You can also help our panellists prepare for this session by posting questions to this KLASUsers Discussion Forum post. Of course, day-of questions are also welcome, but posting your questions ahead of time will ensure that we get to them (even if you can't make the session itself) and that the panellists will be able to consider their answers.

Access Info:

Tuesday, 12/15/2020 @ 3pm Eastern Time / Noon Pacific

To connect:
Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/rmv-fgvs-eba

Dial-in audio option:
‪US‬ ‪+1 575-459-0037‬
PIN: ‪950 920 249#‬‪

Staff of Network Libraries for the Blind and Print Disabled using KLAS met for a virtual session on Wednesday, December 2 during the Online National Library Library for the Blind & Print Disabled's 2020 online national conference. Below is the PowerPoint presentation Keystone shared in both .PPTX and .PDF formats and the notes from the meeting as taken by Erin Pawlus, Secretary, KLAS Users' Group:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, it's going to be an unusual holiday season this year, but may you all find some joy and celebration. Even more importantly, we hope you and your loved ones stay healthy.

In these difficult times, we're grateful to be here for all of you. We have a fantastic users' community, and we're looking forward to supporting you through the winter and hopefully to brighter and easier days ahead.

PIMMS Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Today we wanted to prepare you (with a hat tip to David Bowie) to "Turn and face the strange [PIMMS] Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes," as PIMMS is adding a couple new statuses for Machines.

One will be "Awaiting Repair" which is not big news. However, to accurately get PIMMS up to date for this status this we will need to work with your KLAS Administrator to remap some existing KLAS CorStatus/MatDisp combinations.

The bigger change will be a Machine Status of "Transferring Status". This status will be used whether this is a direct transfer of a machine from one library to another or if the machine is field transferring from one patron to another. We have updated KLAS to add multiple Transfer (TF) Material Disposition codes to support this status.

New PIMMS TF Material Disposition Codes:

  • Transferring Out (TFO) -- Machine is in the process of transferring out directly from one library to another. (This is an update of the existing TFO status code.)
  • Transferring Out with Patron (TFP) -- Machine is in process of being transferred out with a Patron to another Library.
  • Transfer Rejected (TFR) -- Either the Machine transfer or the Patron transfer has been rejected by the Gaining Library

Tranfer Accepted (TFA) -- The machine or Patron transfer has been accepted by the Gaining Library.

Libraries will not need to do any set up for these new codes. They will automatically added to KLAS with the upgrade. Existing machines that are Transferring Out (TFO) will be updated to Transfer Accepted (TFA) if the machine exists elsewhere in PIMMS.

Things to keep in mind with these new PIMMS Machine Transfer Statuses:

  1. If the machine is tranferring along with a patron, nothing will need to be done to transfer the machine--it will now be included along with the Patron transfer. Also, the library receiving the machine does not have to do anything to add it into KLAS, it will both be automatically added with the patron.
  2. If a machine should NOT be transferred with a patron, the library needs to remove the machine from the patron's record before transferring the patron record.
  3. If a machine or patron transfer is rejected, the machine changes to Not Available for Circulation / Transfer Rejected (NAC / TFR) and the patron will keep a Tranfer (T) status. There are new reports in KLAS that can be run to identify machines and patrons with this NAC / TFR status. The library will then need to figure out what they want to do these Machines and / or Patrons.

Please contact KLAS customer support to get help preparing for the Awaiting Repair status or if you have any questions about how the new Transfer Material Disposition are being used / what they mean.

Reporting to you Live... soon, anyways

Reports are always a popular topic as a KLAS Users' Conference session, so we thought they'd be a great pick for our next Keystone-presented webinar! I may not be an Intrepid Reporter (like so many 80s heroines...), but I'll be demonstrating some of the powerful reports built into KLAS, fielding questions, and hosting a discussion on what new reports you may like to see added in future versions of KLAS. All are welcome; I'll be aiming to show and discuss reports for both IRC and LBPH users.

Is there a specific report you want to know more about? A reporting or statistics question you want to ask? I'm very happy to receive requests and questions ahead of time! In addition to giving me the chance to research your question, it also ensures I can answer your question for the recording -- even if you aren't able to join us live.

Of course, you're also welcome to do your best to stump me during the webinar itself. If you do, I'll be sure to get an answer to you afterwards.

You'll find all the info you need to attend in the Webinars & Roundtables article. Once the webinar is over, the article will be updated to include a link to the recording. Finally, you may notice on that page that our December webinar is going to be a TBL Users' Roundtable on Duplication Updates! We've assembled a great panel of both Scribe and Gutenberg users ready to share their experiences with you--watch for more info about this on the KLASusers listserve in the weeks to come.

I look forward to "reporting" to you next Thursday, November 19 at 3 PM Eastern Standard Time!

Time for a Refresh - Graphic: The next step

With the KLAS.com revamp successfully launched, we’ve started planning and looking ahead to reorganizing and redesigning KLASusers.com as well.

It’s important to us that this site can serve as a valuable resource for you, as well as a place where the user’s group can come together and collaborate on common issues. The appearance of the site isn’t as important... but we do want it to be pleasant to look at. A much higher priority is that the revamped KLASusers be easy-to-navigate and convenient to use (for all of our users—accessibility will be absolutely required in the revamp). Finally, if we’re able to add in some new features to facilitate user interaction, that’s a big plus!

We have our ideas about how to achieve all of this, but we want your feedback. Drop by Drea’s recent forum post to let us know what you’d like to see in a revamp, if there’s anything you don’t want us to change, or if you have any thoughts or feedback on our ideas below. We hope to hear from you!

A couple of examples of what we’re hoping for in the revamp:

Our current plan is to fold the current Documents and Recordings sections together into a Knowledge Repository (maybe just called "Resources"), so you can find all of the how-to information, downloads, and other "good stuff" without needing to know what format the resource is in. Of course, this section especially will need good indexing and searching.

Another change we’re aiming for is for users to be able to log in from any page and stay on that page rather than being redirected to their profile. This should make it a lot more convenient to access restricted content.

We’d also like to be able to include comments sections on articles, so it’s easy for you to ask questions or provide feedback on blog posts and resource articles without needing to switch to a forum post or email.

A lesser (but still high) priority is for the new version to be easier for Drea and I to administer. That won’t be as apparent to you, but it will help us get new content up on the site quickly. Right now, handling recordings can be especially tricky, so we hope the new site will allow us to more easily post new recordings in a way that will allow you to view them on the site itself and maintain a proper level of security for library-specific recordings that may include patron data.

So how does all that sound? Anything else you want us to be thinking about or try to address in the revamp? Please drop by the forums (since we don’t have that comments section yet) and let us know!

A statement regarding the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference & COVID-19:

With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to assure you the Logistics Committee is taking the utmost precautions in preparation for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference.

While you have seen information for an in-person conference, the Committee has not ruled out the need to go virtual depending on the pandemic and possible travel restrictions and concerns many of the users may have. Moving forward, the Logistics Committee will continue to monitor the situation and will make a final determination on an in-person, hybrid, or virtual conference by May 1, 2021.


Jennifer Buzolich, President, KLAS Users' Group & Chandra Thornton, Chair, Logistics Committee

Diverse group of people meeting

Staff of Instructional Resource / Materials Centers using KLAS met for a virtual session on Thursday, October 9 during the Online American Printing House for the Blind's 2020 annual meeting. Below is the PowerPoint presentation Keystone shared in both PPTX and PDF formats:

The Stars of Keystone's Staff - Brian

This week's post shares some insider info about our Software Development Project Lead. Read on to learn something new about Brian...

Basic Stats:

Name of Staff Member: Brian White

Year Hired: 2004

Current Job Title: Software Development – Project Lead


Getting to Know You Q&A:

Brian and AimeeQ: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: Piecing together the parts of a software process to make something that will make someone's job easier.

Q: What did you do before working for Keystone?

A: Worked for a programming staff supplement service. I worked at 2 customer sites over the 20+ years there.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?

A: Singing in a church choir, playing handbells.

Q: If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?

A: Australia

Q: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

A: We are currently without pets. We have had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and a rabbit in the past.

Brian White Family

Future IRC User Relevant Events

Today's KeyNotes blog post is all about upcoming IRC / IMC KLAS user-relevant events, including:

  • IRC KLAS Administrator Online Training
  • KLAS IRC / IMC Users' Group Session at the virtual APH 2020 Annual Meeting
  • 10/22/2020 KLAS IRC Users' Roundtable

2021 KLAS Users' Conference

Read on for more details about each of these...

IRC KLAS Administrator Online Training 

In September, we conducted our first online KLAS Administrator's Training session. Next week's blog post will share details and feedback about how it went. Before that, however, I want to share the news that we are planning to offer it again and want our next session to be IRC focused. The thing is... we need your help to figure out when to schedule it so it works best for those attending.

The training is held over the course of a week, Monday through Thursday, with two sessions each afternoon (to allow participants to join from any time zone), and includes pre-class worksheets that we recommend filling out to prepare for each session and a printed Administrator's Reference manual which will be mailed to you. This training is limited to attendees who have a KLAS Administrator role, including the authority to change records and policies for their KLAS system. If you fit this description and wish to participate, please complete this short survey to help us determine the best time to offer it.

Administrator training costs $600 per attendee, but the online format means that there is no longer any need for additional travel costs.

KLAS IRC / IMC Users' Group at APH 2020 Annual Meeting

We hope all IRC / IMC staff who registered for the virtual APH 2020 Annual Meeting plan to join us for the KLAS IRC / IMC Users' Meeting at 10 AM ET / 7 AM PT on Thursday, October 8. This year's session is limited to one hour because of the compressed conference schedule, so our plan is to:

  • present some highlights of what we've added to KLAS for IRCs, and what's coming next
  • share some news about upcoming IRC focused training
  • have a bit of time for Q&A

10/22/2020 KLAS IRC Users' Roundtable

10 22 2020 IRC Users RoundtableAdditionally, knowing the limited time we will have during the APH Conference, the KLAS Program Committee decided our next KLAS IRC Users' Roundtable will be held Thursday, October 22 at 3 PM ET / Noon PT. We're excited to announce that Jared Leslie, AZ IRC, will be moderating the session. We hope it will be an opportunity to continue the discussion on any topics we don't have time to fully address during the APH meeting, provide more time for users to share feedback and tips and tricks, and an additional opportunity to demo new features and functionality.

  • Log-in information will be posted to the KLASUsers e-list and in the "Upcoming Webinars & Roundtables" article approximately one week prior to the roundtable.

2021 KLAS Users' Conference

Finally, we want to remind you that we're are in the process of planning an in-person 2021 KLAS Users' Conference (with the knowledge that we need to be willing to adapt and change depending on the state of COVID-19). At this time, the plan is for it to be held at Tennessee School for the Blind in Nashville from June 29-July 1, 2021. This will be our first biennial conference AND the first hosted by an Instructional Resource Center. Accommodations information will be available in the near future.

We sincerely thank Dr. Kathy Segers, Director of Accessible Instructional Materials and Outreach Services, Tennessee School for the Blind for being willing to host for 2021 KLAS Users' Conference. We look forward to working with you to plan an informative, inspirational, and rewarding experience for all our attendees. The Program and Logistics Committees are already actively meeting with the goal of bringing you a well-planned conference offering opportunities for sharing great ideas and learning new ways to use KLAS to help improve the services your organization provides.

FYI for NLS Libraries - FY2020 Statistics

NLS has requested that we (and the other NLS providers) extract and submit some data for them to review. For each of our NLS Libraries, we will be providing NLS with the following statistical information on October 1.

We will be generating these data files for NLS and submitting the information to NLS directly, so you don't need to do anything. We will also send a copy to each library, so you know what was sent to NLS and can review the data for your own information.

Readership: a list of all patrons that received materials from the library during Fiscal Year 2020. The list will include the Patron PIMMS ID, whether they are marked Individual or Institution, and whether they received at least one of the following during FY 2020:

  • Digital Audio book
  • Hard Copy Braille book
  • E-Braille brook
  • or Network Library collection item

Note that audio and hard copy braille readership activity includes both books circulated by the library and magazine subscriptions sent by NLS. Network library collections include large print books, descriptive videos, and local magazines. BARD download activity is not included, as NLS already has that information.

Circulation: a count of all circulations this year broken out by library and by medium: Talking Books on Cartridge; Hard Copy Braille; and E-Braille on Cartridge. Circulation counts include counts for book/monograph circulation only. Local magazines/serials sent on cartridge are not part of these counts.

Note that Audio circulations are a count of the number of titles sent on cartridge instead of the number of cartridges sent. Hard copy braille circulations count the number of volumes sent, e-braille is the number of titles sent.

A note about the Readership & Circulation Report: Be aware that the number of people in the Readership list we provide to NLS probably will not match the total from your Readership & Circulation report. The R&C report total includes all accounts that you have updated that year, even if they did not receive something. With that in mind, if you have questions about how these lists do and do not line up with your R&C report, please let us know.

KLAS at Virtual APH 2020 Annual Meeting

In addition to the move to an online meeting, the APH staff have also made some changes to the usual schedule. Things are starting a bit later each day to accommodate persons in western time zones and the schedule is a bit more compressed, but many of the typical sessions are still being offered, such as the tours of APH. We're already making plans for the KLAS Users' Group Meeting which will be on Thursday morning of the meeting as usual, but our start time will be a bit later than normal at 10 AM Eastern / 7 AM Pacific.

Unfortunately, being virtual means we won't be able to provide breakfast for our attendees, but we do encourage you to grab a cup of coffee or tea at home and join us for the KLAS IRC / IMC Users' Group meeting. We will share recent updates to KLAS and Keystone services, plans for upcoming development, and provide opportunities for feedback and Q&A. If you have any topics or questions you'd like us to be sure we address, please post them to the klasusers.com IRC / IMC discussion forum and / or email Drea () or Katy () with your suggestions.

So remember, if you want to attend the KLAS Users' Group session at the Virtual APH 2020 Annual Meeting, register for the conference and be sure to select the KLAS concurrent meeting on Thursday, October 8 at 10 AM Eastern.

We look forward to "seeing" you there!

A new way to Meet

A couple of years ago now, we started offering webinars to help keep the Users’ Group informed and connected, from the open forum KLAS Q&A with Katy webinars to library-specific Duplication training webinars. As we transition to an every-other-year conference format, we’ve ramped up the webinar schedule, including user-led sessions and roundtables in addition to our Keystone-presented sessions.

COVID has only increased the need and popularity of these sessions—and not just for us, but for everyone who uses webinar platforms.

For most of the past few years, we’ve been using Join.Me and had mostly positive experiences and feedback for its ease-of-use and reliability. However, with offering so many more webinars to a broader selection of our users, and with Join.Me’s servers a bit bogged down from increased use, there was a definite shift.

This was particularly apparent in the Keystone Updates and New Features in KLAS sessions that we held in place of our usual Users’ Group meeting during the online NLS conference. The turnout for those sessions was fantastic, but unfortunately caused a few technical issues as our platform and our moderator struggled to keep up with the turnout.

In light of all that, we started the search for a replacement.

This month, we are officially making the switch to Google Meet. From our testing in-house and with a few pilot meetings, we’re confident that it will be easier for us as hosts, and will see a lot less of the lag that was plaguing our attendees.

It also has some features that we think will prove beneficial, including automatic captioning, and the ability to show attendees’ webcams in a tiled display for a better “round-table” feel. You’ll be able to enable or disable the captioning and change views any time to suit your preferences, so give it a try!

You do not need a Google account to join us using Meet! However, if you are logged into a Google account, it’ll automatically bring you into the meeting with that account name. If you don’t want your personal or otherwise irrelevant Gmail name visible make sure to log out or switch accounts before joining the meeting.

We hope you’ll try it out and join us at the upcoming Virtual Programming roundtable this Thursday or at one of our other upcoming webinar sessions! Hopefully, this will be an improvement for everyone who had technical difficulties or bandwidth issues with Join.Me. If you do have any feedback about the new platform or difficulties joining a session, please let us know as we keep working to provide excellent online sessions!

2020 Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Updates

Here in North Carolina we usually think of late summer / early fall as the start of hurricane season. Well, this year is different (as is everything else in 2020) and we've already had a couple of named hurricanes develop, with one hitting Outer Banks in late July. Therefore, we wanted to go ahead and review what we do ensure we can continue to serve your library, your staff, and your patrons after a natural disaster, and share the additional improvements we've made this year to our Disaster Preparedness and Recovery plans. We've spent a significant amount of time building infrastructure, reviewing procedures, and planning for an untimely incident.

In fact, much of what we put into place as part of our disaster preparedness plan is what allowed our staff to begin to work from home in March and continue to do so even today and for the foreseeable future.

Our September 11, 2018 Key Notes Blog Post was written as we faced the threat of Hurricane Florence and shared details about we'd implemented at that point including a combination of both procedural and physical preparedness such as:

  • A gas-powered generator at our office
  • Redundant internet providers, firewalls, and network routers
  • Daily backups of data to our on-site servers
  • Weekly data backups stored offsite
  • Encrypted database backups on AWS S3
  • VOIP Telephone system to allow staff to work remotely
  • Keystone Status Page to communicate database availability, even if we’re unreachable
  • Contingency plans and equipment needed for remote database and customer support

On August 15, 2019, Katy posted to share the news of some additional steps we'd taken to further enhance our disaster preparedness and recovery efforts including:

  • Back-end changes to KLAS 7.7 to it quicker and easier to create and store database back-ups
  • A move to storing back-ups in the cloud, so they are safe and retrievable no matter where disaster strikes

A new monitoring app so staff can be notified right away if something goes wrong with the servers and any emergencies can be dealt with as quickly as possible

Today I'd like to share this year's improvements to our disaster recovery and preparedness process and infrastructure, which include:

  • Cloud-based databases running in multiple regions, to better place the system geographically near the library
  • Incremental transaction data backups happen every 10 minutes
  • Database backups are saved in the local region, as well as to a separate region. If a database hosted on the east coast has a disaster, there is a copy of the database backup in another region.
  • Database backups are saved to the local server, as well as copied to S3 storage
  • Database backups are also copied from Amazon's data centers to Google Storage
  • A new automated system restoration process which had been manual prior to the beginning of 2020. As an automated process, it takes about an hour while the previous manual process took 10-12 hours at a minimum.

2021 KLAS Users' Conference Planning Updates

We're excited to announce that initial planning for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference is underway. This will be our first biennial conference AND the first hosted by an Instructional Resource Center.

We sincerely thank Dr. Kathy Segers, Director of Accessible Instructional Materials and Outreach Services, Tennessee School for the Blind for being our local host for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference. We look forward to working with you to plan an informative, inspirational, and rewarding experience for all our attendees.

2021 KLAS Users' Conference Dates & Location

I suspect what y'all really want to know is when and where the conference will be, so here you are...

Dates: June 29-July 1, 2021

  • Location: Nashville, TN
  • Host: Tennessee Instructional Resource Center at the Tennessee School for the Blind

Also, we've identified a few possible hotels in the area and will be contacting them soon for availability and pricing information. We'll let you know ASAP after one has been selected what our conference hotel and room rates will be.

Thank you to everyone who's already helped get us this far, including everyone on our conference planning committees.

Conference Planning Committees

The Planning Committees for the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference have already started meeting, and are looking forward to sharing additional information soon. Below are the current committee members, but we are always looking for additional KLAS Users who might be interested in helping out. You can contact Program Committee Chair Erin Pawlus () or Logistics Committee Chair Chandra Thornton () if you're interested in serving on either.

Program Committee Members

  • Erin Pawlus, Committee Chair, Arizona Talking Book Library
  • Kathy Segers, Local Host, Tennessee Instructional Resource Center
  • Cyndi Reimer, California Instructional Resource Center
  • Michael Lang, State Library of Kansas, Talking Books Service
  • Katy Patrick, Keystone Systems
  • Drea Ewing Callicutt, Keystone Systems

Logistics Committee Members

  • Chandra Thornton, Committee Chair, Palm Beach County Library System - Talking Books
  • Kathy Segers, Local Host, Tennessee Instructional Resource Center
  • Craig Hayward, North Carolina Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
  • Andrew Shockley, Oklahoma Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
  • John Mugford, New Mexico Library for the Blind & Print Disabled
  • Sarah Smedley, Palm Beach County Library System -Talking Books
  • Kimberlee Hodges, Bayside Area Special Services Library
  • Drea Ewing Callicutt, Keystone Systems

Conference Planning Survey

The KLAS Users' Group officers and Program Committee are working on a conference planning survey that will be sent out in early September to help us bring you the best content in the most useful formats. Please be on the lookout for it and be sure to fill it out once you receive it.

In the meantime, mark your calendar and start planning for next summer in Nashville. We look forward to having you join us!


TN School for the Blind

Shuffle the Deck – Feature Preview

One of the new features in the 7.7.36 update is the ability to Shuffle a Service Queue.

This feature was suggested by Arizona Talking Book Library staff, and I think a lot of you who are have transitioned to a Duplication service model will definitely be interested in it

From the Release List:

A function has been added to shuffle a Patron's Service Queue. This will place all titles currently in the Queue into a new, random sequence order, then rearrange titles that are in an Ordered Series to ensure that they are in order relative to each other.

This update is scheduled to be released at the end of the week, so let’s take a look!

The idea behind this feature is knowing that when patrons submit Talking Book Topic requests they come in with everything grouped by genre Duplication means that all these titles are available to everyone and patrons will get all of those requests in order (i.e. all of their Mysteries in a row, then all of their Romances, and so on).

Additionally, adding a long request list straight to the queue using Quick Request will add the list to the top and push down any outstanding requests still waiting to be duplicated. A patron may want some of the new titles right away, but they also might be looking forward to the other titles.

The Shuffle function allows you to mix things up without the need to manually rearrange all the titles. After you use Quick Request to add a patron’s TBT requests to their queue, use the Functions menu, and select Service Queue > Shuffle Queue. The new requests will get mixed into any previous requests that were still waiting in the queue, and everything will be randomly ordered without regard for genre. You're essentially doing an automated card shuffle of their queue.

For example:

2020 08 26 14 43 27 

If they have any book from an ordered series in their queue when you shuffle it, KLAS will add an extra step to the process.

After the whole queue is put into random order, it will then re-arrange just those series titles to put them in sequence with each other, while leaving them scattered through the other results. The patron won’t necessarily get them all in a row but will get the books in the right order.

 2020 08 26 14 47 02

 This will also work if a patron has multiple series—the different series can get interspersed with each other. For instance, “Series A Book 1” will come before “Series A Book 2,” and “Series B Book 1” will come before “Series B Book 2.”

Finally, you can still use the arrow buttons in the toolbar (Or Ctrl plus the Up or Down keys) to make manual adjustments. So, if one or two requests are starred, circled, and / or have a great big “Send this first!!!” written next to them, you can easily bump them up to the top once the rest have been shuffled.

I hope this helps you understand how the new feature works and when you might find it helpful!

Keep an eye out for the full 7.7.36 Release List later this week. Finally, be sure to let us know if you have any questions about this or the other new features, improvements, and bug fixes.

Keystone COVID-19 Update

Last week we updated you on how our Washington, New Mexico, and Kansas talking book libraries are faring as their staff and patrons continue to face the ongoing challenges of keeping themselves healthy and safe while operating during COVID-19. Today we want to bring you a similar update from Keystone. 

Since mid-March our staff has primarily been working from home and continues to do so. This would not have been possible without using our established VPN and VOIP services. These have allowed us to access necessary documents and information and continue seamlessly answering customer phone calls. We hope you have not seen a dramatic change in our customer support or development process other than the occasional dog bark or child interruption which I am sure we've all come to expect at this point. If you've had any degradation in service of any kind, please let us know ASAP so we can address it.

Also, this was the first year without a physical KLAS Users' Conference and we sincerely hope the online programming brought to you by your fellow KLAS Users and our Keystone staff have helped to keep you up to date on the latest happenings with Keystone and KLAS as well as continue to hear what you're fellow KLAS Users are up to. Speaking of these ongoing efforts, our next KLAS Users Roundtable will be held at 3:00 PM EDT September 17 and will focus on Virtual Programming for Patrons. More info will be forthcoming shortly. Keep an eye on the KLASusers listserv and our Webinars & Roundtables article for more info.

A new initiative we've undertaken is to move our planned September KLAS Administrators' Training online. For the first time, we will be offering this training for your staff members to be able to attend remotely, eliminating the need to travel to our office. We're revamping the schedule, rethinking the sessions offered, and talking through the best way to conduct this training so attendees can fully benefit from it. This first session will be kept to a small number of participants, so we can try to encourage the discussions and dialog that have made face-to-face Administrators’ Training so successful. The price per person for this online admin training is $600.00, but there obviously are no travel costs to incur. Please let us know if you may be interested in attending a future online KLAS KLAS Administrator Training session.

COVID-19 Updates

Previously, we've shared a number of guest blog posts on how COVID-19 is affecting KLAS libraries and resource centers. Since then, there has been plenty of re-opening, re-closing, and re-evaluating as each state and all of their associated agencies work to find the best course of action.

We recently reached out to our original guest bloggers for an update on their situation. Read on to see how things have progressed in Washington, New Mexico, and Kansas.

And if you would like to share how your library / organization is faring, and what policy, service, or other changes you have enacted in response to Covid19, we still welcome submissions from any KLAS user. Please contact Chandra Thornton, Past President, KLAS Users' Group or Drea Callicutt, Keystone Systems if you're interested in contributing a post.

Sam Lundberg, New Mexico State Library for the Blind & Print Disabled

I said in my original post that New Mexico would be able to hold at current levels, and that's basically what we've done. Books are going out and coming in, processed by two staff members who are never in the building at the same time. We're also answering the phone live thanks to call forwarding and Google Voice, providing full RA service from home. Small, random things like sending out a paper application are more difficult than they were before, but we're in a sustainable place.

The only real change we've had is that we're finally wrapping up our conversion to DoD. After 9+ months of slowly transitioning patrons one conversation at a time, we're finally bulk converting our remaining patrons. It is very exciting to finally be going fully to Scribe for book delivery, although the fate of our carousel system is now very much an open question.

(Read the original New Mexico post)

Danielle Miller, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

On June 2nd, our Governor approved a waiver request for the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library to begin circulating books and materials during Phase 1 of our “Safe Start” plan. On June 4th, we resumed circulation with four staff returning to work to join the director. We had over 40 mail bins of returned books and equipment that still needed to be checked in and thousands of patrons waiting for books. Working as a team, everything was checked in and everyone was served in record time. Circulation was operating normally, with all staff wearing PPE and following safety protocols. The director was still checking voicemail daily and responding to patrons, and most staff were still working remotely.

When our county moved into Phase 2, on June 29th, more staff were able to return to the library. We were able to start answering the phones and resume regular readers’ advisory. Some staff continue to work from home and the library is still closed to the public and to volunteers. We are busy answering phones, circulating books, continuing work in our Audio and Braille Departments, and all staff at the library are helping with book inspection daily. We are looking forward to the time we can have all of our staff together and slowly bring our volunteers back. Ensuring everyone’s safety is the highest priority, and we want to do what we can to avoid another disruption in circulation.

(Read the original Washington post)

Michael Lang, State Library of Kansas, Talking Books Service

Present: Still Doing the Best that We Can

We are still working with the model we implemented in April.

The circulation staff and I are working on site. We are allowing returned books and machines to sit untouched for a minimum of three full days in our library before handled by staff. The good news is that mail is again being delivered and picked up at our building by the USPS. No more daily runs to the post office in my mother-in-law’s truck.

RA staff are still working remotely; answering phone calls, emails, updating catalog records, editing audio, creating book lists, and looking for online continuing education opportunities. Our VOIP phones and splashtop connections are saving us from the early frustrations we were having. If there is something they need to do onsite, they can schedule a time with me to come in to work. They will return onsite fulltime when the following criteria have been met:

  • The ESU Memorial Union is open
  • Lyon County enters the phase out stage of Gov. Kelly’s Ad Astra recovery plan
  • The State of Kansas enters the phase out stage of Gov. Kelly’s Ad Astra recovery plan

Our volunteer recording program is on hold until further notice. Circulation staff are recording our local magazines to keep them as current as possible.

Cases are currently trending upward in Kansas. On July 15, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that public schools will not reopen until after Labor Day.

Emporia State University buildings are scheduled to reopen to the public on August 3rd, masks will be required for everyone on campus. Students will return beginning August 12th. They’ve shut off the water fountains in our building.

I feel like we’re managing to serve our patrons pretty well. The turnaround time is a little slower for books, but increasing cutoff limits for underserved patrons keeps most people in books. Most patrons have been very understanding. I think our biggest loss will be outreach. All outreach events for the year are cancelled. Trying to find new avenues to reach prospective patrons is difficult. If you’ve got any advice, we’d love the help.

(Read the original Kansas post)



New KLAS Users' Group Vice President

I hope you are all well and in good spirits. It is my honor and privilege to announce that Michael Lang of the State Library of Kansas, Talking Books Service will serve as KLAS Users' Group Vice President for the 2020 - 2021 year. Please join me in congratulating Michael on this new and exciting endeavor. Michael will officially step into this role on August 1, 2020.

Thank you to all that voted!

Best Regards,

Chandra Thornton
KLAS Users' Group President


A New & Improved klas.com

In March of this year, Katy and I undertook a rather large project that we're now happy to see come to fruition. For the past few years, we've been discussing updating the look and feel of Keystone's website with the goal of creating something more modern, with some additional features, but still maintaining our commitment to providing info on an easy-to-use and easy-to-navigate site. To help us with this endeavor, we chose to work with Alison Meeks of AM Graphix. We're excited to say that as of yesterday, the new and improved klas.com is now live!

The content we previously provided is still available, but we hope we've enhanced it and made it all easier to find. One of the great new features we added for current KLAS Users is the ability to submit a "Support" request from any page on the site using the "Support" button in the right-hand corner. Also, the whole site is mobile-friendly and responsive to the size of your browser window.

Below are some additional screenshots of the shiny, new klas.com. We invite you to spend some time checking it out!

The Current Customer OPACs page has been updated to a modern, graphical style, showcasing the logo of each library or organization in addition to the text name. It has also been broken into new sections: Featured, Talking Book Libraries, and Instructional Resource Centers. (Note: Prefer a text-only approach? We've added that version of the list to the KLASusers.com menu!)

 Screen Shot 2020 07 28 at 11.46.53 AM


The Products and Services: Scribe Duplication System page is new! It includes information about the Scribe, as well as some photos.

 Screen Shot 2020 07 28 at 11.45.45 AM


We've included some new testimonials from KLAS users on the home page. Thank you to everyone who provided a quote for us--we appreciate your kind words and support!

Screen Shot 2020 07 28 at 11.43.35 AM


Finally, this is and will be an ongoing effort. Now that the new look and new organization is in place, we have plans to edit much of the content, so we'd love to hear your feedback!