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A Good Trick for the Desk

Have you ever come onto the desk at noon or 2pm, logged into your email or another University resource on the Ref Desk computer, and found that you're automatically logged in as the previous staff person?

Megan found a great remedy: just go to to be completely logged out without closing browsers. She added a shortcut called "U of M Logout" to the Bookmarks Toolbar in Firefox. I'll check to make sure it's on Chrome and IE as well.

Thanks, Megan!

After years of painstaking student work, we have collected information on all of our ISO standards into a spreadsheet. Jon made an earlier blog entry about this. I just created a web search function that allows you to search this spreadsheet, and I think it will be very useful for all of us at the Sci/Eng Reference desk. I'm going to call this the "Beta" version (perpetual beta?) The long-term plan will be to have LAIIs maintain this database, since new ISO standards come through us for processing anyway.

Keyboard acting funny?

If you're ever typing on the Ref Desk computer and your G's type as I's, and your H's type as D's, the keyboard settings may have been switched to "United States-Dvorak", an alternative key layout that at least one staff member (not me) may be experimenting with. You can switch the settings back to the normal QWERTY mode using the keyboard icon on the taskbar (lower right).

For more information about the Dvorak layout, see this Wikipedia entry:

Have you ever come on to your Reference Desk shift after someone, went to the GopherMail page to check your e-mail, only to find out that you've been automatically logged in to your colleague's inbox? This has happened to me twice in the last week and several times before.

For your security, make sure that your University log-in information is cleared from the browser's cache. There are a few ways to do this:

  • The University's logout window/button, which is generally made available in a separate browser window whenever you use your x500.
  • The internet browser's "clear cache" function.
    • In FireFox, go to Tools: Clear Private Data and check all boxes, including "Cookies"
    • In Internet Explorer, Tools: Internet Options: General Tab: Browsing History: Delete and delete passwords or all browsing history (not sure why we'd need anything else anyway)

To help me remember to log out, I use this set up when I'm on the Reference Desk: Firefox is set up to clear private data after all windows have been closed. If you do all of your browsing on Firefox, DeskTracker will also be on Firefox, so you probably won't close all windows when your shift ends (leaving DeskTracker open for the next person). Use Internet Explorer instead for DeskTracker and Firefox for all else, including Email.

Username and Password Change

The Username and Password for the Reference Desk computer has been changed. The username is UL-PSE-Desk. The username and password are located on the passwords page of the Ref Desk Wiki ( If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

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