When your Microsoft Team goes inactive…

VUIT has recently implemented a policy that will expire/delete your Microsoft Team if it has zero activity for a full year. Never fear, all owners of the team are notified well in advance of the expiration and are given the chance to renew the team and keep it active. If this happens to a library team that you have ownership of (as a chair, group leader, director, etc.), LTDS will reach out and help you determine if the team is still needed, and where to go from there. If you have any questions, reach out via Inform!

Zoom and LibCal Integration

LTDS  worked with VUIT who have turned on the libcal plug-in for Zoom. This plugin allows the automatic creation, update, management and deletion of Zoom meetings and webinars for libCal events and appointments. Now library staff with a libCal account can begin using Zoom within LibCal to schedule online events and appointments.

To use the Zoom plugin, libCal users will need to do the following:

  1. Log into LibCal, click on your email address in the navigation bar.
  2. Click the Integrations tab of your Manage Account page.
  3. In the Zoom panel, click Authorize with Zoom account button and follow the prompts to finish the authorization.
  4. When you receive an email from zoom.us with a subject line of “libCal for Zoom is approved to use”, that means your libCal account is linked to your unique institutional zoom account, and you can start scheduling zoom appointments and events within your libCal account.

Feel free to try out this new feature!  To set up virtual appointment and online events within libCal, please refer to this libguides,  and submit an Inform if you encounter any issues.

Reducing Time Spent Applying Updates

I wanted to briefly share a win we had a little while back involving the Nursing Wiki. Security and maintenance patches for the current LTS version of MediaWiki are released roughly every quarter, and these have historically been a time-consuming manual process — around 90 minutes.

For the most recent update, we scripted the majority of the required steps and reduced the time spent applying the patch down to around 30 minutes, a 66% savings!

Setting browsers to automatically clear history & cache upon closing (Update from 2020 post)

UPDATED version:

Sometimes our browsers get clogged and cause issues, especially when trying to access sites that are behind protective layers. Then we have to tell users to go clear their browser’s history and cache. There is a way that this can be done automatically, though, when a user closes their browser. Please see below for how to do this based upon your preferred browser:

Edge (Version 100.0.1185.36 (Official build) (64-bit))
  1. Open the Edge browser
  2. Click on the 3 dots on the top-right and select “Settings”
  3. Click on “Privacy, search, and service”
  4. Click on “Choose what to clear every time you close the browser”
  5. Turn on at a minimum “Browsing history”, “Cookies and other site data”, “Cached images and files”

Edge privacy, search, and services settings
After this, you are done. There’s nothing else you need to change for Edge (and there is no “Save” button). You can now start using your browser as normal and when you close it, it will automatically clear your history & cache for you.

Firefox (Version 99.0 (64-bit))

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the menu button on the right and then select Settings

Firefox menu options

  1. Click on Privacy & Security
  2. Look for the “Cookies and Site Data” section click the check box next to “Delete cookies and site data when FireFox is closed”

Firefox cookies and site data settings

  1. Scroll down to “History” section and change the drop down next to “Firefox will” from “Remember history” to “Use custom settings for history”. Then click the check box next to “Clear history when Firefox closes”

FireFox custom settings for history
That’s it. Like Edge, there is no “OK” or “Save” button – it automatically saves your changes/updates so you can now use your browser as normal. And the next time you close it, it will automatically clear your history and cache for you.

Chrome (Version 100.0.4896.75 (Official Build) (64-bit))

  1. Open the Chrome browser
  2. Open the Chrome menu options (3 dots to the right) and then select Settings
  3. Click on Privacy and security
  4. Click the Cookies and other site data
  5. Scroll down until you see “Clear cookies and site data when you close all windows” and toggle it from off to on

Chrome cookies setting
Like the other browsers, there is no “OK” or “Done” button – it automatically saves your updates. But this is it – this is all you need to change.

Zoom Meeting vs. Zoom Webinar

Zoom Meeting vs. Zoom Webinar — how do you choose which platform is the best fit for your virtual gathering? Here are some questions to consider:

  1. How many attendees are you expecting? Webinar can have up to 1000 attendees; meetings are capped at 300.
  2. How much attendee interaction do you want? Webinars are more appropriate for one-way broadcasting to a large group. Attendees can’t un-mute and speak unless explicitly given permission individually by a host. Attendees also can’t see who else is there, i.e. there is no participant list visible to them. There are options on whether to enable chat or the Q&A feature for attendee interaction.
  3. Do you need breakout rooms? Webinars can’t do breakout rooms — only meetings can.

Zoom provides a meeting and webinar comparison which might further help with your decision. LTDS is also available to talk you through each option. Submit an Inform to get in touch and/or if you decide to utilize the webinar option.


Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) is an email process that assists in preventing phishing attempts.    DMARC looks at an email and determines if the information about who is sending the email matches with the sending server information.

in order to fully implement DMARC LTDS has been working with VUIT to change how email from some of our systems are sent.  LTDS has made and implemented changes for Alma, myEMMA, and other systems over the past 6 months.  We believe all issues have been resolved based on current information.


For additional information see:

What is DMARC – How Does DMARC Work?



Cords, Connections, and You

If you are anything like me, you’ve probably amassed quite the collection of cords for your various electronics over the years. What are they? What do they do? Let’s untangle this mess. Here’s a short guide.

HDMI: Audio and video signal, best for TV to PC connections.

DVI: Video only, perfect for older systems or for 144Hz at 1080p.

DisplayPort (DP) and Mini DisplayPort: The best connector for an audio and video signal, and can transmit 144Hz up to 4K.

VGA: Old, legacy video connector. Only to be used when nothing else available.

USB Type-A: The most standard connector for audio, video, data and power; but increasingly being replaced with USB Type-C.

USB Type-B: An older, very rarely used connector. There were two different versions.


USB Type-C: Newest audio, video, data and power connector. The best connection for laptops and mobile devices.

Micro USB: A miniaturized version of the USB interface developed for connecting older compact and mobile devices such as smartphones, Mp3 players, GPS devices, photo printers and digital cameras.

Mini USB: Another mostly outdated miniaturized version of the USB interface for compact and mobile devices.

Lightning: Used to connect Apple mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, and iPods to host computers, external monitors, cameras, USB battery chargers, and other peripherals.

And here’s where it’s gets a little more tricky…
Thunderbolt: Thunderbolt 1 and 2 use the same connector as Mini DisplayPort, whereas Thunderbolt 3 and 4 reuse the USB-C connector from USB. The main difference is there’s a thunderbolt on the head of the connector and the port, and in many cases, they can do everything Mini DisplayPort and USB-C can, except much faster.

Bonus content! One last cord you should be familiar with.

Ethernet: This cable connects wired devices together to the local network for file sharing and/or Internet access.

And there you have it! A quick rundown of the big ball of cords under your desk.

Please feel free to contact LTDS if we can be of any additional assistance or would like some help with cord management.

Wireless Barcode Scanner

Tired of being tethered to your PC when scanning barcodes? Move freely and with ease using the wireless barcode scanner! And it’s simple to use!

Step 1: Connect the cradle to the computer via USB cable. Lift up antenna.
Step 2: Open notepad to use scanner with, put the cursor in the blank, and then scan a barcode to test if the barcode comes up.
If the barcode comes up, the scanner is working.

If the barcode does NOT come up, please set up the scanner using the following steps:
Step 1: UNPLUG THE CRADLE, turn page 3 in the instruction book provided, and scan the “One to One” barcode.
After scanning the “One to One” code, the scanner will beep continuously.
Step 2: Plug the cradle back into the USB port, return to page 3 in the instruction booklet, and scan the “Instantly upload mode” barcode.
Step 3: Open notepad to use scanner with, put the cursor in the blank, and then scan a barcode to test if the barcode comes up.
If the barcode comes up, the scanner is working and you are ready to scan to your heart’s content.

Please contact LTDS if you would like to utilize this resource.

New feature in the Institutional Repository

In the previous Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) system users were able to limit their search by department.  This search feature was lost when the ETD system moved to the VUIR.  LTDS has deployed a new department facet to VUIR to reenable this functionality.  Since limiting by ETD department is only relevant to ETDs,  this facet is only available in the ETD community (https://ir.vanderbilt.edu/handle/1803/9598) .

Mapping drives

There are times where you need to map a network drive, either because you have lost access somehow or you have been granted access to a network drive. To do this, please follow the below instructions (to do this, you either need to be on campus or on the VPN):

Click on the File Explorer icon in the toolbar:

If you do not have the File Explorer icon, in the box “Type here to search”, click inside the box and enter “File Explorer”. If you do not have either the File Explorer icon or the search box, you can search the Start Menu for File Explorer.

Then in the window that pops up, click on “This PC”. It may also be labeled “My Computer”:


Then, in the top menu options, click the “Map network drives” button:

In the pop up windows that displays, change the Drive letter to whatever you want. For your personal drive, that will be N:. For the shared folders, that would be G:

In the folder text box, enter the information you have received from LTDS. For the N: drive, that would be \\libshare.library.vanderbilt.edu\VUL\users\yourVUNetID and for the G: drive, that would be \\libshare.library.vanderbilt.edu\VUL\Workgroups. Any other network share would need to come from LTDS for the exact path.

Make sure the “Reconnect at sign-in” box is checked. This way you won’t have to remember to do this – it will automatically reconnect to the network share upon relogin.

Click “Finish”. If you are authorized to access that network folder, it will automatically pop up with the folders/files. If you have any trouble or issues with this, please submit an INFORM.