The Final Form (and get a certificate of completion)

7 Nov

We would really appreciate you filling out one, final form for us, so we can see how everyone has improved over the last 6 months.

It has been an epic, fantastic, exhillarating journey and we thank all of you for coming along on the ride with us.

There is also a question at the end if you would like a certificate of completion to be sent to you, so you can brag quietly admire your accomplishment.


Kate and Abigail.


Archive of Final Hangout

5 Nov

So we had our final hangout on Wednesday night!

Check out the action as we discussed:

  • Where we’ve been
  • Where we might go next
  • Things we’ve learned along the way

Join us for our final #anz23mthings hangout on Wed 6 November!

5 Nov

We are in the final wrap-up week of ANZ 23 Mobile Things – it’s been an amazing experience; thanks to everyone for joining us on this journey and making it a very special one!

We thought a fun way to round it off would be a final hangout to discuss where we’ve been and where this programme might head in the future.

So please join Join Kate, Mylee, Kathryn, Jan (hopefully) and me this Wednesday 6 November, at 8:00PM (NZ time), 6PM (AEST), and 3PM (AWST) as we discuss these things and much more!

So tune into our video-channel at 8:00PM (NZ), 6:00PM (AEDT), and 3:00PM(AWST) to join in. You can tweet us your questions using the #anz23mthings or ask them as comments on this post and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Click here to watch the live stream of the Google+ Hangout


Come join us Thursday for Twitter chat 5 – Digital Storytelling!

30 Oct

And it’s that time again – time for another Twitter chat!

Our fifth – and final – Twitter chat for this course.

The topic for this week is digital story-telling so that’s something we’ll focus on for this chat as well as the winding up of this course.

Stories by Enokson via CC license on Flickr

As always, remember to use the #anz23mthings hash-tag to join in the chat on Thursday 31st October at:

  • 9PM NZ time
  • 7PM AWDT
  • 4PM AEDT

Here’s the questions we will be discussing:

Q1. Libraries may not be just about books anymore, but they are still about stories. Discuss. #anz23mthings 

Q2. How is your library using stories to engage your community or share their stories? What tools do you like? #anz23mthings 

Q3.  What have you most enjoyed about #anz23mthings? Which thing is your favourite?

Q4. Going forward, what’s one thing you are doing differently or thinking differently in your library? #anz23mthings

Q5. Anything else? #anz23mthings


Thing 23: Digital storytelling

29 Oct

Can you believe it!!! Here we are, the final week.  Wow!  Thankyou to everyone who has shared their skills, their passion and their time to helping out with these posts.  Keep your eye out for the final week fun via the email and lets see what we can learn this week.- Kate



Stories … we do love to make them, tell them, read them, share them!  Earlier this year the very popular theme for National Library and Information Week across Australia was … Share your story.

So, it’s no real surprise that digital storytelling is becoming a bigger part of our lives.  Mobile technologies and apps give us the tools to capture, create and share stories … mostly for free and with next to no training.

Libraries and a whole host of education, community and cultural organizations are using digital storytelling to explore new ways to

  • build, connect with and engage audiences
  • save, share and curate stories.

Check out this digital story Rebecca Millar (Community Builder) about the power of capturing, creating and sharing digital stories, “building communities by sparking the imagination and curation”.  Rebecca helped bring to life the story of the trading ship Zuytdorp, from the Dutch East India Trading Company, wrecked in 1712 near Kalbarri on the coast of Western Australia.

(sorry the video would not embed.  please click on rebecca’s name to watch it- Kate)

Part of the commemorations for the 300th anniversary of the wreck, this digital story was shared around the world. This is just one of the many stories shared by the team at This Week in Libraries … tap into TWIL for some fascinating digital stories from around the Library world.



Check out some digital stories



Have a play with some free digital storytelling tools on your mobile device.  While you can view most stories via the web, creating and sharing stories depends on the tool and your device.

  • Animoto  – turn your photos, videos & music into 30 sec online video stories (iOS and Android apps)
  • Prezi  – display your stories on a virtual whiteboard (iPad and iPhone apps)
  • Slideshare  – “the YouTube for PowerPoint” (no specific apps, but works on iPads and all smartphones)
  • Storify – turn social media into stories (iOS and Android apps)
  • Storybird – add your stories to shared artwork (any web-connected device)
  • Tellagami – share animated video stories (iOS and Android apps)
  • Voicethread – cloud application, so no software.  Add your voice to your stories (iOS app)
  • WeVideo – make online video stories(iOS and Android apps)
  • Zeega – use any media in the cloud or upload your own to create stories for any web platform



Does your library help your community create, share and keep their own stories? How could you help with this? See the 23 mobile things Pinterest board for some ideas.

How can you help locate the tools and resources needed for digital storytelling projects?  You could put together a webpage or LibGuide with links to public domain or Creative Commons licensed music and images, storytelling apps and web-based tools. See the University of Wollongong’s Library guide Digital Storytelling resources for inspiration!

Consider the issues involved when you work with indigenous communities on digital storytelling projects? See Kirsten Thorpe’s IFLA paper Protocols for libraries and archives in Australia: incorporating Indigenous perspectives in the information field

Before you set up a digital storytelling project to capture local history, Prarienet have a handy list of tips to consider.

So many stories!  How can your library keep a sample of the digital storytelling that is happening in your community right now for future access?



Recently I explored Storify to share my take about a conference I attended.  This was my first work use of Storify.  Love that you can pull many sources together (and not just your own!) plus keep editing and adding to the story after publishing.  Also found it handy to grab the embed code and add the story into my LTT blog post The Riverina view from the NAVIGATE 2013 – EQUELLA Conference and our Intranet news article.  Make once, use many times … gotta love that!! Definitely plan on using Storify for getting the message out there about library stuff and learning tools … and lots more!

This is my first zeega story … just for fun and for ANZ 23 mobile things!  Easy to use and get that multimedia effect happening.  Can see uses working with students to upload their images and create their own stories for presentations and assignments.  (again, the video would not embed.  Sorry.- Kate)


Tap into some of the great mobile tools mentioned in this post … to capture and connect with all the stories out there! Make a gami, make a zeega.  Have fun!

This is a remix of the 23 mobile things post Thing 23: Digital Storytelling by Mylee Joseph

Weekly Wrap Up- Thing 22: eResource Vendor Apps

28 Oct

As we come to the last stretch of our adventures together, I’d like to thank those who have come before me for sharing their time and insights on all things mobile. If not for this community, I wouldn’t have a better understanding of how to effectively use my smart phone. I’ve downloaded, tried and now owned many more new apps for which I wouldn’t have otherwise known about.

As for this week, understandably I feel many people may have focused their time and energy on conferences. With the Library 2.013 online conference and New Zealand’s own LIANZA conference, activities have been rather sparse.

However, I think Kate Davis‘ comprehensive introductory write up has provided much thought for this week’s wrap up. If you haven’t read it, please go and read it now.

Cath Sheard ‏@KiwiLibrarian pointed out how difficult it is for her to borrow library ebooks and this is making her cross and sad about the situation.

While Freya Lucas ‏@liber_amoris agrees with Cath after investigating her e-library and finding the situation to be the same.

However I find that in my experience with OverDrive Media Console, it has been relatively easy. Auckland City Libraries provides an OverDrive service which I find simple to use. The potential hurdle is with creating an Adobe ID. Another problem I have is with the limited range of titles available with this service, though in saying that, the number of items in the collection is reasonable. It’s just that a few times I’ve come across missing titles in a series I’ve been reading.

I also noticed that some New Zealand libraries are using the Boopsie service. The University of Auckland Library and Wellington City Libraries are just a couple of examples. Again in testing the app, I found it simple to use.

Thinking point

As smart phone and tablet adoption continues to rise, many libraries are looking to increase their services for users with mobile devices.

As pointed out by Kate, what libraries need to keep in mind is the potential of offering too many silo-ed products. There needs to be an integrated access to various differing products with a single discovery tool. This will help provide a seamless user experience in turn increase adoption rate and user satisfaction.

I feel users don’t want to go to different products or use different apps to access information resources. They want a simple search functionality that allows them to access information or resources directly. Much like how Google is doing for the web, we need to ensure users get access to their information or resources as quickly as possible. This is especially true for mobile users as they often use their devices on the go.

My view is that vendors should become more flexible in giving access and open their formatting of their e-Resources. In this way, it allows easier integration and access to these e-Resources.

I think the main challenge boils down to is with copyright. Publishers want to maintain control on who has access and who pays to access their e-Resources. However as history has shown with the music industry, trying to protect copyrights in this age of quick and instant access will only limit the number of people accessing these e-Resources. Also they can potentially drive others to find alternative e-Resources that is easily accessible.

Before signing off, I’d like to leave a note of thanks for everyone for reading my posts and hope we’ll have more future engagements similar to this.

Signing off

Mark Huynh @E_venturer

Thing 22: eResource vendor apps

21 Oct

We apologise for the lack of Wrap Up for Thing 21, it got lost in the excitement of seeing the finish in 2 weeks!!!! – Kate.

But now, Thing 22…


Searching for information to help a customer with a homework assignment? Providing advice to an avid fiction reader on what to read next?

There’s an app for that!

No, really! There is!

Thing 22 is eResource vendor apps. There is a growing range of apps available and there are a number of lists around the web you can use to find out about the variety of apps available.

For this week’s topic, I’d like to challenge you to think about the experience your customers have with apps related to your collections and services.

In a former life, I was an electronic services librarian at a large public library. A substantial part of my job was building and managing the online collection. I’ve maintained an interest in electronic collections both for my personal interest (I’m an ebook reader – to the extent that if I can’t get a book in e, I just don’t read it) and also for professional interest. I teach collections management so it’s important I stay on top of what’s happening in all types of collecting, including electronic collections and consequently I’ve been watching how the online collections marketplace is evolving with interest.

Before we get into the guts of this week’s topic, I want to make a couple of distinctions to underpin our discussion.

Native apps and web apps

When we talk about ‘apps’, we are generally talking about ‘native apps’. These are software or applications that are installed on a mobile device. You might also have heard the phrase ‘web app’. Web apps aren’t really apps at all, rather, they are mobile optimised websites that are accessible via an app-like icon on your device’s desktop. When you launch these web apps, you are pushed off into the web browser on your device but generally these web apps still look and function a lot like native apps. The beauty of web apps is they are generally coded in HTML5 and that means they can be used across platforms, regardless of operating system.

Here’s an example: The Kindle app is a native app that you install on your device. The iPad Kindle Store app is a web app. To try out the Kindle Store app, navigate to on your iPad. You should be prompted to save an icon for the web app to your device.

If you don’t have an iPad and would like to have a look at a web app, just try a quick Google search for web app examples.

You might like to read more about the different kinds of apps and their benefits and drawbacks.

Types of vendor apps

I’d like to make a distinction between two types of vendor apps. The first of these are apps for databases and other online information products. This post is focused on these database and online product apps.

The second are catalogue apps, which allow customers to search library catalogues. There are a number of different proprietary apps that libraries can use to provide customers with an app based version of their catalogue, including Boopsie and BookMyne, among others.


So let’s get into the interesting stuff: what are the issues with vendor apps? There are three issues I’d like you to reflect on: the user experience for vendor apps; ‘siloing’ of content and the impact of apps on this; and integration.

Issue: Do users have a good experience of using eresource vendor apps?

I stopped borrowing ebooks from my public library years ago because the process of getting content onto my devices was just too hard – thank you, DRM! (Plus the range of content available was very limited – and I belong to a library with an exceptional online collection. The content available for Australian libraries to buy is still not great. But that’s a whole different issue.) When I started preparing this post, I decided I’d better have another crack at using my public library’s ebook service using the OverDrive app and I was very pleasantly surprised at how much the experience has improved. Once I had jumped the hurdle of resetting my Adobe ID after the recent security breach, I was reading a book in a flash. What a vast improvement!

Issue: Silos

One of the biggest barriers to use of online collections is the way our online collections are structured. Libraries buy products on a number of different platforms and consequently, our online collections exist in silos. This isn’t ideal, but it’s a setup that’s unlikely to change.

In academic libraries, discovery layers that index the content of many major databases help to reduce the impact of these silos by allowing customers to search a big chunk of the content the library subscribes to from a single search box.

The state of play in public libraries is a bit different. In Australia, there are very few public libraries that have discovery layers in place. There are also very few public libraries that have their electronic serial holdings in their catalogue, which means that customers searching the catalogue for a magazine title won’t find the electronic holdings. Instead, customers have to know which serials are in which databases in order to access the content. This is obviously a substantial barrier that our customers need to overcome.

As an online collection manager, my goal was always to make the silos disappear – or at least to make them invisible to customers. Visible silos mean a disjointed experience for customers, who often don’t (and really shouldn’t have to) understand the online information product marketplace. Our business is to connect customers with the information they need and to do this in the most efficient way possible.

Does a proliferation of vendor apps help with this? I don’t think so, and in fact I’d argue that unless they are very carefully deployed, vendor apps reinforce these silos because they don’t facilitate integrated access to collections. Promoting vendor apps to our customers means highlighting the cracks in our supply model and perpetuate dis-integrated access to our collections. Does this mean we should stop promoting vendor apps to our customers? I think the answer to that question varies depending on the library type, the product type, app functionality, and the way we promote the apps. The key is integration.

Issue: Integration

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that many libraries don’t provide seamless access to online collections for mobile users. And I think this is true with regard to both eresource apps and mobile web versions of eresources.

I’d like to send you on an excursion. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. On your smartphone (or tablet if you don’t have access to a smartphone), open your library’s website in your browser.
    • How does your library site look on your mobile device? Is it optimised for mobile? If not, is it usable?
  2. Your mission is to navigate to a database – any database – using your library’s website.
    • Can you do it? What’s the experience like?
  3. Now choose a database and attempt to access it.
    • How does the product look in your web browser? Is it usable? Do a search or browse and view an information resource. Is it readable?

If your library has an app for your catalogue or website, I’d like to send you on a second excursion.

  1. Open your library’s app.
  2. Navigate to a database – any database.
    • Can you do it? What’s the experience like?

Time to reflect

  • Have you used an eresource vendor app lately? What was your experience like? If you haven’t used one lately, download one and give it a go. Think about your experience using the app and reflect on the quality of that experience.
  • Does your library have a mobile friendly version of its website and/or catalogue (either via a website, an app or a web app)?
  • Does your library provide integrated, seamless access to online resources for mobile users?
  • How might libraries deal with issues around integration while still promoting vendor apps?


This post was written by Kate Davis.

Don’t forget to check out the original 23 Mobile Things post on Thing 22!

Thing 21: Voice interaction and recording

14 Oct

I think we can all agree that one of the great things about modern mobile devices is the variety of ways that we can interact with them. Unlike older phones and desktop computers, we are no longer restricted to a keyboard (or mouse) interface – we can swipe, shake, tilt and talk to our devices to perform different functions. This week’s thing is recording voice audio, and using our voice to interact with our device.


Voice interaction functionality has been a major feature in recent smartphone releases, such as iOS’s Siri, Android’s Google Now, and Samsung’s S Voice. These voice-activated interfaces allow users to verbally request information, make appointments and set reminders, dial phone numbers, and more. They generally utilise natural language, and may answer questions in a personal or informal manner.

Siri and S-Voice

Siri and S-Voice by Mike Lau

Dragon speech-to-text products let us dictate to and/or command our mobile devices. Dragon Dictation (iOS) is a free app that converts your speech into text that can be utilised by other apps on your phone. Dragon Search (iOS) allows you to use your voice to search websites and other mobile content providers. Dragon for Email is available for Blackberry users, and hopefully Dragon Mobile Assistant (currently in beta in the US) will come to Australia and New Zealand soon for Android users.

SoundCloud was mentioned in last week’s blog post. Although it is mostly music oriented, it is also suitable for all kinds of audio recordings including podcasts, news and story telling.


Does your smartphone include any native apps for recording voice memos? I often use iOS Voice Memos to quickly record and email a voice message to myself. Maybe you will also find this a useful or different way to capture thoughts on the go?

Download Dragon Dictation (or a similar speech-to-text app) and have a go at dictating a few sentences into the app. How well did it interpret your words? You can use the edit function within the app to correct any mistakes and add punctuation, and the share function lets you send the resulting text to an email, text message, tweet, Facebook status, or simply copy and use it wherever you need it (eg. Evernote, word processor, blogging platform, etc.).

AudioBoo is a social network for sharing audio. It is often used for recording and broadcasting podcasts, and has an active visually impaired community. Or if you’ve already tried SoundCloud from last week, perhaps this week you could have another play with it, but with an emphasis on voice recording. Maybe you could tell a funny story or share something that you’ve enjoyed about doing the 23 Mobile Things program – then share it on Twitter using the #anz23mthings hashtag.

Check out the 23 Mobile Things Pinterest board on voice recording and interaction for more information and links.


Voice interaction and recording apps provide a different method of interaction with mobile devices, and can cater to users who have a personal preference for aural communication, or an aural learning style (rather than visual / written). How could you use these apps in your library to communicate with clients in a non-traditional way?

Speech-to-text and text-to-speech apps are especially useful for making content more accessible to visually and/or hearing impaired library users. Knowing your way around some of the available tools will help you to provide advice to clients with different access requirements. And of course you can use these apps yourself to proactively convert library-generated content in a variety of accessible formats.

Could your library use a service such as AudioBoo or SoundCloud to share oral histories, story time sessions, podcasts or author talks? Both of these audio sharing apps provide options to embed audio files in web pages, so users don’t need to sign up in order to access the recordings.

Sally Cummings @sallysetsforth

Thing 20: Wrap Up

14 Oct

There’s no doubt that the way we are listening to and discovering music is continuing to change. This week’s “thing” was all about that and the introductory post offered lots of tips and suggestions for applications and services to explore. There was a little bit of discussion on twitter as the anz23mobilethings community spread their musical wings.

I was excited to take up the challenge of exploring some of the services mentioned in the introductory post. I have recently started a Spotify account and have to say I find it the most user-friendly of the suggestions for customising music playlists. I did set up a Grooveshark account in the interests of comparison but found it a bit fiddly. Perhaps that’s a personal preference. If you are looking to really discover new music then Grooveshark and Last.Fm are probably your best options; whereas, if like me you are a little bit set in your musical ways but just want to find favourite songs (for free) then perhaps you will take to Spotify. What both Spotify and Grooveshark have in common is that they allow users to try (before they might choose to buy…or not!). I also set up a Last.Fm account but by then I had decided that really I only needed one of these services not three! So while I entered some favourite artists and began a library I wasn’t filled with motivation to continue developing my profile.

I did create a new Spotify playlist to share based around the word “blue”. See what you think. I have shared it via a tweet with the #anz23mthings.

I am already a Soundcloud user and find it a great way to share user-generated content. I like it so much I actually signed up recently to Pro Account. It’s simple to upload audio and share it various ways, including as you will see here, embedded into a blog post.

This is a recording of  piece of music from the National Library of Australia’s catalogue of sheet music that I accessed via their Forte app. So in this way, we can start to see the value of Soundcloud for bringing audio cultural heritage and memories to life.

This week there were also some articles about the use of these music sharing services. There’s an interesting piece from The Conversation that discusses the social aspect of Spotify in particular. During the week there was also a musician’s point of view presented by Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

My own personal view of the value of these services is that yes, they are excellent ways to share and discover new music. However, they also raise issues about the state of the music industry and the place of artists and musicians in that changing landscape. This particular mobile thing, like most of the others, will no doubt continue to develop making it vital for us to take responsibility to understand the capacities they offer users.

Wrap-up post by Wendy Davis @wendyldavis – thanks, Abigail and Kate.

Thing 20: Mobile Music

8 Oct

Radio is quickly becoming a thing of the past as free music streaming services are now common place offering free music whenever you want it, wherever you want it. No longer do you have to ring up a person cities away from you, to beg them to play your favourite song, while you sit at home suffering through the latest pop rubbish until it gets played.

The two most popular websites to do this at are Spotify and Grooveshark.  Spotify can link directly to your Facebook account showing your friends what you have just been listening to (so make sure to turn the permissions off when jamming out to your guilty pleasures) and can be used directly though the website, or downloaded onto your computer. Grooveshark is similar except the Facebook logon option is replaced by Google or Twitter. Both sites offer the same features, you can listen to any song you desire and create playlists of your favourite songs meaning you don’t have to buy the music, but every time you want to listen it, it has to be streamed again. is slightly different. For those of you who have iTunes, you may be familiar with the genius sidebar. is the mobile version of this. Linkable to your iTunes, iPod, Spotify accounts and much more it analyses your favourite music and helps recommended to you artists and songs you may like. Expanding your music horizons and giving you the options to buy them on iTunes or add them to your Spotify playlists.


Photo Courtesy of Invercargill City Libraries and Archives


Spotify is a free web based and app based music streaming service. It’s also very social, giving you the ability to see what your friends are listening to and allowing you to share what you are listening to with your friends.

Last.fmis an online music recommendation site that has apps that can be downloaded on to your devices.

Groovesharkis a free web based music streaming service that offers many features including the ability to create your own playlists.

Sound Cloud is an online community where you can upload your own original content and share it with online communities and friends.


Create a Spotify account and then create a playlist. Share these with our #anz23mthings community.

Use to discover and listen to some music recommendations. Were they accurate?

Have a listen to my playlist Music based on books

Have a dabble on soundcloud. Use the online recording capability to create some audio content to share, or upload a masterpiece you have already created.

What does your Libraries music CD collection look like at the moment? How could these services affect the borrowing rates of these in the future?

Does your library offer a music download or streaming service for clients? How do you promote it?

How can libraries use programs like sound cloud to promote local talent and patron generated content?

Thanks to Mylee Joseph at 23 mobile Things for helping give me some inspiration for this post.

Bonnie Mager (@bonniemagernz)

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