Archive | September, 2013

Thing 19: File sharing – Dropbox

30 Sep

This week’s thing is file sharing using mobile devices. The portability of mobile devices makes them an ideal tool for accessing and sharing files on the move. We will look at sharing / syncing files across multiple devices (eg. your smartphone, tablet and PC), and sharing files with other people.

DISCOVER

Dropbox is a popular cloud storage tool for accessing and sharing files on mobile devices. It has apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and KindleFire. Files can be added to Dropbox by syncing from another device (including a PC) or directly added to the Dropbox mobile app. Dropbox also has a Camera Upload function that enables photos taken on a mobile device to be automatically or manually added to Dropbox. Dropbox files can be shared by sending a download link to another person, or by inviting others to a shared folder.

Dropbox Camera Uploads
Dropbox Camera Uploads by Magnus Jonasson

Bump is a different way to share files with other mobile users. When two people have the Bump app open on their phones, they can share files, contacts and/or photos by bumping the two mobile devices together! Bump is also able to access Dropbox files for sharing in this manner.

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service provided by Google. One of Google Drive’s strengths is the ability to edit files on your mobile device, making it a great tool for collaborative work.

Evernote, previously discussed in Thing 17, can also be used for sharing files across devices and with other people.

EXPLORE

Download the Dropbox app and create a Dropbox account. To get the most out of it, you may also wish to also install Dropbox on your PC or other devices. Add a file to Dropbox and watch it appear on another device with Dropbox installed. Try sharing a file from Dropbox by emailing a link to yourself.

If you can find a friend with Bump installed on their smartphone, try swapping contact details by bumping your phones together. You could also share a file between your mobile phone and PC by bumping the phone against the PC’s space bar (yes, it really works!).

Check out the 23 Mobile Things Pinterest board on file sharing and Dropbox for more information about file sharing using mobile devices.

THINKING POINTS

Do you have a favourite file sharing tool? Have you ever used it to share files or collaborate with other people on library projects or presentations?

Dropbox and other file sharing tools are a great way to collaborate with colleagues in other locations and/or organisations, however it is worthwhile checking whether your workplace has any restrictions in place regarding the use of such a service.

Consider privacy and confidentiality issues in relation to storing personal information in the cloud – this article touches on some of the potential legal and ethical issues surrounding client confidentiality and trade secrets.

Sally Cummings @sallysetsforth

 

Note from Kate: Thanks Sally for an amazing introduction to Dropbox.  Don’t forget to check out 23MobileThings post on Dropbox as well.

Weekly Wrap-Up Thing 18: Productivity Apps

23 Sep

Following on last week’s Thing 17 on Evernote and Zotero. This week’s focus expanded to look at other productivity apps. However activities for this weeks topic – Thing 18: Productivity Apps have been rather quiet.

I guess the America’s Cup fever have taken alot of focus and time from many Kiwis. I know I’ve been studying up on the sport and following the race rather more closely of late. Go Team NZ!

Anyway, back to this week’s topic.

Discussion on the recent Google Hangout have prompted interests in Any.do and Pomodoro.

Karen Malbon ‏@KMalbon will be checking out these apps

and

Cath Sheard @KiwiLibrarian have used the Pomodoro technique for cutting big tasks down into managable chunks

While Maria Alenquer ‏@Maria_Alenquer is going to try the “Remember the milk” app.

Also mentioned in the hangout was Evernote, Dropbox and Google Docs. Check out Kate’s insight on how she uses Evernote to record all her saved RSS feeds and Kathryn’s time saving experience in using Google Docs:

While I’ve only used Evernote sparodically, I’m a huge fan of Dropbox and Google Drive. I’ve also found CloudOn a great app to combine both these tools together.

Another multi app manager I’ve been using regularly for my social media channels is Hootsuite. This app is great to help you manage, monitor and schedule your posts, messages and tweets from social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and many more. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you should.

For more productivity apps follow the productivity board on Pinterest or check the productivity category in Google Play or the Apple Store.

Thinking points

I think productivity apps are invaluable in helping us become more efficient and effective in managing our work and time. However, I think some of us are not investing as much time and effort in learning to  use these tools effectively. Talking from experience, I know when I come across a couple of useful apps, I’m incline to just stick with them for a long time. The new apps I’ve come across this week has shown I need to expand and try new tools out.

In terms of using these tools for our work, I think we are still in the learning phase. Before we can effectively incorporate these tools into our work programmes, we need to understand all it’s potential and that’s by using and experimenting with it for ourselves.

Before signing off, I’ll leave with a couple of questions.

What is currently taking you alot of time to do at work?
Could you find an app to help you improve the way you work?

Signing off

Mark Huynh @E_venturer

Thanks Mark, Don’t forget that this week is a catch up week before we head into the final stretch of ‘Things’.  Enjoy.

Archive of Hangout #3 – ebooks & more!

19 Sep

Hey everyone,

We had a great time hanging out with Mylee and Kathryn tonight as we discussed ebooks, productivity tools, some things to look forward to with the last five ‘things’, and Mylee’s and Kathryn’s plans for the future post 23 Mobile Things. There’s plenty here for you to sink your teeth into, and leave us some comments or questions below 🙂

Both Mylee and I (Abigail) will be presenting at LIANZA Conference 2013 on October 20-23.

Mylee’s presentation is: Catylsts, Innovation and Online Engagmeent @SLNSW

Mine is on ANZ 23 Mobile Things – specifically the partnership between NZ & Australian librarians and what we’ve learned from running the programme.

We’re really looking forward to seeing many of you there!

It’s Hangout time!

17 Sep

It has been too long since our last hangout in June(!) so we are bringing you another one, this Thursday 19th September, at 8:00PM (NZ time), 6:00PM (AEST).

Join Abigail, Mylee, Kathryn, Jan (hopefully) and me as we discuss:

  • What’s been happening
  • All things ebooks
  • Dropbox, evernote and productivity apps
  • What is around the corner.

So tune into our video-channel at 8:00PM (NZ), 6:00PM (AEST), and 4:00PM(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

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Thing 18: Productivity Apps

16 Sep

This week we are giving you Mylees’s post from23mobilethings.net.  Don’t forget to go to their site for more great information on all the things!

Photo Credit: hawkexpress via Compfight cc

What are your personal productivity challenges? Productivity is about being efficient and effective and some tools on mobile devices can help organise tasks and schedule activities, provide reminders and help with motivation and time management. In this Thing, we’d like to look at a few of these tools.

DISCOVER:

  • Remember the Milk  is a task and time management app.  – There are apps available for Android, iPhone, iPad, and BlackBerry as well as a web app, sync for Microsoft Outlook, and Remember The Milk integrates with Evernote, Gmail, Google Calendar, Siri, and Twitter. You can even email tasks to your Remember the Milk account.
  • Doodle  is a scheduling tool, great for coordinating times for meetings with a number of people.  It has an a mobile friendly interface and an iOS app.
  • The Pomodoro technique is a productivity system that breaks work down into 25 minute chunks to improve concentration.  There are a variety of Pomodoro apps available for both iOS and Android.
  • Lift   is a goal setting app, helping you to set goals, monitor progress and tap into support groups (iOS and web versions available)

EXPLORE:

  • Find a timer app for your mobile device, you might choose a different one depending on the tasks you have in mind (eg. running a holiday activity game, timing intervals in an information literacy session or running a trivia quiz).
  • Mashable recommended  the productivity app CloudOn  for access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on your tablet or smartphone.
  • 30/30 is a combination of task manager and timer (Android app and iOS app )
  • There are more things to explore on the Pinterest board.

THINKING POINTS:

  • Could you use a tool like Remember the Milk as a mobile project management aid?
  • Could you display a timer on a tablet to count down during games as part of a holiday activity program?
  • Would you be able to coordinate meeting times for your teen advisory group or book club members using Doodle?
  • Are there some repetitive tasks that require focus and regular breaks (like stocktaking and reshelving) – could you Pomodoro them?
  • Could Lift   be used as part of a lifelong learning library program for adults allowing them to set their own learning goals and monitor their progress?

 

Don’t Forget to join us on Thursday for our next Google+ Hangout!  Check your email and back here for more details.

Weekly Wrap, Thing 17: Evernote and Zotero

13 Sep

Thing 17 was ably introduced by @dpgreen and was just the intro that I needed to revisit my Evernote and Zotero accounts. I have had them for a number of years, but (particularly the Zotero one) made an account, played for five minutes, and then forgot about them!

So, I downloaded the Evernote App, found my password details and had a play. (I also downloaded the standalone apps for Desktop to both my home MAC and work PC). I LOVE the syncing – it happens so seamlessly (once I set all of my settings correctly ;))

There is a lot of functionality in this thing that I am still learning – and at the moment I must admit that I tend to use the mobile interface (on my smartphone, not tablet) to grab info on the go (photo, audio etc.) and then process it or refer back to it using the desktop interface.  If I was using it on a tablet then this might be different, but the kind of information that I have been using it for seems easier to work with on a larger screen.

The mobile app has colour coded tabs to allow you to jump into Places, Tags, Notebooks or All Notes. It also has a very nice amount of storage via a free account (I actually have a Premium account which means that I have more storage and some extra functionality).

Zotero – again,  I downloaded the Desktop version, set up the syncing, and had a play with the mobile site. I then grabbed ‘PaperShip, by Shazino for iPhone to do a quick comparison.  As with Evernote, I can’t see myself doing much actual work on the smartphone – the mobile site required me to scroll across the screen, although Papership was a little prettier. I think that the mobile is more about having access to this information whenever I need it. But my feelings on this might change as I use more.

So, your thoughts? I couldn’t see much happening on twitter or Facebook…

Thing 17: Evernote and Zotero

9 Sep

I have post-it notes in my car for traffic light epiphanies. It’s common to see me swipe in at work with them stuck to my ID card. These sticky notes then go onto my desk, or PC monitor, and are then written on a list. If it wasn’t illegal I’d be using Evernote on my phone at the lights. That way my virtual post-its would be synched across my phone, tablet, my work and home computers, and the web. For my money, Evernote is all sorts of awesome. It got even cooler when I learnt I could take a photo of my post-its and not only save them but search the text of my messy handwriting too!

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In a nutshell, Evernote is a cloud-based note-taking, organising and archiving application that works online and off, and synchs across multiple platforms. Use it to grab text, pictures, audio and web clippings. You can tag these notes, and group them in notebooks, which makes the search function outstanding. Users can share notes or collaborate securely on projects. It is flexible, fast, convenient and easy to use. Not to mention the eye candy! Evernote is slick, stylish and a gorgeous green. The all important user interface is intuitive, simple to navigate and very good-looking – especially on the iPad.

I have to admit, I don’t know heaps about Zotero. But that’s why we’re doing this course, right?!

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Where Evernote strives to help you “remember everything” (sounds ideal!), Zotero wants to be “your personal assistant” (also inviting!). It’s clear these two (of the 23 mobile) things are similar, but each is trying – successfully I believe – to carve a niche in the “let us help you, to help yourself” market. Zotero is designed for researchers and library clients, and like Evernote, users love the ability to collaborate and that it synchronizes. It’s other beauty is that it not only arranges documents in project folders, but it also organises citation information for each source. And we’ve all had eleventh hour crises trying to create a bibliography, right?!

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From the Zotero website:

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content in your web browser, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click. Whether you’re searching for a preprint on arXiv.org, a journal article from JSTOR, a news story from the New York Times, or a book from your university library catalog, Zotero has you covered with support for thousands of sites.

DISCOVER:

EXPLORE:

Evernote:

Zotero:

THINKING POINTS:

  • How can you use these things in your library? Are your clients using them already?
  • Or do you need to show them how?
  • Should you create how-to guides?
  • Could you share notebooks with clients? And colleagues as a collaborative alternative to google docs?
  • Perhaps your library team could use Evernote Business?
  • Maybe you should capture mental ‘post-its’, or create ‘to do’ lists, by tweeting or DMing @myEN?

So, what do you love to do with Evernote? What’s your favourite feature of Zotero? Have you tried the Evernote Moleskine?! (#drool #want)
Please leave us a comment 🙂

This post is a remix with thanks of 23mobilethings.net‘s thing 17.

David Green is a proud Children’s and Youth Librarian in a Public Library. David blogs about libraries, learning and other loves at dpgreen.net. You can follow him on twitter @dpgreen.

Weekly Wrap-Up, Thing 16: ebooks and ebook apps.

8 Sep

Week 16 was kicked off by Heidi Dowding who is the National Digital Stewardship Resident at Library of Congress and Dumbarton Oaks.  She summarised the current ebooks-in-libraries situation and urged us to explore a number of resources, free-to-download ebooks and eReading apps.  My personal favourite of Heidi’s links was the article about dummy bookmarks – a simple and effective tool for making the invisible ebook visible.  It was then a very quiet week in 23 Mobile Things world – an article shared and another source of free ebooks provided.

I read ebooks.  The library I work at is a Wheeler’s library and we have over 1100 titles available to borrow – shared between Horowhenua Library Trust and 3 other libraries.  I have a Sony Reader ebook reader that I use to read my DRM-protected library ebooks.  Also on that ebook reader are dozens of ebooks that I have purchased over the last couple of years, mostly computer manuals from Sitepoint (they come in epub, .pdf and .mobi and I download all 3 versions because I can).  I also own many of these titles in print and the print versions are consulted more frequently.

My manager reads more novels in a week than I read in a month and raves about her Kindle.  I love shiny things and, as my role as teacher of ebooks to customers, decided I’d better invest in a Kindle to find out what the fuss was all about.  I bought a refurbished Kindle with 3G from a daily deal website and copied my Sitepoint .mobi books onto it.  I then discovered a fantastic website called Kindle Buffet (free books, all you can eat) and have spent many evenings reading the latest blog post that tells me which books from the Kindle Store are currently free to download.  I was soon to understand why my manager (who also owns a Sony eReader) loves her Kindle.  It really is a great ereader and so easy to use.  I adore mine and if I purchase an ebook I’m far more likely to buy the Kindle version than an ePub.

I have an Android tablet and smartphone and will soon be purchasing my first iPad but I’ve never read ebooks on a phone or tablet.  The phone is large (Samsung Galaxy S3) but too small for reading a novel on and the tablet is too heavy and the battery life isn’t great.  Plus, if I want to read an ebook, I’ll read it on an ereader – my tablet/phone is for communicating, for games and for running the various apps I’ve installed on them, not for reading anything longer than a news article.

In my job I help customers with their ereaders on a regular basis.  I’m always happiest when they have a Sony – it’s the device I find easiest to use.  My most recent ebook customer arrived to see me with a Surface RT tablet – a beautiful device but a nightmare when it came to reading ebooks.  Generally I recommend Bluefire Reader for reading ebooks but that app is only available for Android and iOs.  My customer had installed the Overdrive app but was unable to get it working.  We’re not an Overdrive customer so I thought I’d look in the Windows Store for another epub ereader.  Easier said than done.  I couldn’t get the Kobo app to open ebooks so ended up going back to Overdrive.  Once it was authorised with the customer’s Adobe ID we hit the jackpot and our borrowed ebooks popped up on the screen.  Three weeks later her books had expired but the covers were still sitting in her library.  It took quite a bit of pressing and swiping to discover that there is actually a way to delete them…but it doesn’t check them in so you have to wait until the due date.  If anyone has had a better experience with ebooks on a Windows 8 tablet, I’d love to hear what app you used.

I was at a workshop last week with some of the cleverest NZ librarians working with technology.  We discussed ebooks a couple of times throughout the day and the verdict was – ebook borrowing is TOO hard.  I can understand the need for DRM to protect the rights of those who have written/published a book but when you compare the ebook borrowing and downloading procedure with Amazon’s 1-Click® you can’t help but wonder if there could be a more Kindle-like application for ebook lending.

Happy ereading everyone,

JD (Joanne Dillon) at Te Takere

Thing 16: Ebooks and Ebook Apps

2 Sep

Once upon a time, you had to physically go to the library to check out a book. The library was able to purchase one copy of the book at the going rate, and lend it out based on established procedures.

Enter ebooks.

Image

Flickr Creative Commons, fishbraintexas.

With the ability to lend and share as many copies as desired at one time, digital books have challenged a lot of the old practices. One major obstacle involves money, as many publishers have not yet found a sustainable and affordable model for selling ebooks to libraries. Another issue involves intellectual property rights, as digital media is easily copied and shared widely, where physical documents were much more limited.

While ebooks are pushing libraries, publishers, and legislators into new directions, some of them are pushing back. One way is through DRM, or Digital Rights Management. DRM technologies basically control how a certain media or piece of hardware can be used, in an attempt to prevent piracy and misuse. Companies like Apple and Amazon are using DRM to control how many times an ebook can be downloaded, and legislators are reinforcing the flaws in DRM by creating anti-circumvention laws that make it illegal for users to create workarounds.

Though there are many challenges for libraries in terms of adopting ebooks, they also offer a solution to the issues of access and preservation. In my own experience as a digital librarian in Kazakhstan, I created ebooks in order to provide better access to important and rare books in the Kazakh language. Similar projects are being carried out at the British Library as well as through large-scale efforts like the Hathitrust Digital Library.

So you’ve probably already read ebooks yourself, and know how they work. So for this Thing, I’ve tried to delve deeper into interesting projects and provide links to organizations working on ebook-related issues. That said, ebooks are hot, and things are always changing. If you know of a great project or organization that I’ve left out, link it in the comments. Otherwise, let’s…

 

Discover

Check out some of the great projects happening around the web to make ebooks freely accessible to the public. One of the most exciting projects is Unglue.it, which works to provide a substantial one-time compensation for the author through crowdfunding so that the work can then become freely available through a Creative Commons license. This offers a creative solution to the copyright problem faced by many digital libraries. Also visit the recently launched DP.LA, a partnership effort that’s been getting a lot of press recently.

 

Explore

Get educated on alternative publishing methods for ebooks, and support sustainable projects. Help unlock an ebook at Unglue.it! And while you’re there, download Lauren Pressley’s already-unglued ebook, So You Want to be a Librarian.

Learn more about open access, find open access ebooks, and discover how your library collection can be enhanced with freely accessible materials. University publishers are especially fruitful for OA book collections – a couple of personal favorites are Open Humanities Press and Digitalculturebooks, both imprints of the University of Michigan Press.

Learn more about DRM and get involved. Play around with formats using programs like Calibre, run OCR to add searchability to your document using Adobe Pro or a freely available software like Tesseract, and download to various devices. Check out different ebook apps, like the sleek Readmill or Stanza for iPad and iPhone, or Aldiko for Android.

Get active in your library. Share ereader and ebook app reviews with your patrons, be knowledgeable about formats and devices (check out this helpful infographic to simply the process), give ebooks physical presence in your collection by creating dummy bookmarks. Participate in projects like Distributed Proofreaders, which is the main source of public domain books available through Project Gutenberg.

Finally, stay up to date on digital library news.

Whew, so that brings us to…

 

Thinking Points

Economics – How can we work with publishers in order to make ebooks more effective in libraries?

Marketing – How can we make ebooks easily accessible? How can we standardize ebook access through different publishers and websites?

Bridging the Digital Divide – Will ebooks ever replace physical books for ALL patrons? How do we work with different groups of patrons to meet their needs?

Copyright – How can we work with legislators to fix copyright in order to support innovation and creation in digital content?

 

This post is by Heidi Dowding, find her online as the Global Librarian.

Weekly Wrap Up Thing 15 – Adobe Id

2 Sep

Whilst things like DRM get quite evocative when we speak about it amongst library folk, the pragmatic side of me realises that like most public libraries need adobe to access our services through Overdrive and to some extent through borrowbox as well. Is it complicated? Hell yes. Could it be more user friendly? Ask my staff trying to walk a 92 year old through the process on an android tablet.

What I do find interesting about an Adobe is a change in business model for services. Traditionally we paid a big chunk of cash for a software program that was usually out of date a couple of months after we bought it.

With the new cloud based approach, perhaps we are looking at a rent rather than buy model (and I can already hear the arguments brewing on that one) but consider extrapolating this type of model, is it possible that one day rather than a monthly fee, we might be able to have the software we want on demand?

For me, that’s quite a cool thought.

Getting back to the software though, Adobe do some cool stuff.

I couldn’t have gone a day in ILL without being able to crop and create PDFs, not to mention that Illustrator, Photoshop and Dreamweaver have long been the part of designer toolboxes.

For me many of these applications have been just a little out of my contextual comfort zone, but I have eyed the output with envy from the gurus weaving their magic, and one day hope to add their skills to my portfolio.

Its a bold move for Adobe to shift these services mobile, agile and where we are, and for me, accessing all of these things in one package certainly gives me a big playbox with a small price to convince the boss ( if only for a short time).

 

Don’t forget to check out the twitter chat archive for our chat on e-books that happened during the week- and add your thoughts below!

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