Tag Archives: wrap up

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


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

Weekly Wrap-Up Thing 19: File sharing – Dropbox

7 Oct

Hi fellow ANZ23mobilethings explorers

The wrap-up for last week’s Thing 18 : Productivity Apps had the excuse of America’s Cup fever for a rather quiet week. This week we’ve lost that excuse, and until a couple of hours ago there were no comments on any of the social media platforms, so thanks Cath S for pointing out that sometimes we just need reminding that there are easier ways to do things. I too sometimes find myself carting around (and losing) flashdrives, and emailing files to myself and then losing track of where the most recent version is.   Just today I had to drive into work to email out an agenda I’d saved onto a work network drive, but then found our work VPN access has been out all Sunday. I was kicking myself for not saving the file to Dropbox or another file-sharing site.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the lack of discussion on filesharing sites, is that they’ve become such a routine part of our digital lives that we’ve started to take them for granted. Last year Dropbox claimed to have over 100 million users. Dropbox has been voted one of the top 10 mobile apps on both Android and iphone. Because these apps are free and very straightforward to use, I suspect that most of us are already using them daily. Once we start using them they quickly become indispensable, and definitely increase our efficiency. Saving my main financials spreadsheets to Dropbox, means I literally have the figures I need at my fingertips.

Karen’s 23 Mobile Things comments on using Evernote, and explains how she is continually finding more uses for Evernote  for file sharing. She’s use it for sharing notes with fellow students, taking photos and notes at conferences, and her example screen shot shows what a tremendous productivity booster it can be. She also finds it synchs with all devices and is enjoying the iOS 7 update.

If you haven’t tried out a file-sharing app on your mobile device, give one a trial. there are plenty of tables comparing various features, including  their capacity and restrictions, such as those on Gizmodo and even Wikipedia

There are also apps now that can synch together various cloud file-sharing apps, eg,  CloudHQ ,  which can replicate and consolidate files from all your file-sharing services.

Looking at comments on other file-sharing app sites and blogs, there is a common thread of people loving DropBox’s simplicity, speed and reliability. Also many people make use of a number of these systems simultaneously, in order to maximize their free quota of storage space. It’s also worth checking out the comments on file sharing from  23MobileThings from a couple of months ago

For some light relief check out this story about a stolen iphone where the thief forgot to disable Dropbox, and therefore inadvertently shared all the photos he took with the rightful phone owner who has been sharing them with the world via Social media

Finally huge thanks to Sally Cummings, for her very detailed introduction to the File Sharing Apps. She includes many excellent starting places for exploring these apps. Extremely useful!

Vivienne Sutton @sciencelibr

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


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.

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…

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

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!

Weekly Wrap-up Thing 12: Games: Angry Birds / Wordfeud

5 Aug

I would consider myself the ultimate Girl Gamer. My gaming prowess spans from my PC to my Nintendo DS and most importantly to my cherished PlayStation 3. In fact, I would go so far as to say that gaming is now a part of my identity. I’m obsessed, and that’s why I thought I would be a great person to tackle this item on our list.  I must admit, my focus wandered away from angry birds and word feuds, to a broader range of games that I feel are more useful for us as librarians.

Me gaming on a Sunday afternoon
Photo of me gaming

The timing for Thing 12 couldn’t be better. The past few weeks at work I have been researching gaming in libraries in a hope to implement it at our library here. Christchurch libraries already offer Minecraft sessions for teens with great success. Minecraft is a fast growing, extremely popular online game which is free to pay after an initial cost of €19.95. There are piles of research praising Mine Craft as a great research tool and the best part is, the kids don’t always realise they are learning,

There is also a whole blog dedicated to gaming in libraries. It’s a great resource if you decide to pursue the gaming route in your library.Some great resources came out of this week’s twitter, which have only encouraged me in my pursuits to bring gaming into our library.

So, what were your opinions on Thing 12?


Sarah Gallagher (@SarahLibrarina) linked what I think is one of the most interesting videos I have seen all year: Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world. It’s a speech by Jane McGonial on how gaming is helping to evolve us into better people.  She has some great points on the positive effects of collaborative communities and the importance of instant positive reinforcement. One thing Jane mentions in her speech is how in game worlds we are the best versions of ourselves. When I think of my friends, this makes sense. Even my friends with no sense of social justice (who I would border on calling mean) seem to flourish in these games. They power through Mass Effect 3 in a paragon state or finish Fallout 3 filled with good Karma [This does make me worry about what a bad person I must be in real life though as I almost always pick the evil route in a game when given the choice]. I could go on for days about this topic, and if you haven’t watched this yet I highly recommend you do!

Cathy Kelso (@ironshush ) also linked a presentation on the benefits of serious gaming for library users and students. Coming from a teaching background I have seen this in effect. Kids and teens love games. And if we can harness these games to teach moral lessons and educate them then they are a valuable tool for libraries in the future.

More From Twitter:

Katalin Mindum ‏@KatMMin #anz23mthings Bit over angrybirds. To be honest could waste your whole life without even noticing the passing of time

Sarah Lisle ‏@SarahJLisle Because of #anz23mthings I’m trying out mobile games this week. #bubbletotem is cute, free and addictive. Also works when I’m not online

Final Thoughts

This week has only reinforced my belief that gaming is a valuable learning tool. At libraries, we encourage people to learn and gaming is a fun way of learning. Children and Teens especially are becoming more and more exposed to gaming and by the time they leave school they will have over 10,000 hours of gaming experience.  Providing the community to access to games gives them access to online communities, achievable challenges to help raise motivation and self-esteem and more simply, lets them have fun. It’s not for everyone though and that’s OK. It’s also not easy. Implementing these idea takes a lot of time and effort to set up and requires someone with a passion and flair for gaming to keep it running.

And my favourite game? Fallout 3 Check it out sometime I highly recommend it.

Bonnie Mager

Weekly Wrap-Up Thing 10: Social Reading – Goodreads and Library Thing

23 Jul

It was another fairly quiet week on the ANZmThings front, although it did seem that quite a lot of people were willing to try out LibraryThing and Goodreads (or resurrect old accounts)…is everyone starting to feel the weight of the mid-year slump? Or perhaps we are all busy trying to catch up on the interesting ‘Things’ we have come in contact with over the past 11 weeks…has it been 11 weeks!? How time flies!

It seems that the majority of people (myself included) have used Goodreads and are quite the fans, speaking from a personal experience, I love the ‘Recommendation’ aspect of Goodreads, although it certainly doesn’t help my funds.

There seemed to be a consensus that Goodreads is a great personal network for reading, while LibraryThing provides a variety of ‘extras’ that can help libraries, particularly smaller libraries, organise their collections.

And it seems that many of us would like to see LibraryThing develop an app, rather than simply a mobile site. One of the most convenient aspects of Goodreads (in my humble opinion) is the book scanner, using the Goodreads app you can simple scan a books barcode and it is saved into your ‘to-read’ list, or wherever you would like to place it, and excellent tool if you can’t afford all those great books that are tempting you, or are researching for your library.

This week a lot of us had fun with “What Reader Species Are You?” (I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’m definitely “The Compulsive Book Buyer).

It was also interesting to see Goodreads information on the “most abandoned books”.

@stokesrenee had a great post on her blog about her reflections on Goodreads and LibraryThing and led us to another interesting article on “LibraryThing vs Goodreads” (Goodreads comes out on top on this article…what do you guys think?).

@SarahJLisle had a great post on Social Reading and why she finds it so useful. She also pointed out a book that she feels all librarians should read: http://www.librarything.com/work/13292773/book/99705411 (also available on Goodreads, but I feel as if I’ve given Goodreads a lot of space in this post).

@luvviealex gave us a look at her personal profiles on LibraryThing and Goodreads,

a great way to compare the differences between the two.

Final Thoughts:

It would appear that most people who contributed in the discussion this week agree that Goodreads and LibraryThing are great tools, particularly to keep track of the many, many books out there. They both have their pros and cons and it seems that it is a matter of playing around with these tools to find out what best suits your library and personal needs.

It was great learning about Goodreads and LibraryThing this week, and seeing people’s opinions and uses of these great Social Reading tools.

I love connecting with different readers, so feel free to add me on Goodreads.

-Laura @lor_rahh

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