Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘mobile

Five Things Friday: iPhone apps

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I’ve added a new blog to my list of Blogs I <3: Stuck in the Middle, written by Megan Baker who hails from my hometown and is a fellow St. John Fisher College C/J alum. She’s pretty rocking and I decided to borrow (steal?) her idea of Five Things Friday, which she was inspired to start after seeing it on the City Year New York blog. I’m not saying I’ll do this every Friday, but I thought I’d give it a shot every now and then.

So, I have an iPhone – my first smartphone. Here are five apps that I am loving:

ZipListZipList by ZipList, Inc (free). My boyfriend and I use ZipList for our grocery shopping. He accesses it over the web and I add things from my phone. Then in the store, I check them off as we go along (plus, then I don’t have to push the cart, muahaha). I really like how it auto-magically sorts items you add into sections – produce, dairy, frozen, etc. You can also designate different stores (Giant, farmer’s market) for different items.

InstagramInstagram by Burbn, Inc (free). The filters in Instagram are really fun to capture and alter everyday moments. My favorites are X-Pro II, Earlybird, and Hefe. I can choose to share my shots beyond Instagram to Twitter, email or Facebook. And, I never carry a digital camera around anymore. More room in my bag for other goodies! Another nice feature is the constant feed of images from people I follow within the app.

FeedlerRSSFeedlerRSS by C.B. Liu (free). I started using this app a few weeks ago to view my Google Reader RSS feeds. It seems to be working well so far – no crashing, etc. It’s also easy to star posts as favorites and use email/Facebook to share a link with friends or family members. However, there does seem to be a lot of clicking (er, tapping?) to get at the actual content though, so I’m curious to know if there are better RSS apps out there that people are using.

Shape ShiftShape Shift by Backflip Studios (free). Are games considered apps? Who knows. I never got into the whole gaming/Angry Birds stuff, but this game is right up my alley. Nothing crazy, just a puzzle of matching boxes, shapes and colors. It feels like a mix between Tetris and Minesweeper. Addicting!

TeuxDeuxTeuxDeux by swissmiss & Fictive Kin ($2.99). A simple, designy, to-do app – what more could you ask for? I use TeuxDeux for my personal task list and love the straight forward design. It certainly does not suffer from the “feature clutter” I’ve encountered with other productivity apps. I love that you can have daily lists as well as “someday” lists. Well worth the price!

Have an iPhone app that you can’t live without? Please share it in the comments.

Written by Erin Dorney

December 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM

C&RL News – Job of a Lifetime – Jason Casden

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My third interview for the Job of a Lifetime (JOAL) column in College & Research Libraries News is now available online! I spoke with Jason Casden, digital technologies development librarian at North Carolina State University. We talked about some of the projects he has worked on including NCSU Library (Course) Tools, the WolfWalk mobile historical campus tour and NCSU Libraries mobile. No podcast this time, but check out the interview:

Job of a Lifetime – Jason Casden: Digital technologies development librarian

A big thanks to Jason who was excellent to work with and waited patiently as this piece got bumped in the publication production schedule. I think the projects at NCSU are inspirational for libraries who might be wondering how to utilize mobile technology for their users.

Do you have the job of a lifetime? I’ll be starting the next interview shortly, so if you think so, contact me. Enjoy & feel free to leave comments!

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Written by Erin Dorney

July 8, 2010 at 11:14 PM

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Conference Attendance Advice.

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ALA Midwinter 2010 Exhibit Floor

At the request of Jen & Jason of The Dean Files, I’ve put together some conference tips for ya’ll. To be sure, the tips below are based on my own experience and your conference experience could vary based on a number of factors (where, when, weather, personality, roommates, alcoholic tolerance, available technology, etc). I’m drawing from my attendance at various state, local and regional conferences (the State System of Higher Education Library Cooperative Organization, the Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference), two ALA Midwinter Meetings, and one ALA Annual Conference.

(in no particular order)

1. Volunteer for something. It doesn’t matter what, just do it. If you’re a student, it gives you something to put on your resume other than just attending a conference. You can volunteer at the exhibit booth for your alma mater or for one of your professional associations (ACRL, PLA, LITA, YALSA, etc.). Try being a NMRT resume reviewer or greeter. Some conferences seek bloggers/microbloggers to cover certain presentations which can help you get your name out there and hone your journalism skills. I know for the ACRL Virtual Conference we’re going to be looking for volunteers to moderate webcasts and give tours in Second Life. There’s something for everyone! It’s a way to build in some structured social interaction to your conference experience and you never know who you will meet or what you’ll be invited to do next time once people realize that you’re reliable.

2. Some of the programs you are really looking forward to will inevitably disappoint you. Maybe this is just me, and it’s probably just because I read about the programs weeks in advance and literally plan my entire day around them. Maybe I just build things up too much in my mind. But the point is, you should have a “plan b” for almost every session you want to attend. Just in case there’s no room, the speaker winds up droning on and on to a text-heavy PowerPoint, or you realize that you already learned all of this in library school or real life.

3. I have to second Steven Bell’s suggestion to leave the program book behind. You do not need to carry the weight of that book around with you all day in addition to your laptop, food, water, notebook, smartphone, cords, business cards, etc. I usually end up looking at the schedule online or the night before, tearing out the one page with the hotel map, and tossing the whole thing into a garbage recycling bin in the hotel. I think the program book could probably get phased out if conferences are really looking to be more green. You tell me, do we need printed programs with the net and all this mobile? Just a thought.

4. To borrow a phrase from Stephen Abram, don’t hoard your business cards. “They’re like smiles – they only have value when they’re given away.” We’re all at a conference to learn, not only about libraries, but about each other (aw, so touchy feely, but true). Personal connections are really important, so trade information with the people you meet so you’ll remember each other later. There are also some technologies that help you do this without having to hand out actual cards, like QR Codes or the iPhone Bump app. Follow up with your new friends after the conference about collaborative projects, job opportunities, and shared interests.

5. Things to bring: ibuprofen, band aids, water bottle, granola bars, a sweater, mints/gum (sooo much conference coffee breath!), cold medication for days and nights, at least 2 pairs of comfy shoes.

6. Make a schedule. You will probably deviate based on how you feel that day and what opportunities come up (a colleague or new acquaintance cancels or asks you to join them for dinner, you don’t get enough sleep the night before because you’re adjusting to the hotel bed so you sleep in, etc). But having a schedule will give you a starting point. Another note on schedules – pace yourself! Resist the urge to cram one thing after another day after day because you will wear yourself out. Leave enough time in your schedule to accommodate spontaneous activities (these are often where you learn the most!). Allow yourself to enjoy being in the presence of others who care and make sure you have time to test the local flavor (a bar, restaurant, theatre performance or local band).

7. It helps to know a few people who will be attending the same event as you, so utilize your computer-based social networking connections to facilitate real-life networking opportunities. Conferences are a great place to meet the colleagues you have been tweeting with virtually for the past six months or that blogger you follow religiously. Let people know you’ll be in the area and put out some feelers for meetups, dinner, coffee breaks, etc. Lots of this happens serendipitously as you network, but you’ll feel more confident if you can recognize a few familiar faces.

Some other library conference tips can be found here:

And interesting non-library specific conference tips can be found here:

So tell me, what conference tips do you have?

Written by Erin Dorney

March 1, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Pala 2009 – Tuesday.

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11-12 – When Students Go Mobile: The Effects of Smartphones on Information Literacy and Academic Library (Kristen Yarmey-Tylutki, Digital Services Librarian, Weinberg Memorial Library, The University of Scranton)

Smartphone – phone with computing ability

Over 50 thousand apps for iPhone as of last year

In 2008 smartphone sales in North America grew by 63%

Lost of apps are student-designed

Mobile librarians and libraries – Joe Murphy

How do these impact the research process? Information literacy?

It’s hard for students to find big blocks of time for research – mobile helps them break it up into chunks

Looking at 2000 ACRL standards for information literacy – 5 standards

What did mobile phones look like in 2000? Cell phones called people, stored contacts, could text but many people didn’t. A lot has changed since then!

Standard One: “The information literate student defines and articulates the need for information”

  • Free apps vs. authoritative, more costly apps (in terms of reference resources)
  • Talk to vendors about providing mobile interfaces
  • Think about subsidizing cost of authoritative mobile apps
  • Devices can be used to both collect and analyze data
  • Can confuse students – new set of formats (print, electronic, mobile, website, app, device specific?), third-party developers w/ somewhat sketchy documentation.
  • Cost and benefit – students pick free over pay, website over print, w/smartphones, they will probably choose mobile over computer-based.
  • It needs to be affordable and accessible to students in order for them to use it

Standard Two: “The information  literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently”

  • New ways of searching – the ACRL standards assume word-based searching, but now we have different input types – pictures, barcodes, audio keywords, location
  • These options can make searching easier for students, but we need to know how to help them and incorporate this into information literacy
  • No extra typing – fewest keystrokes possible = no long search strings, Boolean, etc.
  • Mobile raises expectations – traditional services won’t be enough
  • On a smartphone, we only see the first 3/4 results in a Google search – will students scroll down or click to the next page?
  • Extracting information – lots of note taking tools out there and microphones built in (i.e. Margins, tools to convert spoken notes into written notes)
  • iPhone can’t run different applications at once – this is a problem but should be fixed (Palm Pre does it)

Standard Three: “The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.”

  • Ebook apps – more time for reading in their lives, but is it “deep reading?”
  • All in one devices are fabulous but also distracting
  • Students are going to want to use things that are designed well
  • Mobile research look at more items but spend less time on/with them
  • Discussing research with peers

Standard Four: “The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.”

  • Syncing mobile and computer applications

Standard Five: “The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally”

  • Privacy issues, personal information – outward flow of information, educate students about what they post to the web and how it can impact their future
  • “Collaboration has become a fact of life” – Kristen YT

Standards hold up well, but there are some new themes relating to smartphones

Is dividing literacy between information and technology helping or harming our students?

Continuous partial attention – we need to be informed – education, psychology, sociology

What’s next? Plans to talk with students about how smartphones are being used by students. Looking for collaborators!

Q: Tools for libraries to mobilize? SMS is first step, in terms of resources, haven’t seen it written about yet

Q: Multi-literacies? Kathleen Tyner

Q: What about faculty using smartphones? Mixed bag, some embrace, some still don’t want to talk about Google. New generation of faculty will help with this transition. We don’t have to push it, but some will be interested.

12:30-2:15 – College & Research Division Luncheon Rethinking the Copyright Wars and the Role of the Academic Library (James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian for Columbia University)

Understand trends in context

Changing library roles: consumer, intermediaries, aggregators, publishers, educators, R&D organizations, entrepreneurs, policy advocates

Scholarly communication – why do faculty publish?

“the repository movement”

Broadcast flag – chip embedded in computers to try and catch people breaking copyright laws. ALA filed a lawsuit. The computing industry also fought this.

Copyright in the future, will there be one?

Re: 108 Study Group – “Are we ready for the “hard ball” offensive that will be required to protect and advance our interests?”

Interesting cases: Author’s Guild v. Google, Cambridge University Press v. Georgia State University, Golan v. Gonzales, J.D. Salinger v. John Doe, Warner Publishing v. Spurlock

Google Books – not about public interest, not about copyright. About economics and money. Monopoly?

FRPA – making federally funded research freely available for public access. Right now the publishers have control. Trying to send this through as an Executive Order since it’s already written into federal grant documentation.


Written by Erin Dorney

October 20, 2009 at 6:20 PM

C&RL News – Job of a Lifetime – Emerging Technologies Librarianship

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My second piece as the editor of the Job of a Lifetime (JOAL) column in College & Research Libraries News became available online yesterday! For my first column back in June, I interviewed Brian Mathews about his job as the User Experience Librarian at Georgia Tech.

This time, I had the chance to interview not one, not two, but three very talented Emerging Technologies Librarians from Towson University. Carrie Bertling Disclafani, David Dahl, and Carissa Tomlinson were all hired at the same time and have been working on some interesting projects, including some new mobile services. Check it out!

Job of a Lifetime – Emerging technologies at Towson University: The hat trick

ACRL Podcast – Job of a Lifetime – Emerging Technologies

Once again, C&RL News Editor David Free kindly edited the podcast for us. A huge thank you goes out to Carrie, David and Carissa for their flexibility and quick turnaround time for the column and podcast! Emerging technologies librarianship is a field/position that varies widely from institution to institution, so it was nice to hear what exactly it means at Towson. I’m adding a link to LibraryTechTalk (the blog that Carrie, David & Carissa coauthor on the use of new technologies in academic librarianship) to my blogroll and you should too!

Do you have the job of a lifetime? I’ll be starting the next interview shortly, so if you think so, contact me. Enjoy & feel free to leave comments!

Written by Erin Dorney

October 6, 2009 at 8:55 AM

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