Best Free Web Serices & Software for Broke Libraries Session

Sarah Houghton-Jan

Will be posted on Sarah’s site & SlideShare later.

  • Everything is free, unless otherwise noted
  • Free eBooks
    • Project Gutenberg
    • AudioBooksForFree
    • Escholarshiop
    • Google Books
    • ManyBooks
    • Memoware
    • Online Books Page
    • Oxford Text Archive
  • Free Databases
    • Find
    • Free language learning sites (search for these)
    • Free practice test sites (search for these)
    • Free sites in all disciplines (search for these)
    • Why not add this stuff to your website, or even your catalog?
  • Reference Tools: patrons just want to contact the library; they don’t care what way.
    • IM/Chat/Texting — LibraryH3lp
    • Email — Gmail, Yahoo Mail
    • Instant Messaging — AIM, etc, Meebo
    • Chat — Meebo, Plugoo, Olark
    • VOIP/Audio — Skype
    • Video — some IM clients (AOL/Skype)
    • Text Messaging — AIMhack; TextPlus
    • Social Networks — Facebook IM
    • Twitter — “ask us a question with @…”
  • Put chat windows and Help links where customers are ANGRY (idea from David Lee King); put contact features where there are no results. Where patrons are angry, frustrated, that’s where you put free contact tools.
  • Ohio University Libraries example uses a lot of these tools that Sarah just mentioned.
  • Social Networking & Setting up a Network
    • Username Check:
    • Usernames Claim/Log-in: OpenID & ClaimID
  • Maintaining a Social Network
    • Update Syncing: or, Facebook’s Twitter App
    • Multiple Account Management: AtomKeep, Sessmic, or Hootsuite
  • Metrics for Social Networks
    • Social Networking Monitoring: Filtrbox, MyBUZZmonitor, TwitterSearch
    • Stats: Twitter Analyzer, Twitter Counter, built-in Facebook page stats.
  • Public & Staff Computer Software
    • Operating System — Ubuntu
    • Email/Calendar — Google Calendar/Gmail
    • Web Browser — Firefox, Google Chrome
    • Financial Software — GNU Cash
    • Open Office: word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, desktop publishing, and calculator
    • Image Editing: GIMP, FotoFlexer
    • Typing Software — GNUTypist or TypeFaster, Typing Tutor
    • CD Writing — Brasero or InfraRecorder
    • Firewall — PC Tools Firewall Plus
    • Anti-virus — MS Security Essentials; Avast; AVG
    • AdBusting — AdAware
    • Anti-Spyware — SpyBot, MalwareBytes, Spyware Guard, Spyware Blaster
  • Staff Scheduling Tools
    • Droster
    • AceShift (<20 shifts/day)
    • or even OpenOffice’s “Calc”
  • Team Meeting Tools
    • Voice – Skype, Google Voice
    • Video – SKype, Sightspeed, Tokbox
    • IM – AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, & others
    • Meeting Space/Chat – Today’s Meet, DimDim, Wiggio
    • Meeting Scheduling: Doodle, When is Good, NeedToMeet
    • Webcasts – Vyew
  • Tech Support Tools
    • Embedded chat — Meebo chat widget
    • Voice or video chat – Skype, Sightspeed, Tokbox
    • Screencasts on the fly – Jing
    • Discussion Boards — Google Groups
    • Remote Support/Computer Sharing — LogMeIn, Yuuguu, TightVNC
  • Audio & Video Tools
    • Voice/Video Chat — Skype
    • Audio Recording/Editing — Audacity
    • Video Editing — Avidemux, DVDx, Lumiera, Kino
    • Video Hosting — YouTube,, Vimeo
    • Audio Hosting — OurMedia, PodBean, LibSyn
  • eLearning Tools
    • Screencasting Tools — Screencast-o-matic, Jing, Wink, Camstudio,
    • Image Mark-Up: DabbleBoard
    • Online Learning Environment: Moodle
    • Conference Calls:
    • Webcasts –
    • Class Websites: WordPress, Blogger, PBworks, PageFlakes
    • Computer Sharing – LogMeIn, Yuuguu
  • Website Management
    • Website recommender: delicious
    • ILS: Koha or Evergreen
    • Content Management System: Drupal
    • Flickr slideshow w/o code – Pictobrowser
    • RSS feed and Post Stats – PostRank
    • Tag Clouds – Tag Crowd, Wordle
    • Form Creator – Google Forms
    • Free/OS/CC Photos — OpenPhoto, Stock.xchng, Image*After, Wikipedia Commons, Flickr image search, **my addition: (Flickr search interface)
    • Survey Tools: Zoomerang, SurveyMonkey
    • Polls – Polldaddy
    • Statistics – Google Analytics, OneStatFree, StatCounter
    • Translation: Google Translate
    • Website Hosting: WordPress, Bravenet,, Weebly, SquareSpace
  • Online Book Clubs
    • Google Groups
    • LibraryThing
  • Blogs for Book Suggestions
    • Blogs (each entry is its own review): Blogger, WordPress
    • Entry templates w/ tags/categories
    • Webpage with links directly to mysteries, picture books, graphic novels, biographies, books for teens, etc.
    • Encourage staff to participate in the web presence there
  • Event Calendars
    • Eventful
    • Craigslist
    • Google Calendar (if you want something more separate)
  • Online Book Displays: use flickr to tag photo of a book shelf
  • Exploit Image Generators
  • More Free Web Tools, list on the screen of screenshots
  • Be mindful: try not to reinvent the wheel. Lots of tools available from Google.
  • Free Mashups
    • Library ELF — account tracking & alerts
  • Few More
    • Cloud storage:, adrive
    • Book Jackets: Book City Jacket
    • Open Source/CC Images: Wikipedia Commons, Flickr Image Search
    • Charts: lucidCharts, Lovely Charts, Fliffy
    • Text to Voice – Text 2 Speech
  • PDF Creator & Editor? PDFCreator mentioned

Ebooks: Landscape & Implications

Bobbi Newman, Brian Hulsey, Jason Griffey

Brian Hulsey

“We change whether we like it or not” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why is this change important to us? We have to be there for our patrons. Back of Wall Street journals. Airports had eReaders all over the place during Brian’s travels. Library conference is being held online.

Relevance: photo of old Apple computer. Have to examine your area and determine what will work for you. Have to figure out how the patron base and what they are wanting. Many are wanting

Cost: replacing physical books costs lots of money. Digital content can’t be lost, destroyed, ruined. Maximizing budgets for what you get for the library.

Impact: look at how it will affect the community & affect the library & its staff. Training will have to take place. Don’t just implement something just because you read about it. Thought has to go into it.

Implementation: eservices get implemented because its cool; be careful. Kindle loaning — tied to library’s credit card. Patrons started buying more books, using library’s credit card. Be careful — know what you’re getting into.

Policies: what type of service will you use at your library; policies on the loaning of the devices must be created.

Cataloging: if you don’t add econtent into your catalog — how are patrons going to find it, locate it, if it’s not in your catalog and online services?

Vendor Advice: Make the vendor rep your best friend; that person knows the system in and out; find out how to best maximize the use of the e-content service you implement.

Problems: training all staff first so all questions can be answered by anyone at any time, not call back later; helping patrons when questions come up; when you don’t help the patron, library isn’t relevant to the patron any longer.

Constantly changing: vendor situation constantly changing & devices constantly changing; Ebrary; Kindle; Sony Reader; iPad. Story time with Cat in the Hat on the iPad. These services aren’t just going to fall into your lap and you can use them. Must learn & constantly change with the services to stay relevant.

Bobbi Newman

Will be talking about devices.

“Everything I say will be outdated by the time you leave this room.”

iPad — didn’t get it when it was announced, then saw one and her mind was changed.

Kindle: easy to use; most popular device right now, still; buy the book, download it to the device.

Lending Library eBooks, complicated process.

Sony eReader

Nook: can loan books to 1 friend and only one time.

Who owns electronic content, from eBooks? Severe restrictions on these files. Physical books can be given to others; eBooks, not so much.

iPhone/iPod Touch: people are reading on these devices; not made for it.

iPad: its brand new; but going to greatly change the future of devices.

Watching video from Jason Griffey now, who couldn’t be at the conference. If it’s online, will post a link to it later.

His Predictions

  • eBooks will stop being tied to specific devices
  • iPad: Kindle, iBooks;
  • Amazon: has a Kindle app for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, has desktop software for all platforms, and for the Kindle, of course, trying to be there for all devices.
  • Software platforms for eBooks up & coming: Copia, & Blio,
  • Black & White eInk readers, will be commodity devices by the end of 2010. Prices will drop considerably, maybe even as low as $50. What will libraries do at that point?
  • eBook DRM: initially goal with music was to tie it up with DRM; eventually the publishers will realize that it’s not in the best interest of the consumer to have DRM. DRM keeps honest people honest.
  • is his blog.

Comments at the end

  • ease of use matters most to patrons
  • iPod/iPhone took off because it was the easiest to use.
  • people aren’t going to use those devices that are difficult to use.
  • these devices can be hacked; but that isn’t easy.
  • Database eBrary can’t be used on eReader devices.

From Podcasts to Blogs and Beyond! Session

Scherelene Schatz, New Jersey State Library

JerseyCat ILL training online. What is it? It’s the statewide virtual catalog and ILL system. 700 multi-type libraries (school, special, academic, public; 95% of public libraries use JerseyCat).

Target audience? 2,000 people trained on the system. Webinars are really good way to quickly update & reach more people, because they can’t leave the library to go to training. Training reference librarians who deal with customers. Training of catalogers — who want to download the MARC records from the system.

In the past what was used? Went to hands-on lab in the state in person, and went through the particular lesson that day.

Now, using webinars. JerseyCat listserv.

Also, using Blog for the project. Slides shared there for presentations. Archiving webinars to view webinar later. Registration links provided there.

Why are webinars a viable option? Started with searching; workflow; tweaking search screen’s default settings; attaching journal articles to the ILL requests; vendor upgrades.

How do you set up, prepare, and conduct a webinar?

  • choose a vendor & platform — Scherlene used GoToWebinar
  • schedule the webinar: title, description, date, start & end time
  • how to provide audio? conference call on phone — provide a 1-800 number; OR VOIP
  • set up registration form that participants’ will fill out
  • evaluation form setup as well, to pop up on the screen at the end of the webinar or emailed to participants to ask for feedback for the session.
  • after setting up registration form, email & link generated for participants; also sends out reminders about the session, so no one forgets

How are the webinars going?

  • compared hands-on training to webinar training: very comparable; not much difference.

Performance reports, post-webinar?

  • shows participant info
  • polling questions answered
  • post-session survey responses

Final Tips

  • mark your calendar for the sessions that you as the trainer set up; you need to be at those sessions.
  • nothing substitutes for good preparation
  • have session participants mute their phones, etc.
  • send handouts to participants ahead of time; some people need pieces of paper in front of them.
  • use your polling questions (if you notice people wandering away, esp)

Jason Puckett & Rachel Borchardt Section

Podcasting for instruction librarians

Adventures in Library Instruction podcast

What’s a podcast? RSS + MP3

Like a radio show; it’s free to produce, create, and share, through the Internet.

Blog that has attached media files, almost always MP3s (but also PDFs, video files)

Don’t need a portable media player to listen to podcasts. Many podcast listeners view through a computer; more starting to listen on their smartphones or other devices.

RSS feed: if you just put the file up on a blog without RSS it’s like a monograph, no subscriptions. If you have RSS, it becomes like a serial and you can subscribe. People get this analogy.

Gearing up. A lot of money can be put into the equipment. If your campus has a media production lab already, take a look at those labs–you might be able to use those labs. But there’s also much cheapers way to do this.

Blue Snowball microphone (about $100) — records in 360 degrees + laptop + audacity. Great for portable podcasts. If you have a Mac, use GarageBand to record & edit; software comes with Macs. For music, use creative commons-licensed music to not spend much money.

Once you record and edit the file, you post the file.

WordPress has a plugin called PodPress. Other ways to get the files online.

Jason & Rachel’s first podcast: Library Survival Guide Podcast (original one; Jason & Rachel no longer at Emory; at different universities now). Did short episodes. Best practices: short episodes (5-10mins); never read from a script — sounds like you’re reading from a script; one person talking is a lot less interesting than 2 people talking; conversation instead of lecture; kept re-iterating why important.

Instructional Design & Marketing

Students not necessarily going to subscribe to the podcasts. Supplemental material during in-class instruction sessions. Put on library website; libguides.

How a podcast can succeed or fail is in the marketing. Let the students know about it, but also let the instructors know about it. Partner with the marketing department. Podcasts can be used for teaching and also for advertising what’s going on at the library.

Evidence of success

iTunesU shot the podcast into success, getting it to a broader audience. Podcasts can be difficult to assess. Can get the number of times the files have been downloaded, but don’t know who downloads. Always ask for feedback, but don’t get any.

Moving onto other jobs

Jason: “Library Insider” @GSU — learned you have to do this with others. Hasn’t been able to do one since August 2009. Hoping to revive it again.

Podcasts are free like kittens, not like beer. Have to feed podcasts, and take care of them.

Third podcast effort: ALI: Adventures in Library Instruction. Kept informal. Conversational style. Anna is the third person in the podcast. The podcast was started because Jason wanted to listen to an instruction librarian podcast — none out there, so that’s why the podcast started. T is for Training is another library podcast out there.

Tools to collaborate produce — no budget; all tools free

  • Skype
  • SkypeCall Recorder — or supposedly Audacity will record Skype calls (not sure if this true — heard this)
  • Audacity
  • Blogspot (publish)
  • FeedBurner
  • DropBox — to share files — ESSENTIAL — music shared there; interviews
  • (file put there)
  • iTunes


  • 300 subscribers to the podcast
  • Facebook presence
  • Never get enough feedback
  • No one isn’t necessarily responding

Other libraries out there using podcasts

  • Arizona State has great podcasts (video included); model podcast
  • Public Libraries doing this, as well, on various topics
  • University of Toronto used to archive events that occurred at the university; not doing this any more.
  • DeKalb County Public Library archives events.
  • Hopkinton HIgh School, Isinglass Teen Read Award BookTalks
  • Tours at Ohio University Libraries

The 24th Thing: What’s Next?

Helene Blowers was unable to be at this session, so a panel will be taking her place.

Sean Robinson (Allen County Public Library)

43 Things — Stephen Abrams idea originally

23 Things — Helene Blowers idea originally

What is your vision with these tools that have been learned in 23 Things programs?

  • engage
  • enrich
  • empower

Enrichment: message to resonate. Blogging, want people to read it that isn’t your relatives.

Empower: fight for what you love.

What is your strategy, then, to use all of these tools? Why are blogging? Using social media?

3 Questions

  1. How are people finding us? Crack dealers go out and find customers; where are people coming to your library’s website? Looking at Google Analytics statistics. Piggyback on other events or situations. Other way to connect? Visitors Center; Schools/Media Centers; City Government; Convention Bureau;
  2. What are their interests?
  3. What are they saying?
  1. you have to be useful to people in new and interesting ways.
    1. Columbus Public Library collaborating with convention bureau.
    2. Chattanooga collaborating with the City on Facebook.
    3. Look at what other libraries are doing and make the connection; don’t reinvent the wheel.
  2. Engagement is not an idea it is a practice.
  3. Grow some bigger ears. Twitter Search; Google Alerts.

Slides on Slideshare (link coming later)

Michael Sauers & Christa Burns

Learning 2.0 @ the nebraska library commission

Nebraska learns 2.0 (statewide program)

50 % completion rate (due to 15 ce credits at the state level, they think)

What’s next for Nebraska? Participants asked for more learning after the program ended.

Nebraska is now doing an ongoing 23 Things program. New thing posted every month. Been doing this for a year now.

What not to do…

  • Didn’t promote the program, except for when they first started the “next thing”
  • Must continue to promote the program
  • Don’t drop the ball.
  • The participants want to continue to learn, but need continual reminders.
  • Leaders have to also participate AND weren’t participating.

Sidenote: Google Wave dropped the ball initially — no reminders.

Lori Reed

23 Things program originally was going to be 43 Things.

How are libraries supposed to innovate in a time of “change”, of budget cuts? Charlotte’s situation and many other libraries’ budgets situations.

Charlotte’s closings & budget cuts & staff layoffs. Horrible to watch it happen. Go through the stages of grief. Anger. Denial. Acceptance.

“In calm weather, all ships have good captains.” –Swedish proverb, often attributed to Adam Smith.

Personally, to get through this, created the next day.

  1. Innovation is more than technology. Are meetings necessary? “Death by Meeting” book recommended. Business model. Services reviewed.
  2. Be willing to do what’s right for the organization and profession, even if it means losing your job. Can’t have libraries for just libraries’ sake. Be what our users need and want. We can’t fight for services that people don’t want.
  3. You can’t communicate too much. Twitter has become the new communication tool for staff during meetings, posting to online news sites. Staff have projector with live twitter stream during board meetings.
  4. Accept the fact that libraries are going to look very different in the future. The medium of a paper book is on its way out. Kids want to be a part of the story — have a computer, an iPod, an iPhone, an iPad.
  5. This is an opportunity. To learn. To grow. To adapt. To improve. Let go of what’s not working. We must do so to show why we’re relevant. We should never have to say why libraries are important.

Rebecca Jones — what are other libraries doing/further conversation…

  • Comment: Many people think that they aren’t going to close. But it happens.
  • Comment: CiL & Internet Librarian are only conferences where libraries of all types get together and learn from one another.
  • Nebraska’s program, were the new things a review of those covered in 23 Things? Right now, all the things have been new. But there has been discussion to revisit the old things.

Training in the Cloud Session

I went on a DC exploration adventure this morning with Jodi and Earl, instead of attending the morning sessions. We saw the monuments and went through the Library of Congress. We all ended up requesting and getting reader room cards. We used the library’s computers and tried to request a few books before discovering how long it would take to get the books, so we gave up and came back.

As a result of those adventures, I missed the Training in the Cloud Session, but am grateful to Bobbi & Maurice for posting a link to a web site for their session. I will definitely be checking it out!