The Library Musings of Jaime Huaman

Archive for the tag “Librarian Toolkit”

Librarian Toolkit: Google Drive

In this week’s Librarian Toolkit, we have a tool that is just been made  available and there is a waiting list to use this service.  Despite this, Google Drive seems to have a lot of potential for library use.   Google Drive provides a way to store files from many devices, such as your cell phone or computers, and retrieve them from any location that has an internet connection.  Google Drive’s cloud storage service is similar to dropbox and SkyDrive.  What makes Google Drive particularly attractive is that it allows you to create and collaborate on documents, share files with colleagues, and open files in your browser even if you don’t have the program installed.  They also utilize Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and image recognition on everything that you upload.  So for example if you take a picture of the Washington Monument and store the picture to Google Drive, than Google will identify the photo.

Google utilizes its other Google products such as Google+, Gmail, and Google Docs, by providing special features with in Google Drive.  For example, videos and pictures in Google Drive will be made available in Google+.

Google offers a free account with 5GB of storage after that you will have to fork over $2.49/month for 25 GB, $4.99/month for 100GB, $49.99/month for 1TB.

Google has not yet made this service available to everyone.  You must first sign up and wait to receive an invitation.  I am anxiously awaiting my invitation as I believe this service has many uses for librarians.  One thing you want to consider before using this product in a professional setting is the terms of use of Google which can be found here: http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/policies/terms/regional.html  I was not able to find an individual privacy policy for Google Drive.  For a compairson of the terms of service between SkyDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox click here.

For more information and to sign up for Google Drive when it becomes available, click here: https://drive.google.com/start#home

Google Drive Android App (free): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.docs&hl=en

Librarian Toolkit: SlideShare

SlideShare (slideshare.net) is a great tool that allows you to share your presentations and to view other presentations. Their website boasts over 60 million visitors and being “amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world” (http://www.slideshare.net/about).  Obviously, this a fairly well known tool, however, if you haven’t heard about it than I will explain why you should be using it.

The great part about SlideShare is that you can use it for professional development.  If you want to learn more about a topic such as Library 2.0 or embedded librarians than SlideShare is a great tool.  Instead of waiting for a webinar or presentation at a conference, you can search SlideShare for a presentation on the information your looking for.  Often times the presentations on SlideShare are uploaded by library professionals or presenters of webinars and conferences.  SlideShare can also be used to see how others are presenting and can spark some creative ideas for your own presentations.

Slides are manually moved by the viewer and there is no audio so the viewer has to read the notes for the presentation in order to fully understand the presentation.  Despite this, SlideShare is still a great place to go to share your knowledge and learn from others.

Basic memberships with SlideShare are free and only allow for uploading and sharing presentations, however, it’s important to know a basic membership uploads all presentations as public.  There is also a silver, gold, and platinum membership which offers more bells and whistles such as removing ads, uploading videos, private uploads, creating a personal SlideShare page, a LinkedIn widget, and statistics of your SlideShares.

SlideShare supports a variety of formats.  Files that can be shared include PDFs, power point, open office, videos, and webinars.  Flash files such as those created from Prezi presentations cannot be uploaded to SlideShare, however, you could create a video of the presentation and then upload it.

Using SlideShare is easy.  You just go to their website and type in the subject you’re looking for and you instantly get your results. Uploading your own presentation is also very simple.  SlideShare has done a brilliant job ensuring that its website provides an intuitive browsing experience.

If you’re looking for ways to expand your knowledge on library topics than SlideShare is a tool that you should have in your toolkit, because it’s easy to use and quickly provides ideas on how to present on your own topics as well as being a great source for sharing your ideas and learning from others.

Examples of Library topics in SlideShare:

Library 2.0- http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=library2.0

Embedded Librarians- http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=%22embeded+librarians%22

Reference Interview- http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=%22reference+interview%22

Federal Depository Library System (FDLP)- http://www.slideshare.net/tag/fdlp

Librarian Toolkit: Google Alerts

This week we are highlighting Goolge Alerts.  I love Google Alerts because it allows me to stay current on professional development as well as allowing me to monitor my personal brand.  A personal brand is established through online presence on sites such as Facebook, twitter, linked-in, personal webpages, blogs, articles, and comments.  Managing your personal brand is absolutely essential for the working professional.  Whenever you apply for a job, establish partnerships, or network most likely those people will do a basic internet search on your name.

Do you know what is being said about you?  Creating a Google Alert on your name will  insure that anytime your name appears in the internet that you will receive an alert. Alerts come in the form of daily, weekly, or instant emails.  Not everything the Google Alert retrieves will be of value, but it will give you the latest news on your search terms.

Setting up a Google Alert is very simple. Just go to Google.com/alerts and fill out the form. You can limit results to news, blogs, or videos and you can also set the frequency of how often the alert will be sent to your email address. You can edit or cancel your Google Alerts at any time by logging into your google account.

You may want to considering setting up several Google Alerts.  For example, I have a Google Alert set up for my name, emerging trends in libraries, my employer, and other organisations of interest (for example the GPO).  You can also you Google Alerts to inform you of the latest trends which you can blog about or tweet about. The possibilities for searches are endless!

So what do you do when your Google Alert brings up a less than flattering picture or a comment on a forum that you did hastily?  Well you can contact the website owner to have pictures or content removed.  You can also sign into accounts you still have access to and remove unwanted content or change the privacy settings.

Google Alerts is an excellent tool for people who want to maintain their personal brand and embrace professional development.  As librarians, we are constantly networking and creating partnerships and by using Google Alerts it ensures that when people look for information, they don’t find anything negative.

Click here to see a YouTube video on how to setup a Google Alert.

Librarian Toolkit: Prezi

So you have a presentation to do and you really want to impress the crowd with something new and creative.  Microsoft PowerPoint has become the norm for presentations and is often expected.  However, if you would like to avoid death by power point, than you should consider using Prezi.  Prezi is presentation software developed in 2009 that allows for zooming in and out. It also allows you to rotate the presentation and to move from place to place on the background image.  There is no software or subscription to buy and presentations are cloud based which makes it easy to access content from any computer that has an internet connection.

I first saw Prezi used by a coworker who was presenting at the North Carolina Library Association’s biennial conference.  I was amazed by the fluidity and creativity of the program and have become a huge fan of Prezi.

A screen shot of my prezi background.

About a week ago, I got a chance to use Prezi for the first time during a presentation.  I did a presentation about Government Information in an Academic Environment (see it here: http://jaimehuaman.info/index.php?module=conferencesandpresentations).  Being new to Prezi I decided to modify a template.  I watched all the tutorials that are offered on Prezi’s website; however, I found the best way to learn the product is to actually make a Prezi. The controls are fairly easy to use, but it does take some time to learn how to use them properly.

There are some good features and bad features of Prezi.  For example, they offer a number of templates that you can modify and also numerous examples of other presentations.  All these templates and examples come from users who have a free account.  While Prezi is free to use it also requires you share all of your presentations with others.  The only way to stop this is to pay for a membership.  One great feature of Prezi is that you can take your old PowerPoint files and make them into a Prezi presentation.  So if you have a great presentation that you want to convert to Prezi it is really easy to do.  Another item to keep in mind is how you set up your presentation and the speed can make people motion sick.  So you really have to be conscience of how your presentation will affect the viewer, something you didn’t have to consider when using power point.

Overall Prezi presentations are creative and innovative.  If you really want to impress your audience then this may be one way to do it as Prezi is still relatively unknown.  Anyone who uses Prezi to present will surely have questions about how it works. The bad news is that your presentation will be on the internet for anyone to see unless you pay for a membership.  Also, Prezi can take a bit longer to learn as its navigation system is rather unique.   However, any investment in creating a Prezi will surely be returned by the enthusiasm of your audience after seeing your presentation.

Below you will find links of interest:

Prezi: http://prezi.com/index/

Library related Prezis: http://prezi.com/explore/search/?search=Library

Resume related Prezis: http://prezi.com/explore/search/?search=resume

YouTube video of how to create a Prezi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIyWCghj4ms

 

 

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