Linworth Libraries Unlimited

Apps for Librarians

Using the Best Mobile Technology to Educate, Create, and Engage

by Nicole Hennig


This is the ultimate guide for librarians looking to improve their services and their performance with mobile technology.

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September 2014

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 197
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Information Systems and Technology/User Experience
  Adult Services and Programs/General

How can your library—and your patrons—benefit from mobile apps? This guidebook offers a solid foundation in "app-literacy," supplying librarians with the knowledge to review and recommend apps, offer workshops, and become the app expert for their communities.

Smartphones and other mobile devices that support downloadable applications—universally referred to as "apps"—can be used to foster productivity, conduct research, or read and study. Additionally, savvy librarians can better serve their communities by gaining expertise in mobile technologies and being qualified to make app recommendations to patrons. This book introduces you to the apps that can help you save time and increase your own productivity as well as serve as a curator and reviewer of apps and resident expert to benefit your patrons.

Apps for Librarians: Using the Best Mobile Technology to Educate, Create, and Engage will save you from wading through and learning about the millions of apps available today and direct you to the very best apps in areas important to education, the workplace, and professional development. Organized by function—reading, writing, reference, multi-media, and productivity—apps are profiled with the following information: title, developer, price, platforms, general description, examples of use, and key features that make it worthwhile for learning and creative work.


  • Describes the most important, high-quality mobile apps in specific topic areas of interest to librarians
  • Provides examples of how these apps are useful for education, creativity, and productivity for all types of users, including those with special needs
  • Supplies a detailed checklist of what information to include when reviewing apps
  • Includes an extensive resource guide to books, blogs, websites, courses, and other sources for keeping up with mobile apps
  • Provides notes on app functionality, features, price, and developer as well as any pertinent limitations
Author Info

Nicole Hennig is an independent user experience professional who helps librarians and educators effectively use mobile technologies. She offers a variety of instructional resources that bring people from novice to expert and helps spark ideas for creative uses of mobile technologies. She worked for the MIT Libraries for 14 years as head of user experience (2010–2012) and web manager (1999–2010). Hennig is coauthor of Best Apps for Academics ( and teaches two online courses: Apps for Librarians and Educators, and The Book as iPad App. Her website is

Topic Centers


  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Mobile Is Here To Stay
    Statistics on Mobile App Use
    Natural User Interfaces
    Mobile Devices Are Enabling Better Learning Experiences
    Mobile Apps Are Improving Life for Those with Special Needs
    The Digital Divide
    New Roles for Libraries and Librarians
    Chapter 2: Apps for Reading
    Reading eBooks
    Downloading and Reading Free eBooks
    Reading Library eBooks
    Access to Braille and Talking Books for the Blind
    Reading and Annotating Documents
    Saving Web Pages for Reading Offline
    Reading News via RSS
    Reading News with Smart Recommendations
    Reading Magazines
    Reading Magazines and Newspapers
    Finding Book Reviews
    Sharing Your Reading
    Interactive Multitouch Book Apps
    Chapter 3: Apps for Productivity
    Managing Files in the Cloud
    Managing Passwords Securely
    Creating To-Do Lists
    Managing Calendars
    Accessing Your Desktop Remotely
    Printing Wirelessly from iOS Devices
    Accessories: Keyboards, Stands, Styluses
    Chapter 4: Apps for Research and Reference
    Wikipedia Client
    Private Search Engine
    Specialized Search Engine
    Unit Conversions
    Mapping in 3D
    Language Dictionaries
    Language Learning
    News Publications
    Movie Listings
    Movie Ratings and Metadata
    Specialized Reference
    App Reviews
    Subscription Databases
    Chapter 5: Apps for Taking Notes and Writing
    Taking and Organizing Notes
    Handwriting and Drawing
    Voice and Lecture Recording
    Speech Recognition
    Editing Microsoft Office Documents
    Designing Posters, Newsletters, Reports, and More
    Managing Citations and Bibliographies
    Mind Mapping
    More Apps for Taking Notes and Writing
    Chapter 6: Apps for Multimedia
    Viewing and Studying Art
    Virtual Museum Visits
    Creating Art
    Creating Comic Books
    Making Photo Collages
    Specialized Camera Tool
    Editing Photos
    Identifying Music
    Listening to Radio Stations Worldwide
    Listening to Streaming Music
    Creating and Composing Music
    Creating Beautiful, Musical Sounds
    Playing Virtual Instruments
    Playing Music with Others
    Watching Videos
    Streaming Videos from Your Computer to Your Mobile Device
    Listening to Educational Lectures
    Listening to Audio and Video Podcasts
    Editing Movies
    Chapter 7: Apps for Social Media
    Twitter and Other Social Media Updates
    Scheduling Your Social Media Updates
    Managing Facebook Pages on the Go
    Editing Your Blog
    Sharing Photos with Filters
    Sharing and Organizing Your Photos
    Chapter 8: Apps for Communication
    Audio and Video Calls over the Internet
    One-on-One or Group Video Chats
    Instant Messaging
    Free Cross-Platform Text Messaging
    Chapter 9: Apps for Content Creation and Curation
    Creating Presentations
    Presenting PowerPoint Slides
    Creating Simple, Beautiful Presentations
    Creating Interactive Books Very Easily
    Creating Interactive Books for Apple’s iBookstore
    Screencasting and Interactive Whiteboard
    Creating Designs for 3D Printing
    Curating Web Content
    Wirelessly Show the Display of iOS Devices on a Large Screen
    Mirror Your iOS Devices on Your Mac or Windows PC
    Chapter 10: Apps for Showcasing Special Collections
    Showcasing Special Collections
    Viewing Rare Manuscripts
    Photo Exhibit with Walking Tour
    Showcasing Exhibits
    Chapter 11: Apps for Beyond the Library Catalog
    Barcode Scanning
    Mobile Library Catalog
    Augmented Reality
    Location-Based Check-Ins
    Chapter 12: Apps for Professional Development
    Resume Creation
    Creating Your Personal Social Site and Making Connections with Colleagues
    Searching for Jobs
    Job Searching and Networking
    Scanning and Saving Business Cards
    Attending Webinars
    Chapter 13: Element of App-Literacy
    Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines
    Mobile Device Capabilities
    Jailbreaking: What Librarians Should Know
    Apple’s Accessibility Features for Mobile Devices
    Reviewing Apps: A Checklist
    Chapter 14: Further Resources
    Ideas for Using Mobile Apps in Your Library
    How to Keep Up
    Blogs and Websites
  • Glossary
    Index of Apps



    "A reference shelf treasure, Hennig’s highly adaptable work suits the needs of school and public libraries, home schoolers, and college and university education departments."—VOYA

    "An essential reference tool for any librarian looking to stay relevant."—Library Journal

    "In a growing world of mobile technology, Nicole Henning’s Apps for Librarians is a timely reference book for those in the library field. . . . Librarians who have not had any experience purchasing and/or downloading apps outside of a phone or tablet’s factory setting will greatly benefit from this book. More technologically-experienced librarians could also
    benefit from this book, especially the Audience and Example sections. . . . Henning uses her expertise to guide readers in
    the right direction and maintains accessible language throughout each section. . . . Overall, this book is highly recommended for librarians who have not yet incorporated mobile apps into their work, and would like a strong foundation in doing so."—Technical Services Quarterly

    "I would recommend this book for purchase because it focuses on particular categories of apps that librarians should be comfortable using and recommending, presents a helpful rubric for evaluating apps, and serves as a good source of ideas for library programming opportunities that incorporate apps for mobile devices."—Theological Librarianship

    "Librarians from all types of libraries who desire to learn more about how to use apps successfully will enjoy this book. Apps for Librarians successfully navigates the often complicated and overwhelming world of apps for the app beginner, and the more experienced user will appreciate the insights and recommendations." —Serials Review

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