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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Cover image for Apps for Librarians

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

Table of Contents


  • 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 Dictionary Wikipedia Client Private Search Engine Specialized Search Engine Unit Conversions Mapping 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 Scanning 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 Drawing 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 Kiosks Mobile Library Catalog Augmented Reality Location-Based Check-Ins Crowdfunding 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 Conferences 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 Books Blogs and Websites Articles
  • 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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