Thing 19: File sharing and Dropbox

File sharing  may bring to mind some illegal activities, but our focus is on using these types of tools legitimately delivering library services and optimising the usefulness of mobile devices.   Now that mobile devices allow you to work almost anywhere, how do you access the files you need? Will all the features of your favourite web app also be available in the mobile app version?


  • Dropbox is a filehosting service that provides cloud storage, file synchronization while also being very mobile friendly, with apps to suit iOS, Android, Kindle fire, iPad and Blackberry    Here is a module from a Learning 2.0 course that gives a great overview of how it works.   Dropbox even has apps that allow you drop specific things into it.
  • Skydrive is the Microsoft cloud storage service and a range of mobile apps are available for Android, Windows Phone and iOS  here is a free online tutorial to get you started
  • Google Drive  is a personal cloud storage service from Google that works with a suite of web apps and has mobile apps available for iOS and Android.See this free online tutorial about how Google Drive works.  If you haven’t already used a Google doc please try contributing to this one  by adding your top 3 blogs for keeping up to date with trends affecting the Library industry.


  • Google forms is one feature that works with Google Drive to create a form or survey and keep track of the answers in one spreadsheet.  Here is a tutorial to get you started  and a great summary overview.
  • Hojoki offers a single access point for a range of file sharing and cloud storage apps including Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, Skydrive, Box and Cloudapp   it has mobile apps available for Android  and iOS.
  • Find more links on our Pinterest board.


  • Could you use Dropbox to share your slides or presentation after a conference?
  • How would you answer a library client who is concerned that file sharing is illegal?
  • Could Google forms be used to gather library client feedback?
  • Can you collaborate on projects with library clients and colleagues by sharing files?
  • Could you use a Google doc to collaborate with colleagues in other institutions to develop a program or plan an event?
  • Are you interested in working on projects with colleagues in other countries? It’s useful to know that the Google Drive web app suite supports 65 languages.

7 Comments on “Thing 19: File sharing and Dropbox

  1. We use Google Drive extensively at work to facilitate event/activities updates and bookings. It has made life much easier because staff at any one of our eight branches can make a booking for an activity and take payment. It also works with our online booking system so that customers can book activities from home. It’s also a useful tool for sharing event ideas and collaboration. There are some things I don’t like about it but overall it’s very useful.

    Dropbox is great! Finally a way to share pictures for blog posts, Facebook etc without having to worry about Council blocking it and then having to wait for it to be released.

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Jan Holmquist | Mylee Joseph | Kathryn Barwick 2013