Aug
16

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Thing 21: Voice interaction and recording

Perhaps you’re already used to talking to your technology tools? Your library clients may prefer to use their own devices with text-to-speech and speech-to-text apps to take notes, search for information or as assistive technology. There are also many opportunities to create content for library collections and exhibitions by recording voice (eg. oral histories, local stories and literacy activities).

DISCOVER:

EXPLORE:

THINKING POINTS:

  • Could you use text to speech translation software to communicate with clients who speak other languages?
  • Could the computers in your library have software, headphones and microphones to allow clients to use text-to-speech and speech-to-text to browse? Is there a mobile alternative you could offer?
  • Would your library app be more accessible if people could ‘ask a librarian’ rather than trying to type / scroll on a tiny smartphone screen?
  • Could you use mobile devices to record and capture oral histories for your library collection?
  • If you’re designing an app for your library could you include voice recognition?
  • Do teachers in your community use speech-to-text apps in the classroom?
  • Do your clients like to ‘read’ by listening – can they choose a text-to-speech option on the ebooks in your collection? Audible allows a reader to switch “seamlessly between an e-book and a digital audio book”

Aug
6

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Thing 20: Mobile music

“The term Mobile Music generically defines digital content that can be directly sourced using a mobile device such as a smartphone (iPhone, etc.), Internet tablet, or other portable device capable of connecting to the Internet or a Wi-Fi network.” Source: About.com  The way music is distributed has been revolutionized. More and more people subscribe to streaming services where you pay for access to a big catalogue of music instead of buying an album or downloading a single. Music is one format that is frequently affected by geo-blocking so we hope these apps are available to you wherever in the world you are, if not please be creative and search out some that are.

Please beware that you may be asked for credit card details when you use some music apps. Where this is the case be sure to unsubscribe if you don’t want to pay to continue to use the service if a free trial period applies.

DISCOVER:

EXPLORE:

  • Soundwave is a new music start up that hopes to shake up music discovery on iPhone and Android
  • Music with a copyleft / public domain or Creative Commons license is available via this Android app
  • The Freegal Mobile Application is a free and legal way to access MP3 songs via subscribing libraries. If this service is offered at your local library there are mobile apps available for Android  and iOS devices
  • For more mobile music links to explore please check out the Pinterest board 
  • A 23 mobile things playlist from Jan

THINKING POINTS:

  • Has streaming changed the way you listen to music and how you discover new music – or if you are new to streaming – do you think it will?
  • Does your library offer a music download or streaming service for clients? How do you promote it?
  • Could you use Soundcloud to promote a local “Loud in the Library” or “Battle of the Bands” event featuring original music?
  • Producing digital music is one of the popular programs offered to teens at Chicago’s YOUmedia  library, have you considered music themed programming for your library?

Aug
2

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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?

DISCOVER:

  • 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.

EXPLORE:

  • 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.

THINKING POINTS:

  • 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.

Credits

Jan Holmquist | Mylee Joseph | Kathryn Barwick 2013