Great Google Apps for Librarians

I have become a fan of Google apps, and could easily spend days exploring the Chrome Web Store. Here are my latest finds that I think are especially handy for librarians:

  • Library Extension. Search Amazon.com for a book, and you can find out if a specific library has it. Right now the pickings are primarily public library systems (and not all of them). But, you can send in a request  from their web site, and they should be able to add your library within a few days. It gives Amazon and libraries a whole new symbiotic relationship. Great for patrons and useful for librarians doing collection development.
  • App Maker. App Maker lets you easily turn any web site into a Chrome App. If your library utilizes Chromebooks (in my opinion, a very smart choice), then you can create apps for your library web site, catalog, databases and more. A simple solution to simplify access to library sources.
  • Stupeflix. When it comes to digital creation tools for education, simple is best (I’m sure you agree). Stupeflix is a simple tool for digital storytelling. This one does have a price tag though, with teacher plans starting at $30 a year for 20 students. Schools can also purchase plans very reasonably.
  • Readability. I am so glad someone came up with this one. Readability is an extension that ‘cleans up’ a web article by removing those pesky ads and other noise that distract from the content of the article. You can read it now or read it later (it’s sent to your e-mail, Facebook or Kindle).
  • DuckDuckGo. Edward Snowden has made a lot more people paranoid about their privacy (though it surprises me how many people were surprised by the NSA leak). If you have patrons worried about anonymity, show them DuckDuckGo. It’s a pretty good search engine. Available as both app and Chrome extension.

What’s your favorite Google app? Please share!

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3 thoughts on “Great Google Apps for Librarians

  1. Have you checked out https://startpage.com yet? It doesn’t record the search terms or keep IP addresses. They’ll be offering an encrypted email service soon, too. I wish my library wasn’t so Google-fied! 🙂

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