digital library

5 apps to innovate school libraries

Convenient and creative apps to virtualize your school library program.

Apps can bring technology, functionality, and creativity into your school library program. Since apps are a part of our everyday lives, especially those of students, they have the power to completely change the way students and teachers think about learning—especially in the library.

In “Virtual Library Program Development,” Michelle Luhtala, library department chair, New Canaan High School, CT, reviewed an A to Z list of 50 apps to virtualize your school library program.

1. For libraries looking to take control of their social media strategies, Luhtala recommends using Buffer.

Buffer is a way to merge different social media accounts for easier and faster posting. Luhtala uses Buffer to link many different social media accounts including the school’s Twitter and Facebook, and the library’s Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus.

The app can be used to type one message that will post to all accounts, or to select the accounts you want to post to. Luhtala said “this has been a game changer” in helping her get back into using social media for New Canaan High School after being somewhat inactive.

2. If your library is undertaking a project, then Google Forms, Sheets, or other G Suite tools may be useful.

As New Canaan High School phases out the use of automatic bibliography generators, they are using G Suite tools to offer students assistance as they learn to generate their own bibliographies.

Feedback Form.

First, students submit their bibliographies via a Google Form. Once a librarian reviews it, they use a Google Sheet populated with formulas to offer comments.

3. They are also using the app, QR Generator, to input QR Codes into a works cited page.

These link to breakdowns of each citation, which provide further explanations for students if they need it.

(Next page: Library apps 4-5)

Meris Stansbury

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