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Mary on Google in the library (some very practical stuff)

I am just back from PSLA, our state conference, and want to share my friend, Mary Schwander’s super-practical presentations, Google in the Library.  In her interactive sessions, Mary offered step-by-step guidance in Creating a Library Schedule using Google Spreadsheets and on Using Google Forms in the Library.  (BTW, back in December 2009, Mary and I spent a wonderful day and a half in DC at the Google Teacher Academy.)

Mary’s sessions yesterday grew out of informational presentations she delivered at last year’s state conference, when she discovered that people wanted and needed to have hands-on, “show me how to do it” time.  I suspect that is true outside of Pennsylvania too.
When I asked Mary about sharing yesterday’s mostly administrative stuff, she urged me to remind readers that though she focused on those practical tools yesterday,

it is important to stress the other Google Apps which can be used for finding information, synthesizing, collaborating, and making real-life connections. Although we didn’t look at them all today, they are represented on our Google in the Library website.

As 21st century librarians it is imperative that we help guide our students and staff through the world of mass digital information and nurture them into transliterate learners and contributors. When I attended the Google Teacher Academy two years ago, I walked away with a world of ideas on how librarians can use various Google Apps for helping to promote our services and how our students can use them in their life-time learning. Whether it be Google Books and Google Scholar for research, Google Docs and Google Sites for collaboration, or the use of Google Spreadsheets and Google Forms to convey and collect information,  there are many Google applications which have immense potential in our libraries and in student learning.

Thanks for sharing these helpful links, Mary!

  1. Creating a Library Schedule
  2. Google Forms
    1. How can we use Google Forms in the library – post here!
    2. Creating a Book Request Form
    3. Creating a Book Checklist
    4. A Google Presentation Project Example

It was wonderful (and green) that the handouts from this year’s PSLA were so broadly and generously shared. I look forward to digging in this week.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. We’ve been experimenting with different Google tools in our program for the past few years.

    Blogger for our main website/blog
    YouTube to create playlists or to post original videos (available for teachers, but not students)
    Google Forms for scheduling, book suggestions, and event signups
    Google Custom Search Engine as a site search for all of our different sites in one place (blogger, wikispaces, etc.).
    We have also played with the idea of using Custom Search Engine as a staff contributed academic search engine for our district.
    Googe Sites as a way to create a library staff intranet/online manual
    Google Presentations for Booktalks/embedding YouTube trailers in slides

    God forbid Google ever start closing more of its services.

    Thanks for the post. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say and to read about what others are doing.

  2. Cathi Franchino says:

    This is such a useful post for me, Joyce. I plan to use both the calendar and the forms this week! Thanks.

  3. Thanks, Cathi. Mary’s work is so useful and she is so generous with it. Eric, thanks for your great suggestions. I feel the same way about our growing reliance on Google, but the stuff works for most everything we do. Love the Custom Search too.

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