Libraries are changing, we all know that. My elementary school library is evolving and we are looking for ideas to transform the space. Many school libraries are going through similar changes and it’s great to see. At the ICE Conference in February, I attended a session that shared a complete renovation of a school library and it looks amazing. Here is the slide show shared during the presentation.
Recently, I participated in #tlchat, a Twitter chat for teacher-librarians and the topic was Rethinking Library Spaces and Learning Space Design. It was a great discussion and many people shared great ideas about what they have done or are looking to do in their libraries. If you missed out on the chat, here’s the transcript.
The discussion got me thinking. There should be a place where teacher-librarians can share images of their library spaces, especially updates and new designs. It should be simple for people to upload pictures and easy for people to view. It doesn’t appear that this type of virtual photo album exists so I decided to create one. I went through a few ideas, checking with others to see what would work best and finally decided on a shared Google Drive folder. I hope this folder can be an inspiration to others looking to make any changes, big or small, to their library space. We can never have enough good ideas so please share share share!
To view the images in the folder, go to http://tiny.cc/schoollibrarypics
To add your own images, go to http://tiny.cc/schoollibrarypics and click on “Add to Drive” in the upper right-hand corner. From that point, upload any images to the folder as you would any other Google folder.
If you’re a Google Chrome user, you’re well aware of the incredible benefits of extensions. These extensions are little programs that enhance the use of the Chrome browser. There are so many available from the Chrome Web Store that your head will spin, but choosing the ones that will make your life easier on a daily basis is a little more tricky. Below are 5 extensions that I use on a regular basis and I think you should too.
Google URL Shortener – I am often copying and pasting links to share with others. In many cases, the links I’m sharing are extremely long and while pasting a long link into an email might be fine with others, I prefer to share a link that doesn’t take up two lines of the message window. That’s where Google URL Shortener comes in. Click on the extension and it will automatically create a short URL. You can copy the link easily and if you need a QR code for the URL, the extension creates one as well. (Right)
Buffer – If you share URL’s via social media, Buffer is the extension for you. While there are other extensions that can share to various social media sites, I like Buffer because you can schedule what you share. I use it almost exclusively with Twitter and instead of sharing a bunch of articles in a short period of time, I schedule the tweets so they go out every couple of hours. You can also check the results of what you’ve shared.
Google Docs Quick Create – If you’re a Google Docs/Sheets/Forms/Slides user, this extension will help you create new Google Docs faster than anything else. Simply click on the extension and choose the type of Google Doc you want (right) and you’ll get be on your way. You no longer need to go to the Apps page or to docs.google.com. This extension makes creating a new Google Doc quick and easy.
TechSmith Snagit – I’m often taking screen shots and finding myself creating short screencasts. To handle these tasks, I head to the Snagit extension. You can take a screenshot of the entire screen or just a section of your choice. Use the annotation tools to add arrows or text and then download or get a link to the image. If you need to create a screencast, this is a great extension for that as well.
Tab Scissors – Do you often find yourself flipping back and forth between two tabs? Do you create two separate browser windows and resize them side by side? If so, Tab Scissors will handle this for you. When you click the extension, the tab you’re working in, and any tabs to the right will be in one window and the tabs to the left will be in another. You don’t have to do any resizing yourself, it will be done for you with this extension.