As is in the case in most libraries, my library offers a wealth of classes focusing on technology to help our patrons. We offer classes on many topics: mouse skills, Microsoft Office, Facebook, Twitter, database resources, and a variety of other topics that our patrons suggest to us. One of the most recent suggestions was for a class about mobile apps- what they are, how to find them, and what apps to start with. Since I have some experience in mobile apps- both in researching and designing them- I was asked to lead the class for the library. I found it to be a fun and informative session, both for my patrons and myself.
I opened the class with a definition of a mobile app. According to PC World, a mobile app is: “a software application that runs in a smartphone, tablet or other portable device. ”
Following the explanation of what an app actually was, I then explained the many places apps could be found and purchased from (Google Play, Amazon App Store, Apple App Store), as well as suggestions of where to go for reviews and recommendations (Make Use Of, Mashable, friends and family).
The rest of the program centered on exploring apps- basic apps to start with. I broke this section down into ten categories, chosen to explore the range of topics that mobile apps can cover. They were: Books and Online Reading, Entertainment, Food and Healthy Lifestyle, News, Productivity, Shopping, Social Marketing and Communication, Travel, Useful Tools, and Miscellaneous. Each section featured at least five different apps to choose from. I gave a brief summary of each app mentioned, and had every app that was talked about loaded onto two tablets that were passed around the class during and after the program.
When the main program was finished, I opened the floor up to questions and app suggestions. Patrons were eager to share what their favorite apps were, and seek advice about app suggestions. It was a lively and entertaining discussion- I personally left with three new apps to try (my favorite being Out of Milk).
Curious to know what apps I recommended? Here’s a sampling of some of the apps covered (all are available for both Android and Apple):
Books and Online Reading
Food and Healthy Lifestyle
Social Marketing and Communication
Do you have a favorite app? Let us know in the comments below!