All posts by 23mobilethings PH & SG

Thing 23 : Digital Storytelling

We are pleased to have Hedren Sum (SG) from NTU Libraries and Darrel Manuel Marco (PH) from Xavier School Nuvali to share their insights with us on Digital Storytelling. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, Activities and Thinking Points) to get to the end of the lesson.

Storytelling is nothing new. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years, with the earliest form found at the Lascaux cave paintings created more than 17,000 years ago.

Storytelling never went away, but rather there was a change in medium. According to Weich J. (2013), we are not experiencing something new. We are merely experiencing a “storytelling renaissance” fuelled by the developments in social media and mobile, given that most of us are in touch every hour of the day.

This phenomenon leads to the growth of digital storytelling, which is basically the use of new media tools and platforms to tell stories.


Regardless of what platforms you use or how many new ones are coming up, stories essentially still come from us and storytelling is a thing that truly connects.


Today, there are so many storytelling platforms or applications out there. Below are a few of them:

mzlqojotdww Animoto
Web | iOS | Android
Slidestory SlideStory
Web | iOS
Web | iOS
Web | iOS | Android

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in telling stories from data by creating infographics. Below are some platforms/applications that allow you to create and share infographics easily:
venngage Venngage


  • Think about your last holiday trip or the experience you have had for this 23 Mobile Things initiative. Share it with us through this blog. You may use the tools or applications, such as video apps, photo apps, Slideshare, Prezi, etc., that you have learned from the previous Things to create your content.

Thinking Points

  • What are the existing or potential roles of your library in helping communities keep their own stories?

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 23
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 23

Follow 23mobile things’s board Digital storytelling on Pinterest.

Thing 23′s Guest Bloggers:

Hedren Hedren Sum is an Assistant Librarian (New Media Group) and Art Librarian (Design) at the Nanyang Technological University. He has more than 7 years experience on designing promotional materials. As part of this job, Hedren is constantly exploring and leveraging on different media to engage library users for teaching and learning. Follow him on Facebook, Slideshare and Linkedin, where he frequently shares interesting news and tips on design.

Darrel Darrel Marco works as a school librarian in Xavier School Nuvali. His passion is to spread the love for reading and literacy throughout the country. He has done different outreach activities, stoytelling mostly, to different rural areas in the Philippines.

Thing 22 – eResources Vendor Apps

We are pleased to have Mr Joseph M. Yap (PH) from De La Salle University Libraries to share his insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, and Activities) to get to the end of the lesson. This module will focus on available e-resources vendor apps on your libraries.


Getting started
  1. Know your mobile device.
  2. Can apps be downloaded on your mobile device? If this is your first time, make sure that your device can connect to App/iTunes store (Apple device) or to Google Play (Android device).
  3. Ask your reference librarian on the available e-resources apps available for download and on how they can be activated for first time users. I suggest you also do the following:
    • Check your list of subscribed e-resources available for your institution. Do this by browsing your library homepage and check your list of e-databases / e-books.
    • Check if it has an available mobile app for bonafide library users. You might now be granted access if you are not currently enrolled or if you are an outsider from the institution which grants access.
  4. If there is an available one, download now. There are certain procedures in activating your e-resources vendor app. Make sure to read all the requirements and instructions before opening and using your downloaded app.
What is the difference between Native apps and web apps?

When we talk about ‘apps’, we are generally talking about ‘native apps’. These are software or applications that are installed on a mobile device. You might also have heard the phrase ‘web app’. Web apps aren’t really apps at all, rather, they are mobile optimised websites that are accessible via an app-like icon on your device’s desktop. When you launch these web apps, you are pushed off into the web browser on your device but generally these web apps still look and function a lot like native apps. The beauty of web apps is they are generally coded in HTML5 and that means they can be used across platforms, regardless of operating system.

Here’s an example: The Kindle app is a native app that you install on your device. The iPad Kindle Store app is a web app. To try out the Kindle Store app, navigate to on your iPad. You should be prompted to save an icon for the web app to your device.

If you don’t have an iPad and would like to have a look at a web app, just try a quick Google search for web app examples.

You might like to read more about the different kinds of apps and their benefits and drawbacks.

Types of vendor apps

I’d like to make a distinction between two types of vendor apps. The first of these are apps for databases and other online information products. This post is focused on these database and online product apps.

The second are catalogue apps, which allow customers to search library catalogues. There are a number of different proprietary apps that libraries can use to provide customers with an app based version of their catalogue, including Boopsie and BookMyne, among others.

Disclaimer: I am not selling or endorsing these apps. I am giving two examples below, one for EBSCO, a popular research database containing full-text e-journals and, one for e-books which is Ebrary, an online database of full text scholarly books.


The following things can be done if your institution is subscribed to them; otherwise, you may explore other free mobile apps that your library offers.

Free mobile app to try:  OECD Data App
  1. Search for OECD Data Factbook on your iTunes store or in your Google Play store.
  2. Download it and you are ready to use it.
  3. The OECD Factbook App presents 100 economic indicators in a comprehensive statistical picture of the world’s major economies.

Again, check your library first if you are subscribed to the following:

  1. Register with ebrary.
  2. After registration, go to My Settings (make sure you do this while you are in your library’s premises so that it will be easier to connect with IP-based authentication).
  3. Get a passcode for your mobile device.
  4. Click the mobile setup.
  5. Enter your email twice and check any email message sent to your account. The webpage would say: “ebrary has sent you an email. Please follow the instructions to set a passcode for your mobile account.”
  6. Sample email for passcode pairing on your mobile ebrary account.
  7. After setting the passcode, you are now ready to use your account. Facebook users can also link their account to the ebrary.
  1. If your library has an EBSCO Discovery Service link from your library web page, click the link and register yourself by putting your email address at the space provided and click send.  If you are having a hard time doing this, consult your librarian on how to pre-register.  EBSCOHost App is very easy to authenticate.
  2. Open your email and follow the instructions.
  3. Here is a sample email with detailed instructions:Dear EBSCOhost user,

    To begin using the EBSCOhost iPhone and Android applications, follow the instructions below.

    Step 1:
    Download the app from the iTunes Store or Google Play

    Download the app from iTunes:

    Google Play:

    Step 2:
    View this email on your device, then tap this authentication key

    (Note: You must access the link in Step 2 from your device. The activation link will expire in 24 hours.)


    Congratulations in advance! I hope you have successfully downloaded and has properly synced all the apps in your mobile device.

Thinking Points

  • Have you used an eresource vendor app lately? What was your experience like? If you haven’t used one lately, download one and give it a go. Think about your experience using the app and reflect on the quality of that experience.
  • Does your library have a mobile friendly version of its website and/or catalogue (either via a website, an app or a web app)?
  • Does your library provide integrated, seamless access to online resources for mobile users?
  • How might libraries deal with issues around integration while still promoting vendor apps?

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 22
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 22

Follow Mylee Joseph’s board Vendor apps on Pinterest.

Joseph Yap Joseph M. Yap serves as an Information-Reference Services Librarian at the De La Salle University Libraries. He also serves in various library organizations in the Philippines, particularly the Association of Special Libraries of the Philippines and the Medical and Health Librarians Association of the Philippines. Joseph describes himself as “just a simple librarian”, but his colleagues would definitely argue otherwise. Follow him on Twitter at @josephyap.

Thing 21 : Voice Interaction and Recording

We are pleased to have Ms Engracia “Dhea” Santos (PH) from Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University to share her insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, Activities and Thinking Points) to get to the end of the lesson.

For this week’s thing, we are going to use another salient feature of our mobile devices: using our voice to interact with our device. While this may be a considered an “old concept”, the feature has been steadily improving over the years and therefore becoming more and more popular. After all, people could talk faster than moving fingers on the keypad, and this is where the excitement begins…

Recording and sharing sound is another feature of smart phones that is getting more attention these days. Different platforms are coming out for the musical arena where users can create audio files and share these to their friends and community.

Remember, an audio-based interaction between a mobile phone and a human is an important area of Human-Computer Interface System. The audio messages may be more trustworthy, helpful, and unique than print messages. Some recent developments include emotions in audio signal such as a sigh, laugh, cry, among others.


Voice interaction functionality is a common feature in the latest smart phone releases.

Have you tried to verbally ask your phone to do something…? Have you tried verbally requesting your phone to make appointments with your professors? Or asking your phone to remind you of your date with your friend? Requesting your phone to capture your picture? How about searching your library catalogs using voice commands?

The most common applications are the following:

These type of applications use simple and common language. And what’s even more exciting is that it may reply to you in a very personal manner.

For Audio Recording you may try the following:

Recently, Google Chrome-browser launched voice controlled search. In the future, your browser may even begin to talk back.


Have you tried using any of the voice interface applications installed in your system? What I’m using is the S Voice installed in my phone. To show us how the different applications work, you may watch the following video:

How about saving or creating an audio file and share it to your friends? The link below is an actual use of AudioBoo for their library project


Voice interface Interaction
  1. Download and Install any of the free applications in your smartphone
  2. Using your phone, set an appointment
  3. Then ask for directions
  4. Finally, set a reminder
  5. Share your experience on #23mthingsPhSg!
  1. Go to the Soundcloud Website (
  2. From the menu choose explore
  3. Then click on Audiobooks
  4. Choose a book you want to listen to
  5. Share your experience on #23mthingsPhSg!


Thinking Points

  1. Would you consider using voice interaction and recording applications to give directions to your library clients? (e.g., Where is the Reference Section?)
  2. How about communicating with clients in non-traditional way? Giving clients options for listening to audio instructions rather than visual / written. Making your library materials accessible in various formats
  3. Do you have visually impaired library users who will benefit with audio instructions?
  4. How about using audio recording to promote your library? Sharing audio files freely using SoundCloud or AudioBoo?

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 21
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 21

Follow 23mobile things’s board Voice recording and interaction on Pinterest.

Engracia Engracia “Dhea” Santos is a Librarian at the American Historical Collection, Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University. She is a graduate of Computer Engineering from Polytechnic University of the Philippines and completed her Masters in Library and Information Science from the School of Library and Information Studies from the University of Philippines. She is keen on maximizing the use of technology for the advancement of library and its clients.

Thing 20 : Music

We are pleased to have Mr Brian Aljer B. Coballes (PH) from Ateneo de Manila High School to share his insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, Activities and Thinking Points) to get to the end of the lesson.

Mobile Music Apps : Music on the Go!

I know everyone of us, in more than one point in our lives, have experienced one of these: While doing your exercise routine, you clip your iPod and listen to the latest dance song to energize you. When you are resting, you appreciate the soothing effect of classical music from your phone. You even feel the sadness of the rain while playing your childhood love song on your tablet. In whatever you do, you hear the sound, the rhythm, the music.

Music, therefore, has become our way of life.


  1. Double Twist – is a delicious Android music player, podcast manager and iTunes sync app. The app is free to download with in-app purchases to unlock its full capabilities.Music1


    1. Up Next – take a peek and rearrange upcoming songs and add songs, albums, or playlists.
    2. User friendly design – swipe through album covers to advance tracks, navigate album, and even adjust the settings.
    3. Rule the air – sync music, including ratings, playcounts and playlists, videos, and photos between your Mac/PC and android devices (installer is downloaded separately on Mac/PC).
    4. Wake up with your music – gently awaken to your favorite medley or violently rouse yourself from deep slumber with death metal (app is downloaded separately).

    Source :

  2. Google Play Music – is a clean music app that makes it easy to discover, play, and share music. However, access to Google Play Music is not available to all countries.Music2


    1. Cloud Library – while it doesn’t have the deep customization or power features like other music apps, Google Play Music’s value comes from its huge cloud library. After all, what’s the use of powerful music app without music to listen to?
    2. Get smart recommendations based on your tastes.

    Source :

  3. Shuttle Music Player – is simple, lightweight, and powerfulMusic3


    1. User-friendly features such as built-in equalizer, lyrics, sleep timer, gapless playback, and artwork downloading.
    2. Provide options to automatically pause playback on headset disconnect, resume on connect, and activate gapless playback.

    Source :

  4. Poweramp – an app for serious music fanatics that allows high level customization. Unfortunately, this app is available for trial only.Music4


    1. All-in-one main screen – enjoy a main screen that has a large album art and touches and gestures sensitive. The app will search and download for missing album art automatically so you don’t have to worry of annoying generic mime types.
    2. Powerful equalizer – gets into hype with 10 band graphical equalizer, preamp control, and tone controls. 16 pre-sets are already included so put your mind at ease and enjoy your favourite music.
    3. Widgets and lock screen – love the Poweramp 4×2, 2×2, 4×2, and 4×4 configurable widgets.

    Source :

  5. Spotify is a music streaming service. It is available for desktop and also mobile (see Android app and the iOS app). Listen to 23 mobile things playlist from Jan
  6. is a music discovery service, they have apps for Android and the Scrobbler app for iOS.
  7. SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that enables users to upload, record, promote and share their original recordings. Apps are available for for Android and iOS devices.
  8. Rdio is an on-demand digital music service with a range of apps available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows phone.


  1. Double twist player

    • • A great way to share music – an exciting update has been released to double Twist Player that gives you the ability to share music on Facebook or Twitter. When your followers/friends click on your Facebook or Twitter link, they will be welcomed by the artist’s bio, concert dates, news and music video.
    • • Double Twist sync for Windows – using Windows app, songs can be synced to your mobile devices.


    • Terms of use of the app can be found at
  2. Soundwave is a new music start up that hopes to shake up music discovery on iPhone and Android
  3. Music with a copyleft / public domain or Creative Commons license is available via this Android app
  4. The Freegal Mobile Application is a free and legal way to access MP3 songs via subscribing libraries. If this service is offered at your local library there are mobile apps available for Android and iOS devices


Try double Twist

  1. Install the double Twist app from Google Play (Android only) or Spotify (Android and iOS).
  2. Upload songs on your device for double Twist, or make a playlist using Spotify.
  3. Share your work with our friends/followers in 23MobileThings on Facebook or Twitter. Remember to use the #23mthingsPhSg

Thinking Points

  • Despite the popularity of music apps, how else can we incorporate these in the services/projects of the library?
  • Has streaming changed the way you listen to music and how you discover new music – or if you are new to streaming – do you think it will?
  • Does your library offer a music download or streaming service for clients? How do you promote it?
  • Could you use Soundcloud to promote a local “Loud in the Library” or “Battle of the Bands” event featuring original music?
  • Producing digital music is one of the popular programs offered to teens at Chicago’s YOUmedia  library, have you considered music themed programming for your library?

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 20
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 20

Follow 23mobile things’s board Music goes mobile on Pinterest.

Author_Name Brian Aljer Coballes is a Librarian at Ateneo de Manila High School. He is very active in the University of the Philippines Library Science Alumni Association, where he has been serving as an officer and board member for the past several years. His speaking engagements involve digital media and, digital repositories, and open-source software. He is also a lecturer on Adobe software in the Ateneo High School.

Thing 19 : File Sharing

We are pleased to have Mr Somasundram Vellayan (SG) from Nanyang Technological University Libraries to share their insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, Activity and Thinking Points) to get to the end of the lesson.

I’m sure some of us would remember the days where we used to save our files on those thin floppy disks to share our files with our classmates. During my school days, I would be carrying around a rather bulky zip disk since that was the only large storage medium back then. Come to think of it, those things now seem vintage!

Image credits:

I still use thumb drives sometimes but I sometimes tend to lose it (because it’s so small!). Nowadays, I am thankful for being able to save my files online without having to carry or worry about such storage devices. And I’m even more thankful that I could save and access those files via mobile!


  • Dropbox is a popular cloud storage tool for storing and accessing files. It can be accessed via its website or through apps for various mobile devices. It can also be installed on your computer so that you can “drop” files into its folder. When you “drop” a file into its folder, the file is automatically synced and is accessible in all your devices that is logged in to your Dropbox account. You can access your files from more than one place!

    Image credits:

  • Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service provided by Google. To create and edit files in Google Drive, you will need the Google Docs app (available on iTunes & Android).Give it a try by editing this Google Doc, by sharing the links of 3 blogs or websites about archives, museums or libraries that you follow.
  • Evernote, previously discussed in Thing 17, can also be used for sharing files across devices and with other people.


Dropbox can also be used for:

  • automatically uploading photos in your mobile phone to with its Dropbox’s Camera Upload function is another feature that I frequently use. Make sure it only uploads when there’s Wi-Fi!
  • share files with others either by placing the file in the “Public” folder and share the public link, or by inviting others to the shared folder.

Besides storing and sharing files on Google Drive, you can allow multiple users to view and edit files concurrently via PC or mobile, making it a great tool for collaborative work. These mobiles apps can be accessed here.

Sometimes I will need to send graphic files of library posters to printers, which are too large to be sent over email. I use large file sharing sites such as HighTail or WeTransfer where we upload the large files and a link is sent to the printer who will then download the file at their end.


Let’s all try out Dropbox!

    1. Install the free Dropbox app and download the desktop application in your PC
    2. Sign up for a free Dropbox account
    3. Log in to your Dropbox account on both your mobile and desktop applications
    4. In the mobile app, ensure that the “Camera Upload” is enabled.
      [Optional] You might want to disable “Use Cellular Data” if you do not wish to upload photos using your data plan.
    5. Using your mobile camera, take a picture (of yourself, your favourite toy, anything! :D)
    6. Once you have taken the photo, ensure that photo has been uploaded into the “Camera Upload” folder
    7. Now on your desktop, transfer that photo from the “Camera Uploads” folder to the “Public” folder. Right click on the photo in the “Public” folder and click “Copy public link”
    8. Tweet that link with #23mthingsPhSg!


Thinking Points 

  1. Would you use Google Drive/Google Docs to work on a file or even to write an article?
  2. How would you use Dropbox’s Public folder feature to share files with your users or colleagues?
  3. How would you use Google Docs to collaborate with colleagues in other libraries to plan an event or program?
  4. Do you feel that it is sufficient to save files on such file sharing apps or would you still prefer to save them on offline devices such as thumb drives or portable hard disk drives?

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 19
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 19

Somasundram Vellayan Also known as the tall.dark.librarian, Soma joined Nanyang Technological University’s Library in 2007 as a library officer in its Art, Design & Media Library. Upon receiving his degrees, he took on a new role as a Librarian of the Library Promotion Division and as Art Librarian for media-related subjects covering animation, digital film, interactive media and photography. He enjoys working with end users in various projects. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the Library Association of Singapore’s Outstanding Newcomer Award by the President of Republic of Singapore in 2013. He is also actively involved in community projects for the local Indian community in Singapore. Follow him on Twitter @sundram_v

Thing 18: Productivity Tools

We are pleased to have Mr Somasundram Vellayan (SG) from Nanyang Technological University Libraries and Ms Rhodora Valdez (PH) of De La Salle Santiago Zobel to share their insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, and Thinking Points) to get to the end of the lesson.

“What comes to your mind when you think of productivity?”

“Productivity is spending your time on working towards your goals,” some would say. App developers have seized on the iPad, Mac, Android, Windows as a tool that’s portable and flexible enough to accomplish the many different things people need to get done, organize task and schedule activities.

For me (Soma), productivity means getting more tasks done efficiently and the outcome should be effective. Here in Singapore, we even have a public outreach campaign called Way to Go, Singapore! to gear us towards higher productivity.

Being productive is no rocket science. Some organizations launch their own mobile apps to improve productivity of their employees, like Orlando Brewing Company has done in this video.

In this Thing, we’d like to look at few of these tools.


Thankfully, there are already some mobile apps out there which we can use to ensure productivity. iTunes has a long array of productivity apps but here are few which you might find useful.

  • Doodle is used for scheduling to get mutually available timings from others for meetings. It has been very useful to find out when my colleagues are all available for a meeting and certainly avoids the clutter of emails! Besides its mobile friendly interface, it also has an iOS app and Android app, which are available at a fee.

Your first steps with Doodle from Doodle AG on Vimeo.

  • Workflowy is a note-taking app which allows making a list of high level ideas and tasks, and then subdivide into smaller groups, without having to mess around with bullet points and pages of notes! It has free iOS app and Android app.
  • Remember the Milk  is a task and time management app.  – besides mobile apps, it has a web app, sync for Microsoft Outlook, and Remember The Milk integrates with other apps such as Evernote, Gmail, Google Calendar. If you are someone who emails yourself of your tasks, you can email those tasks to your Remember the Milk account!
  • GTasks is a simple and efficient to-do / task management app with both local and google account modes. You can customize your to do list, set reminder, share tasks with your friends, family members or colleagues and sync with your google tasks perfectly. With it, you will never miss a task and focus more on real things.
  • Wunderlist is the easiest way to manage and share your daily to-do lists. Whether you’re running your own business, planning an overseas adventure or sharing a shopping list with a loved one.
  • The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity system that breaks work down into 25 minute chunks to improve concentration.  There are a variety of Pomodoro apps available for both iOS and Android.


Productivity tools need not just apply to tasks management and scheduling. There are other productivity tools out there which can assist to achieve productivity even for social media tools. Some of these tools maybe useful for you, if you are managing a few social media accounts of your library.

  • Hootsuite – a popular social media management tool, Hootsuite allows you to integrate various social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress. Its dashboard gives bird eye’s view of all your social media accounts and you can schedule your posts, based on the timings that you can engage your users more.
  • Tweetdeck – another social media management tool but this is particularly for multiple Twitter accounts. This is a useful tool if you are scanning public tweets based on certain keywords, such as your library name
  • Buffer – Previously known as BufferApp. This is similar to HootSuite but the difference is its customized scheduling. This is useful if you have a group of people managing your library’s social media accounts and need to avoid flooding your users’ timelines.

It allows you to set specific schedules. Basically, it buffers your posts and publishes your posts at the next scheduled timing. You can also publish immediately or set your own time to publish a specific post. It also provides analytics such as number of clicks in tweets, reaches, etc. The free account allows you to set up two social media accounts only.

Here’s a quick preview of Buffer:

Buffer recently introduced Buffer Feeds where you schedule/share blog posts right from feeds! Applicable for the “Awesome” plan only.


Try out BufferApp!

  1. Install the free BufferApp app [iPhone | Android]
  2. Sign up for the BufferApp account and connect to any of your social media profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  3. [Optional] Set the time schedule for your post to be published
  4. Share your thoughts about Buffer and schedule it to be posted to your Twitter account. Do remember to put the #23mthingsPhSg hashtag!
  5. Take a screenshot of your post in the Buffer and tweet it with the #23mthingsPhSg hashtag!

Thinking Points 

  1. Does your library manage multiple social media accounts? Would these social media management tools (Buffer, Hotsuite, Twwetdeck) be useful for your library?
  2. Do you analyse the analytics and time to find out when is the best time to engage with them though such social media accounts?
  3. Do you often plan out your work or take notes at meetings? Would the mentioned productivity mobile apps be able to assist you?
  4. Would you be able to coordinate meeting times with your users or colleagues using Doodle?
  5. Could you use a tool like Wunderlist as a mobile project management aid?
  6. Are there some repetitive tasks that require focus and regular breaks (like filing, shelf reading and reshelving) – could you Pomodoro them?
  7. Could Lift  be used as part of a lifelong learning library program for adults to allow them to set their learning goals and monitor their progress?

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 18
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 18

Somasundram Vellayan Also known as the tall.dark.librarian, Soma joined Nanyang Technological University’s Library in 2007 as a library officer in its Art, Design & Media Library. Upon receiving his degrees, he took on a new role as a Librarian of the Library Promotion Division and as Art Librarian for media-related subjects covering animation, digital film, interactive media and photography. He enjoys working with end users in various projects. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the Library Association of Singapore’s Outstanding Newcomer Award by the President of Republic of Singapore in 2013. He is also actively involved in community projects for the local Indian community in Singapore. Follow him on Twitter @sundram_v

Rhodora Valdez Rhodora Espiritu-Valdez works as a Librarian at the Learning Resource Center of De La Salle Zobel. She is the adviser of the DLSZ Green Bloggers Club and considers herself an advocate for reading and literacy.Rhodora is also a storyteller, puppeteer and backpacker.

Thing 17 : Research Tools

Librarians had evolved in our roles so much that it is no longer just knowing and providing access to information resources but also the importance of knowing and showing users how to use tools to manage their information effectively. We are pleased to have Mr Chia Yew Boon (SG) from Nanyang Technological University Libraries to share his insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, and Thinking Points) to get to the end of the lesson.

“I have read that somewhere …” Have this occurred to you? It certainly happened all too often to me and my solution is to use a note taking tool such as Evernote and Microsoft OneNote.



What’s great about Evernote is that I am to grab information from different media – I could upload pdf document, capture part of a website, record an audio clip or take an image with my mobile phone etc. and put them in a single repository so that I could refer to them easily later. You can even tweet to or forward important emails to Evernote! I can tag the items or use the Evernote search to organise and search for my content systematically. To date, there are more than 100 million Evernote users.

More importantly, there are more than 30,000 Evernote developers worldwide who create useful add-on software for Evernote. (Read this interesting collaboration between Moleskine and Evernote). In a recent interview by WSJ (4 Apr 2014), Evernote CEO Phil Libin was “enthusiastic about the potential for wearables, saying that Evernote is working on ways to help people be productive on such devices.

Below are some useful links to get you started :

Another useful type of research tool is the online citation manager (also known as bibliographic management tool or reference management software) such as Zotero, EndNote and RefWorks. Such tools are popular for two reasons –


Creating a resource list:
After you have identified relevant articles/sources in library catalogues, databases and world wide web for your research, the citation manager downloads and extracts the bibliographic information of the articles, thus creating a searchable compilation of research materials and also providing the proper citations for these articles. To make it more useful, I would often give a summary of an article, attach additional notes (eg. a powerpoint presentation given by the author), add a few tags and link the article to the full text pdf. As a result, I can easily create a personal catalogue of the articles which I have read!

Sharing sources:
I can set permissions to share my compilation of resources with a group of project members or open it to everyone. In place of LibGuides, this allows me to create a good subject guide at zero cost. Moreover, I have activated a plugin to integrate my Zotero resource list into my blog automatically.

Below are some useful links to get you started :


Created by the start-up Shazino, Papership is a iPhone and iPad client for Mendeley or Zotero that allows users to browse through their reference collections on their mobile devices. It comes with PDF annotation tools that help you to emphasize interesting parts in your notes or stored articles. Most importantly, Papership incorporates API to display Altmetric donuts next to the article titles. Altmetrics (also known as Alternative Metrics) is the BUZZ word now in academic as an alternative metrics in tracking and measuring research impact via online mentions captured in social media like twitter, Facebook, social bookmarking and referencing tools, etc. is one of the many companies that had sprung up to create tools to help understand these metrics.

Not familiar with altmetrics? Read my introduction slides on what is Alternative Metrics.



Some very practical uses for Evernote are –

  1. Create a to do list
  2. Use the reminder feature to keep track of projects
  3. Scan and capture the business cards collected
  4. Install Evernote Web Clipper browser extension and save interesting text, links and images with a single click
  5. Share your Evernote content with other users. Here Colleen Young shares out her Evernote notebook containing tips on using Evernote for teaching
  6. Read Jennifer Carey’s sharing on how she teaches her students to use Evernote to organize a variety of media for some type of presentation or research project
  7. Read Greg Clinton, the Wandering Academic’s sharing on how he uses Evernote to write a paper with table of content
  1. Read Rebecca Onion’s course notes for Building your Zotero Library
  2. Try Zotfile is useful for interacting with PDF files and Zotero
  3. Oregon State University Library have some excellent Zotero tutorials availableIntroduction to Zotero  and Advanced Zotero

Thinking Points

  • How can you use these things in your library? Are your clients using them already?
  • Or do you need to show them how?
  • Should you create how-to guides?
  • Could you share notebooks with clients? And colleagues as a collaborative alternative to google docs?
  • Perhaps your library team could use Evernote Business?
  • Maybe you should capture mental ‘post-its’, or create ‘to do’ lists, by tweeting or DMing @myEN?

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 17
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 17

Follow Mylee Joseph’s board Evernote and Zotero on Pinterest.

Chia Yew Boon Chia Yew Boon is the Deputy Director, New Media Group, and Head, Humanities & Social Sciences Library. He actively tracks emerging technologies which are relevant to the higher education sector and spearheads social media initiatives and mobile projects. Collaborating closely with the faculty, technical staff and other users, he manages the blogs@NTU platform to support the teaching, research, community building and marketing needs of the users. He also represents the library in campus wide projects such as the Cool Campus Implementation Committee and the Blue Ribbon Commission Subcommittee on Classroom of Tomorrow.

Thing 16 – eBooks and eBook Apps

We are pleased to have Ms Zarah Gagatiga (PH) from Beacon Academy to share her insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, and Activities) to get to the end of the lesson.

Let us start Thing 16 with a short video on The Future of Publishing.

How did you find the video as a whole? Did it disturb you? What ideas struck you as you watched? What concepts in the video do you agree or disagree with? What ever impressions you took away from the video, it portrays a distinct characteristic of the time and the era we are in. We are living in very challenging environments prompting us, librarians, to examine the demands of the bigger society from us, as well as paradigms we’ve held as gospel truths of the profession. What an exciting time to be a librarian of this age!

Indeed, we need to look at the changing face of publishing with an open mind and with an even more positive outlook. The rise of ebooks, ereading and epublishing has dramatic effects on the work we do in the library and the way we deliver services and programs to our readers. You put one vowel beside those words: books, reading, publishing and the game changes entirely. One way to traverse this changing landscape is through strategically analyzing it.

Three things that matter in ebooks and ebook apps: access; technology and community.

On Access

  • Ebooks come for free; through library subscriptions, portals, websites and pathfinders; and by individual sales;
  • Ebooks are covered under a digital rights management scheme;
  • Ebooks can come in the form of locally created content converted into digital format.

On Technology

  • Ebook apps and ereader manuals exist, but librarians need to assist readers on handling technology of this nature. There are digital natives and digital migrants who both need a mediator who can speak both the languages of the newbie and the oldie.
  • There is always something new in the ebook apps and ereader market. Librarians must be aware of what’s hot and what’s not to help readers make informed decisions on format or medium of ereader and choice of content.

On Community

  • Librarians are valued resource persons to publishers and content creators who give feedback on the reading experiences and profile of library users.
  • Librarians are conduits of technology and knowledge to readers, thereby developing sturdier intellectual and virtual structures of learning.

Now here are links to blog posts I’ve made in 2011 and 2012, when during those years, I was in the process of developing an ebook collection in our school library. Caveat: I am a school librarian so the experience and practice I bring forth to this discussion is that of a school setting. I invite you to look at underlying principles and the process involved in building an ebook collection as these can be applicable for academic, special, corporate and government libraries too. It would benefit us all if you can take down notes of your own experience in your library so that we can enrich the discussion on ebook and ebook apps and we learn from each other.

For a discussion on management strategies on ebooks, go to Ebook Issues. Click this link to read on Ebook Collection Development.



  • What happens when you travel abroad and your ebook couldn’t be accessed because of geographical limitations and licensing issues? Read about Library Box. Watch this video on Library Box Video
  • Reading ebooks can be extended to writing and content creation. WattPad allows its subscribers to create as well as publish ebooks with in its online community. For aspiring writers, WattPad is a platform where they can test their stories to fans and followers, friends and readers who provide comments and feedback on their stories. This engagement leads the aspiring writer to improve the story, work on revisions and in the end, submit a manuscript to a publishing house. Halohalo Books offers free children’s stories written by children and adults. In our school, The Beacon Academy, our high school students have been writing and illustrating stories for primary readers. These stories can be downloaded and translated into mother tongue provided that the translation be shared with back to the school. This project is called Early Readers and you can access the stories following these steps.


  1. Read this article about the human brain and how it responds and works when reading printed books and ebooks. Tweet your response or reply using #23mthingsphsg or post it in FB via the 23 Mobile Things PH SG page.
  2. If you have an existing model for an ebook lending system in your library, write us a paragraph or two and share about it via the FB page of 23 Mobile Things PH SG. We will be very glad to hear your success story!
  3. If you have not started building an ebook collection yet and a system of circulating them, make an assessment using these basic questions:
    1. Is there budget to begin an ebook collection?
    2. How can the IT department and administration support the library’s ebook project?
    3. Who are the readers of the library? Are they ready for individual, shared or institutionalized access of ebooks?
    4. What training sessions can be given to library users before, during and after implementing an ebook collection and circulation/lending system?

Send your answers by posting in the FB page of 23 Mobile Things PH SG or replying on the comments below. You may also email your answers to

The first five librarians to do and submit any of the three activities by May 31, 2014 will get one of my books for free through courier.

Thinking Points

Something to think about before we end Thing 16:

  • What challenges do you face concerning ebook collection development in your learning community?
  • How can you overcome the challenges you’ve identified?
  • How do you promote ebooks to your readers?
  • Read the IFLA document on The Principles of eLending

Lastly, watch these two videos: one of Lisa Bu How Books Open Minds and the other of Rica Bolipata Santos Books Matter. Ms. Bu and Ms. Santos may be talking about printed books as valuable tools and technology to gain knowledge and to uplift the human condition, but I invite you to look beyond the format. Either printed books or ebooks/ebook apps, we need to remember that our role as librarians to foster a genuine love of reading and promote a reading culture in our learning communities is paramount. We must be agents in paving the way to intellectual freedom and the right to read among our readers regardless of their age, color, creed, religious beliefs, political affiliations and sexual preference.

A reading community learns! A learning community reads!

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 16
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 16

Follow 23mobile things’s eBooks on Pinterest.

Thing 10’s Guest Blogger

Zarah-Gagatiga Zarah C. Gagatiga is a teacher librarian from the Philippines. She works in The Beacon Academy, an IB World School offering the MYP and DP. Zarah is also an influential blogger, avid storyteller, and board member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) representing librarians. She is one of the staunchest advocates for books and literacy in the Philippines and had published 3 children’s books including 1 co-authored with Dianne De Las Casas, titled Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories (ABC CLIO, 2011). Tweet her @thecoffeegoddes.

Thing 15 : Adobe ID

We are pleased to have Mr Perseus Rex M. Molina (PH) from De La Salle University to share his insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, and Activities) to get to the end of the lesson.

With the provision of electronic resources becoming the norm for libraries, it has been interesting to note the various ways institutions have implemented the transition from print to digital, especially in the subject of electronic books or ebooks. Some ebooks are free and can be accessed and downloaded by unlimited simultaneous users. These includes many works, especially the classics, that fall under the public domain either because they were not copyrighted or their copyrights have expired. But libraries also offer ebooks which have a conventional access model similar to printed books, in that they are restricted to a number of copies and other users cannot “borrow” an ebook if it is currently “out on loan” with a user. They are able to do this via Digital Rights Management or DRM.

Image credit :

DRM is a technology which controls the use and distribution of electronic files for the protection of intellectual properties. Personally, I am not a fan of this technology, but until the industry adopts an alternative way of properly compensating content creators without limiting their digital content’s supply so that there will be demand, DRM is here to stay. For ebooks, the most popular DRM is Adobe’s copy-protection of PDF and ePUB files, and it has become an industry standard across various booksellers and libraries. The Adobe-provided software to view these “Adobe ebooks” is Adobe Digital Editions, and for us to transfer the DRM-protected ebooks into different devices, we will need an Adobe ID.


Adobe eBook

Commonly refers to an ebook copy-protected by Adobe DRM. It can either be in PDF or ePUB (electronic publication) format. The ePUB format is more user-friendly for reading from smaller devices because, unlike PDFs, it is reflowable and the font and font size can be more easily changed to suit the reader’s needs.
Depending on the nature of subscription, an Adobe ebook may only be available to one user at a time or it can be accessed simultaneously by many users. But an Adobe ebook has a “loan duration”, meaning it will automatically expire after a set period of time, depending on the library or vendor’s settings. The good news here is that forgetting to return an ebook and incurring overdue fines cannot happen here!

Thing 15-2

You can, however, still return an ebook early if you are through with it by right-clicking the ebook in your Adobe Digital Editions library and selecting “Return Borrowed Item”. That will give other users the opportunity to download and use it if the ebook is not offered in an unlimited simultaneous user basis.

Thing 15-3

Adobe ID

An Adobe ID is used to authorize software and apps to read ebooks that a certain user is permitted to access. Naturally, if you want to maximize the Adobe ebooks’ portability and make them available across all your compatible devices, the same Adobe ID must be configured for all devices.

Thing 15-4

An Adobe account by the way is not only limited to accessing ebooks. With it you can also download free trials, buy products, manage orders, and access online services such as Adobe® Creative Cloud™ and You can also participate in the thriving Adobe online community.

Bluefire Reader

Bluefire Reader is a free third party app that can read Adobe books after authorizing it with an Adobe ID. It can be installed in both iOS– or Android-powered devices.

Thing 15-5


Overdrive is an international provider of technology for managing and distributing digital content for lending libraries, offering them packages from its hundreds of thousands of available e-books, audio books, educational materials and streaming video in its collection. Overdrive even has clients in the Philippines and Singapore, most notably, the Singapore National Library and Ateneo de Manila High School Educational Media Center.

Other library sources of Adobe eBooks

Vendors that supply Adobe eBooks also include ebrary and EBSCOHost, and many others. The availability of DRM and DRM-free ebooks in your library depends of course on your library’s subscriptions and collections.



  1. Download and install Adobe Digital Editions for your Macintosh or Windows computer
  2. Create an Adobe ID. (For those who already use other Adobe software like Photoshop, you may have an Adobe ID already. For problems signing in, see the Adobe Help Page.)
  3. Once you have your Adobe ID, you can now use it in Adobe Digital Editions by clicking Help in the menu, select “Authorize Computer” and signing in with your credentials.
  4. Once we have authorized our installation of Adobe Digital Editions, now we can search for ebooks! For the purpose of this lesson, I will browse one of De La Salle University’s subscriptions: its EBSCOhost ebook collection  [Your own library may have an ebook collection of its own. If not, there are many ebook resources found at the Explore tab.]
  5. EBSCOhost will ask the user to sign in to a MyEBSCOhost personal account before he/she can download an ebook.
  6. After signing in to My EBSCOhost, the user may now select the checkout period and download the .ACSM file. Once the download is over, Open the file with Adobe Digital Editions program to finish downloading and opening the ebook.
    Thing 15-7
  7. Now, to read ebooks from your phone or tablet, install Bluefire Reader in your iOS– or Android-powered device.
  8. You can read a good demonstration on using Bluefire Reader on Slideshare.
  9. If the instructions did not work for you, place the .acsm file in the imports folder and follow the steps indicated by the app under the “Info” tab.
    Thing15-7 Thing15-8
  10. Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your screencaps on the ebooks you are reading using Bluefire Reader or Adobe Digital Editions.

Thinking Points

  • What value does an Adobe ID add to our practice of librarianship? How can we help our library users to be savvy enough to read ebooks from more than one device?
  • What are its uses in our day to day tasks? How can we make use of it in our projects?
  • What are your library users’ attitudes towards ebooks from your libraries? Do they make comparisons about ease of use or access against other ebook sources like Google Books, Kindle Books or iTunes?
  • Adobe Digital Editions can be used in conjunction with screen-reading software like JAWS, NVDA or Window-Eyes on Windows and VoiceOver on Mac. How can we help people with visual disabilities take advantage of this technology?

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 15
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 15

Thing 15’s Guest Blogger

Perseus Rex M. Molina Perseus Rex M. Molina is the Asst. Director of Support Services for the DLSU Libraries. He enjoys fielding questions directed to LORA and maintains the Library Newsette blog and the Libraries’ other social media accounts, along with several library databases. An advocate of open-source integrated library systems like NewGenLib, his interests include widgets, cloud computing, and low-cost productivity solutions for libraries. He is a graduate from the University of the Philippines.

Thing #14 : Wrap up

Here’s the wrap up on the discussion for Thing 14 : Curating. Thanks Carina and Emiee for facilitating the session, and Juan Luis for first time appearance.

Here’s some highlight during our Facebook chat today (3 May 2014). Yes!! We think we really need a dedicated Social Media Librarian if we wants to “drive” things online and all agree curating tools are great marketing tools and enhance our roles in curating content that is required and attractive to our clients. AND CHEERS to anti-emo tumblr postings. =P