23 Things – 13/23 Google Drive, Wikis, Dropbox

For this Thing we are investigating different methods of online collaboration and file-sharing!  I really enjoyed this Thing as I love using Dropbox and found Google Drive to be a really useful tool – it’s been interesting to think about how they can be applied to work in libraries.

Image: ‘Files’ – Found on flickrcc.net

Drop Box

I’ve been using Dropbox for over a year now, mostly just to sync things to and from my iPhone and iPad.  I also use it in place of a USB pen-drive so that I can access important documents on both my laptop and desktop PC – much easier than trying to remember the USB stick all of the time, although once or twice I have forgotten to sync the newest file to Drop Box and had a mild panic when I’ve opened the older version! (This is only really a problem when working on a public / work PC though as if the file is saved in the ‘downloaded’ Drop Box folder, it automatically updates when you save it.)

As far as its uses at work: it came in useful when I was designing the cover picture for the Library’s new Facebook page and when I was writing up my trainee project – as I worked on both of these at home as well as at work.  I’ve not really had the opportunity yet to use the collaborative aspects of Drop Box as we have a shared drive on our work computers – hopefully it will be more useful when I start my MSc.  I do however,  have a feeling Google Drive might be a more effective tool for group work, hm.

In the spirit of sharing…here’s a link to a library cat photo in my Public Dropbox folder (who doesn’t love library cats?)

Google Drive

At first glance I’m quite impressed with Google Drive – especially with the range of options available in the ‘create’ section.  I also like that you can download your files in a number of formats too!  Although the programmes are quite basic, (and some of the themes in ‘presentation’ are a bit scary!) I imagine this is a really great tool for getting a collaborative draft together when working on a group project, gathering information or sharing ideas.  I am curious as to what happens when more than one person accesses and edits a file at the same time – Google says that you can ‘collaborate in real time’ so I’m looking forward to trying that out sometime!

Again, our library team has a shared drive on our PCs so we don’t really need to use Google Drive at the minute…but if there was ever an inter-library project or a collaboration with another department I know where to go first.

Once more – a link to a Doc I made in Google Drive.  Share and Share alike!

Wikis

My main experience with Wikis in the library world is via Library Day in the Life Project which I took part in earlier this year.  I found it pretty simple to use and it provides a great resource for learning more about the profession and the variety of roles Librarians can take on.

At our library we also use a wiki for our Library Guide – although I’m not involved in updating the site – it is a very effective and simple way of displaying key information for students and readers!

I also loved the ‘wikis in plain English’ video linked to in the CPD23 Thing 13 post – it shows just how easy and effective it is to use Wikis to organise events, projects and share ideas – possibly useful for organising events such as marketing campaigns, social events in the library or projects such as book moves.

Image: ‘Sharing’ –   Found on flickrcc.net

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