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Free Software: How Do I Choose? NCLA 2013

This guide supplements the session presentation by Jessica O'Brien given at the North Carolina Library Association conference on Oct. 18, 2013. Jessica may be contacted at jessica.obrien@lr.edu.

Free Software Suggestions

Volunteer Spot: Logging volunteer hours
OurVolts: Time tracking for volunteers

Monosnap: Screencapturing for Mac; download and install; annotate with lines, symbols, shapes, and more

Socrative: Student response system

Gimp: Robust photo editing program

MailChimp: Promotional newsletters (suggested by Jean Vollrath; jvollrath@randolphlibrary.org)
iContact: Promotional newsletters (suggested by Jean Vollrath; jvollrath@randolphlibrary.org)

Audacity: Open-source software for editing and recording audio files; lots of how-to tutorials, exports in MP3 and WAV

Omeka: Open-source software for content management; easy to create online exhibits; lots of templates; customizable to match the look of your website

Join.me: Online meeting and screensharing (suggested by Jennie Davis; davisj@vgcc.edu)

Prezi: alternative to Power Point (suggested by Jennie Davis; davisj@vgcc.edu)

EmailMeForm: allows for 3 customizable forms with 100 responses per month


Uses for Smore:

  • promote an event from your Friends of the Library 
  • create flyers to promote a usability test

Uses for Photo editors:

  • create programming on photo editing for tweens
  • blur out kids' faces for promotions or website
  • photo editing for colleagues to highlight programming

Uses for Polls:

  • discover patron wants or needs

Uses for Screencasting:

  • use for flipping the classroom; introducing the catalog before a class so there's more time for hands-on in class (suggested by Jennie Davis; davisj@vgcc.edu)
  • use for catalog tutorials
  • user for tutorials on mobile tools

Uses for Sign-up Programs:

  • book club sign-ups
  • track your library volunteer hours