Mobile Apps: What You Need to Know

An ACRL e-Learning Online Course
October 15 - November 2, 2012

Description: In many library and academic settings, smartphones and tablets are increasingly becoming ubiquitous. At the same time, there has been an explosion in the development of apps including many for reading, reference, research, productivity, and education. There are so many that it’s hard to know where to begin or how to keep up!  In this multi-week course, become familiar with some of the best apps in those areas including things like Wunderlist, Inkling, Kindle, Evernote, Instapaper, iAnnotate and many others. Learn how to evaluate and review the usefulness of individual apps, so you can make selection decisions and advise others. You will even learn about options and key considerations when planning a mobile presence for your own library.    

For the hands-on assignments, you will need an Apple iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) or a smartphone or tablet running the Google Android operating system. We will touch on the similarities and differences between iOS and Android, but the course emphasis will be on apps.  Through readings, video demos, discussions, and hands-on practice, you will leave the course with a good understanding of the app landscape and the knowledge and skills to offer your own workshop for staff, faculty, or students. You will also have fun!

Learning Outcomes:

  • Be conversant about mobile apps, in general, and identify some of the best ones in categories most relevant to libraries and higher education (e.g. reading, research, reference).
  • Write useful reviews of an app or group of apps by category or function.
  • Explain the key considerations and options for libraries that want to have a mobile presence of their own.

Audience: This course will be of interest to anyone within the library community who wants to gain an overview of mobile apps with a focus on their relevance for academic libraries. This course is especially appropriate for reference and instruction librarians, and those who support technology and the library's web presence. It is geared toward beginner and intermediate users of Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

Presenters: Michele Mizejewski, Web Initiatives Librarian, University of California, San Francisco

Course Requirements: Your participation will require approximately three to five hours per week (primarily asynchronous) to:

  • Read the online seminar material
  • Post to online discussion boards
  • Complete online exercises
  • Complete a seminar evaluation form

Registration fees:

ACRL member: $135
ALA member: $175
Nonmember: $195
Student: $60

How to Register:

Register with Credit Card

  • Scroll down to the month when the event is offered.
  • Select the "Register" link next to the course on ALA's Distance Learning page (linked above).
  • You will need to log in with your ALA ID & password. If you do not have an ALA ID & password, you will be asked to create one in order to register.

Register by PO

  • Download and complete the PO registration form.
  • Submit the form along with your actual PO to ALA registration (fax or mail; see form for details).
  • You will not be considered registered for the course until both your PO and the registration form have been received and processed by ALA registration.


Access instructions will be sent out one business day prior to the start of the course.

Member rates apply to personal memberships only. Want to join ACRL or ALA? Complete the online membership form, available on the ALA Web site. If you join ALA/ACRL within five days of registering, we will adjust your fee (please fax a copy of your completed registration form to ACRL at 312-280-2520 ).

Payment may be made by credit card or purchase order (PO) only. If paying by PO, the PO number is required at the time of registration. Class size is limited to 60 participants. Full refunds will be granted up to 14 days prior to the start of the seminar.

Questions should be directed to Margot Conahan at mconahan@ala.org.