For immediate release | May 23, 2012

Learn to use Google Apps and Open Office and save money through new eCourse

CHICAGO - ALA Editions announces a new facilitated eCourse, Google Apps and Open Office: Easy Alternatives to Expensive Software with Maurice Coleman and Robin Hastings. This two-week eCourse will begin on August 6, 2012.

Microsoft Office and similar software can cost libraries thousands of dollars per year. Think there are no alternatives? Think again! In this eCourse, Maurice Coleman and Robin Hastings will show you how, for a fraction of the cost, you can use open source or cloud-based software as an alternative. Devoting one week each to Open Office and Google Apps, two of the most popular alternatives, you’ll learn how to set up and run these programs. As you familiarize yourself with these suites of software, you’ll explore how they can be used effectively by library users and staff alike.

After completing this eCourse, students will understand:

  • The basics of open source and cloud-based software and how they can function as an alternative to proprietary software
  • How to apply Microsoft Office concepts to both Google Apps and Open Office
  • Procedures for downloading, installing and running both programs quickly and easily
  • Ways to share documents and collaborate with others through these programs
  • How to use Google Apps from remote locations and through mobile devices

Maurice Coleman is the technical trainer at Harford County Public Library in Northeast Maryland. With 20 years’ experience, he has emphasized practical use of technology, computer training hardware and software skills, technology planning and deployment. He hosts the popular library training podcast T is for Training and writes for the American Library Association Learning Round Table blog ALA Learning. Coleman was named a 2010 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and received the Citizens for Maryland Libraries Davis McCarn Technology Award.

Robin Hastings is the information technology manager at the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Mo., overseeing the library’s network, websites and training classes. She is the author of Collaboration 2.0 (Library Technology Reports 45:4, May/June 2009), and the book "Microblogging and Lifestreaming in Libraries." Her personal blog is

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on August 6, 2012, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files) and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.


Dan Freeman


ALA Online Resources (AOR)

(800) 545-2433 ext.5413