by Alyssa Carlson

On May 20th, I had the opportunity to attend the “Enhancing Quality Staff (EQS) in Changing Times” Symposium, presented by the University of Minnesota Libraries in the Twin Cities. There was a nice variety of hour-long breakout sessions offering topics of interest to staff at all types of libraries, ranging from educational and informative to entertaining and enriching.

Since this was my first time at this symposium, I chose to focus on the sessions that were most relevant to my organization’s work. Each presentation I attended provided a chance to listen to experts and colleagues and all included some new information for me to take away and share to help identify and meet the needs of the library’s patrons.

To wrap up an information-filled day, I chose to attend the fun session “40 Apps in 60 seconds”, which was presented by the knowledgeable and engaging Leann Suchy from St. Catherine University. In this fast-paced session, LeAnn shared some cool tricks and tips to better help attendees use an iPad, along with an introduction to some of her favorite apps. There are always plenty of new apps that I want to try out myself, but no one wants to waste time deciding which apps are truly worth downloading for use. The great thing about the apps that were presented in this session is that LeAnn has already vetted them, plus they’re all FREE!

Here is a list of some of the iPad/iPhone apps that were covered that you may just want to check out yourself!

  • LINE camera – use filter effects and text on images
  • Sphere 360 – 360 degree pictures from around the world, with ability to share your own pictures.
  • Pic Stitch – edit photos and create picture collages
  • CamMe – take pictures from a distance with a timer using hand motion
  • Videolicious – turn photos into videos in 3 simple steps
  • Vine – creates 6 second videos to share snippets of your life on social media
  • Haiku Deck – attractive background images for computer presentations
  • DeckU – easy slide animation for presentations
  • Duolingo – learn 5 foreign languages at your own pace (with offerings expanding)
  • Socrative – (teacher and student app) quiz creation site with great student response system
  • My Script Calculator – math calculator using your own hand-written formulas – helpful and as fun as an advanced function calculator can get!
  • Swell – finds news and podcasts based on your likes
  • Songza – expert curated playlists by mood and location
  • NPR Music – music heard on NPR, plus articles about music
  • Around Me – find types of businesses nearby (e.g. restaurants, banks, parking)
  • Apps Gone Free – daily offerings of wide variety of apps available to download for free