10 Years of the iPhone; 10* Apps for the Library Patron on the Go

Yup, you read that title correctly. We have been tied to our smartphones for ten years and many of us are not planning on severing those ties. It all started when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in January of 2007. By November of that year, Google announced that they developed the Android operating system. It would be another year before the first Android phone would be launched and two more years before the first Windows phone would be launched.

Many of us spend a lot of time on our phones. We are constantly on the go and our phones are our lifelines. There are a ton of apps and it can be a little daunting keeping up with the newest app for dating or the newest addicting game to play or even the newest teen fad singing/snapping/chatting app. As someone who does a lot on her phone and uses apps to aide me in my weekend adventures, I am always looking for apps that keep me connected, informed, and stocked with things to read.

The library is all about access to information. Sometimes you just need a series of apps that will keep you informed while you are on the go. I have picked these apps for those patrons in mind. Apps that will let you keep going but still have access to useful information and library resources.

Adobe Reader - Great for viewing, annotating, signing and creating PDFs. My favorite feature of this app is the ability to create a PDF. When you need to send a copy of your license or another form of ID and you snap a picture and then try to send the file sometimes it causes problems. This app allows you to take a picture of a document and turn it into a PDF and then easily mail it off or save it on your device.

Evernote - Take notes, create to-do lists, and save things you find online. Everything syncs between phone, tablet, and computer. Great for library users who make use of our public computers. You can easily store files and save websites so you can access them no matter what branch or what public computer you are sitting at.

Podcasts - Hundreds of thousands of podcasts, from thought-provoking stories to hilarious interviews to sports and politics. LeVar Burton Reads is a great podcast. Each episode features a new short story—if you enjoy the story you can then check out the full collection from the library or find other books by authors like Neil Gaiman, Laura Chow Reeve, and Haruki Murakami.

Yelp - Millions of reviews of business worldwide. Great for when you are looking for the perfect place to eat, shop, drink, relax and play. You can also rate, review, and check into the branches of the MCLS.

Citymapper - The ultimate transit app for complex cities. A to B trip planning with ETA including all modes including subway, bus, rail, ferry, bike and car sharing, and even Uber. Includes real-time departures, transit maps, line status and alerts.

Yonder - Find beautiful outdoor places, and make friends with others who share your interests.

Goodreads - Discover and share books. See our May Tech Tips blog post on tracking books for more information on using Goodreads.

Social Media Apps - Connect with the library across social media. We have our weekly Wednesday evening book chat on Facebook. Our Pinterest page has boards filled with library programs and book ideas. You can see what else is going on and get announcements on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.

BookMyne - A quick and easy way to access your library account on the go. Search the catalog, place holds, renew titles, and check due dates.

Virtual Library Apps - Need something to read, watch or listen too while on the go? Use one of these virtual library apps to never be without entertainment.

  • hoopla has ebooks, movies, music, television, audiobooks and comics/graphic novels
  • Freegal has music
  • Flipster has magazines
  • Overdrive/Libby has ebooks and audiobooks

*8 apps and 2 groups of apps because I could not pick just 10. Most of these I use on my phone and some I found while researching apps for this post. They are now all on my phone and I am happy I found them!

- Amelia R., Information Technology

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