Introduction/Content:

Welcome to the first thing in SWKLS Things 2020!   This month we’re going to be learning more about Google Drive. The lessons for Google Drive will be divided up into two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Google Drive is a great resource and can be used to share and collaborate on documents with coworkers or committee members, share documents on your website, store files, etc. Note: We do not recommend storing files with passwords or other confidential information on Google Drive. A better option is to use a password manager such as LastPass.

Part 1 will focus on the basics of Google Drive. You will learn more about:

  • Google Drive and why it’s useful
  • How to access and create different documents in Google Drive
  • How to create a document
  • How to access templates and use one to create a document
  • How to rename or name a document in Google Drive

Part 2 will be posted in February and will delve more into how to share a document, how to organize documents, etc.

This may be a review for some of you. If it is you should still learn something. Learn something new by trying out a new template, creating a drawing, or doing something else you haven’t tried in Google Drive before.

The activities for this lesson are due January 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm central time and are worth 2 credit hours.  Estimated work time:  1-2 hours.

If you would rather complete an alternate topic, please go to the alternate topic page and pick one from the list.  You are also welcome to choose past topics or topics from the first round of Things.

If you get stuck and need help, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Exercises:  (Due January 31, at 11:59 pm CDT)

Tools you will need:

  • A computer with a browser.
    • A tablet or other internet enabled device will also work for most of these activities, but a laptop or computer will probably be easier.
  • A valid gmail address.
    • If your library has an email address like staff@cimarroncitylibrary.org you most likely have a G Suites address through Google and can use that account.
  • An Internet connection.

Activity 1: (10-15 min)

Activity 2: (10-15 min)

Activity 3: (10-15 min)

  • Complete Creating Google Docs including the Challenge at the end.
  • If you didn’t already do it in the challenge…
    • Find and use a template
    • Rename the file
    • Go back to Google Drive and find your file.

Activity 4: (10-15 min)

  • Finish Uploading Files to Google Drive
  • If you haven’t already, do the following:
    • Upload a Word document from your computer to Google Drive.
    • Convert your file to a Google Document by clicking on Open with and Google Docs (see picture below).
    • Glance over the converted document. Did the conversion process mess up any of your formatting?
    • Go back to your Google Drive and notice that there are now two copies of the file you uploaded, the original Word document (viewable only) and the converted one in Google Docs format. The converted one will be the one you use to make any edits.
    • Note: Several of our libraries use Google Drive to share policies and board minutes on their websites. Plains, Dudley Township Public Library, and Cimarron are three of these. If this is something you’d like to do please complete 2020’s Thing Two first and also talk to Steve, Bernardo, or Janelle at the SWKLS office so we can help you get started.

Activity 5: (5-10 minutes)

  1. Comment below answering the following questions:
    1. What did you learn?
    2. What do you like and not like about Google Drive?
    3. How can you see this being useful in your library? Or.. in your personal life?
    4. How do you see your patrons using Google Drive?
    5. Respond to one other person’s comment.
  2. Register for SWKLS Things 2020: Thing 1

45 thoughts on “SWKLS Things 2020: Thing 1

  • January 6, 2020 at 4:42 pm
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    I did not realize there was a photo editor (Google Drawings) on the G-Suite. This could be very helpful when designing logos. I’m playing around with it now.

    Google Drive is pretty handy when I need to share files and create registration forms. However, I dislike that it defaults to allowing access only to people within my organization. I have to make a mental note to de-select this option every time. (I’m sure I’m jumping ahead to the Google Forms Thing, sorry!)

    Honestly, I use Google Drive for tons of reasons, work and personal. I have lots of ukulele cord progressions and crochet patterns in my personal Google Drive and I keep all the songs and rhymes I use for Storytime in a folder, organized by topic. Probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done with Google Drive was the postcard exchange several years ago during Summer Reading. Librarians were able to add their library’s address to a shared Google Sheet and kids all across the U.S. got to exchange postcards.

    In general, I don’t forsee our patrons using Google Drive any time soon. Most of our patrons use Yahoo email accounts, so asking them to sign up for Gmail just isn’t going to happen. I could be wrong and I hope I am!

    Reply
    • January 6, 2020 at 4:43 pm
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      LOL…First!

      Reply
    • January 6, 2020 at 4:46 pm
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      I was wondering who was going to be first! 🙂 I love the fact that you use it to store your songs for Storytime organized by topic. Great idea! I get annoyed that it defaults to only allowing access to people in your organization as a default, too. I think a lot of us have forgotten to change that and been frustrated.

      Reply
      • January 7, 2020 at 8:22 am
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        I’ve been playing with the drawing tool. It’s not great for my purposes, but it’s nice to know it’s there if I don’t have access to Publisher to fake my graphic design skills.

        Reply
    • January 9, 2020 at 1:54 pm
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      I like that can store your StoryTime stuff in folders on Google Drive….I am hoping to get my new Children’s Librarian, Jennifer to do Things 2020 and then she can utilize this for all her songs, fingerplays and such!!! Great idea! Thanks!!! I hope to try to remember to do my part of StoryTime planning on google docs as well now so that I can share with Jenn and not have to print them off!!!

      Reply
    • January 16, 2020 at 2:29 pm
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      I didn’t know about the photo editor either!

      Reply
      • January 22, 2020 at 12:52 pm
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        Photo editor is my favorite! That is one of the main things I like to do in my spare time!

        Reply
        • January 31, 2020 at 1:09 pm
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          Same here girl! I do it at home, a lot!

          Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 5:22 pm
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      I love using Google Drive to keep all of my Storytime and Summer Reading ideas and results in one place.

      Reply
  • January 9, 2020 at 1:52 pm
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    I did not realize I could just drag a folder or whatever from my desktop to google drive to and have it saved and accessible there! Pretty cool! Yes! the default are annoying! I really like it to create forms for Read and Play and Summer Learning Camp!!! I was disappointed there is not a label template….or maybe it is just me and I just can’t find it ‍♂️
    I think it is a very useful tool for the different organizations that I am a part of as well as for work…I just need to be better at utilizing it!!! Honestly…..not a clue about patron usage….I, like Stacy, rather doubt it!

    Reply
    • January 10, 2020 at 11:49 am
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      Being able to drag a folder or file into google drive and it being saved is pretty awesome! Saves a lot of time.

      Reply
      • January 16, 2020 at 12:18 pm
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        What did you learn? I didn’t realize that you could drag and copy a whole folder at one time.
        What do you like and not like about Google Drive? I like the file sharing. Haven’t used it enough to dislike it.
        How can you see this being useful in your library? Or.. in your personal life? The County has shared the different policies that are in effect for the County and we have all the updates immediately. Our policies are on Goggle drive so the System has access to them. We used Google Drive for Storywalk Boards that we share between three Counties.
        How do you see your patrons using Google Drive? I can’t see our patrons using it except we had a teacher use it for sharing of book series between three of us.
        Respond to one other person’s comment.

        Reply
  • January 10, 2020 at 11:41 am
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    I had heard about Drive but never took the time to look into it, turns out it’s fairly simple to use! I love that everything is in one place and that it converts your files. Will be using this to save library documents from now on and personally, I think I’ll upload my pictures to it. I also like the fact that you can share files and make changes easily between co-workers.

    I do wish they would distinguish the difference between an original uploaded file and the converted version better.

    Reply
    • February 2, 2020 at 9:59 pm
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      Anna,

      I wish they would distinguish better between the two as well. It can quickly get confusing. The icons help a bit, but they’re pretty similar.

      Reply
  • January 16, 2020 at 12:20 pm
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    I didn’t realize about dragging a whole folder either. Pretty excited about that. What a time saver

    Reply
  • January 16, 2020 at 2:28 pm
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    I wasn’t aware of the photo editor either. I use Google Drive already for many work-related documents and really like the ability to access it with my mobile device.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm
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    Wow! The drag and copy option is the best! I save everything.. I’m a desktop hoarder, so I am super impressed that I copied all of my desktop files and still have oddles of room left. I like the sharing options, convenient! We also use Power Point every once in awhile, so the slides option will come in handy. I haven’t looked into the photo editor or drawing options yet, I’m going there next!

    Reply
  • January 22, 2020 at 1:02 pm
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    There is always something to learn when doing the Things!! I enjoy the review and the new. Dragging files was a neat new tool. Usually, the updates that they make on google end up being the best time saving ideas. We use google drive to share many files here at our library so being familiar with all that is extremely handy. It was nice to get more perspective on how to share and edit on the documents that you need multiple people to read. There wasn’t anything that that I really didn’t like. Most of our patrons are using google drive so it’s nice to be fresh and up to date with all its many uses.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2020 at 5:02 pm
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    I like being able to share a file with the staff to get their input on things like policy revisions and desk schedules. However, I really hate converting my “beautiful” docs from Office into the generic-looking and -acting Google Docs. I always have to reformat the converted document to make it look even remotely similar to the original, and usually the math in the spreadsheet is completely off. I will try the option to save an Office file so I can access it from home or other location to work on it with a computer that has Office, save it back to GD and open it again in another location with revisions.

    I’ve never tried to sort my files, and I spent an inordinate amount of time organizing during this lesson. They look much better now that I’ve made folders for things that should go together. I also used it as an excuse to clear out old stuff that is no longer viable, and the 14 or so unnamed files that were empty.

    Reply
    • January 24, 2020 at 9:20 am
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      I agree Eunice, you shouldn’t have to spend more time re-creating your document after converting it to Google docs!

      Reply
    • February 2, 2020 at 10:02 pm
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      Eunice,

      I get frustrated with conversions, too. I also have issues finding certain formatting things and other tools I regularly use in Word and Excel. I have never had a formula mess up! That’s crazy. I have a feeling your spreadsheets are a bit more complicated than mine, though. I have gotten to where I try to start my documents in Drive if I know I will be using them in Drive. That keeps me from getting too frustrated from the formatting issues.

      Reply
  • January 24, 2020 at 9:16 am
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    1. It’s easier to use than I was expecting.
    2. I didn’t like that a converted file would probably need tweaking to get back to the original form. Just wasted time if you had it set up the way you wanted in the first place.
    3. It could be helpful to collaborate and get input on documents.
    4. Unless they do a lot of document creation, they probably won’t use it. Many don’t have a gmail account and don’t want a second account just for document creation/storage.

    Reply
    • January 31, 2020 at 9:43 am
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      I agree with it being easier than I had anticipated!

      Reply
    • January 31, 2020 at 4:58 pm
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      In response to your second point… My first encounter with Google Docs was not very impressive as that’s what happened to me, converted a file and the formatting was off, had to spend quite some time trying to fix it, and after that there just wasn’t a big draw to learn more about the program until now recently. Lately that’s just how more and more documents are being shared and I do see the convenience of it and it’s not that it’s hard…. it’s just the taking the time to learn something new again!

      Reply
  • January 27, 2020 at 5:11 pm
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    1. The suggesting option when sharing a document with others
    2. I love Google Drive and have been using it for several years now, my favorite thing about it is that i can access my files from any device
    3. I use multiple desktops at work and find it useful to always have the latest version of all of my documents, and can easily share my documents with my co-workers
    4. I urge patrons to use Google Drive if they don’t have a printer at home, that way if they need to print something they don’t need to transfer it to a thumb drive to print it here

    Reply
    • January 30, 2020 at 3:18 pm
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      There are so many times I have had patrons email me a document so I can then print it for them. This would be great for those patrons.

      Reply
      • January 30, 2020 at 4:24 pm
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        I agree, I never thought about the benefit to having or patrons use google drive for sharing their document so they could print more easily.

        Reply
  • January 30, 2020 at 3:12 pm
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    1. I learned the basics of Google Drive. I have seen the icon many times and never knew what it was.
    2. I like that the documents are automatically saved. Honestly, I don’t like having to use/learn something new. It’s not that I’m afraid of change, I just simply do not have time to learn and use something new. I feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that I do now.
    3. I can see it being useful in the sense that I can pull up documents from anywhere to work on. I don’t really need to share my work because it’s just me and a part-time assistant. We don’t share the work load as far as computer use.
    4. Most of our patrons are not “computer savvy” and would have a very hard time understanding this.

    Reply
    • January 31, 2020 at 10:32 am
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      How could I forget to mention auto-saving?! You’re right – that is a MAJOR bonus of Google Drive!

      Reply
  • January 30, 2020 at 4:18 pm
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    1. I learned a lot about Google Drive. I don’t use it at this time because most of my work is done on one computer. However, the options to share files back and forth between people is amazing.
    2. I like that it is easy to use and that you can share with more than one person.
    3. I can see using Google Drive to share policy and budget info and other documents that need to be worked on together.
    4. I can’t see to many of our patron using it at this point, but if we had more students or business travelers I could.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 9:40 am
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    1. This is all new to me. I had heard of Google Drive before but never messed with it.
    2. I LOVE that you can access files anywhere including on mobile devices. I also think it’s great that it automatically saves.
    3. We have a staff shared files folder that we all have access to and I feel google drive would be a good place for all of these files
    4. Google Drive would benefit our patrons because they could just log in and access their files versus having to bring in a flash drive.

    Reply
    • January 31, 2020 at 11:04 am
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      Your director noted comment #3…would be good use for front desk documents!

      Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 10:31 am
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    1. I learned that Google Drive had templates. I honestly hadn’t played around with enough, until now, to realize that!
    2. Personally, I don’t like that you have to be in Chrome to print. This wasn’t in the tutorial, but I know this from experience with college kids trying to print from Google Drive. Otherwise, I love it. It has everything I need and I don’t even have to have Microsoft Office!
    3. I think that cloud storage spaces are useful in numerous ways! You never have to worry if you have enough space to save whatever it is you’re trying to save, you don’t have to have a thumb drive on you to access your personal files, and as long as you have a computer and wifi, you can get to what you need.
    4. They use it constantly. For one, it’s a money saver because they don’t have to purchase a thumb drive, which can be expensive. They’re able to turn their homework in electronically without issue. Also, as mentioned, it’s accessible anywhere that has a computer + wifi and there’s unlimited storage space.

    Reply
    • January 31, 2020 at 11:03 am
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      Sara, I am horrible about using chrome for my browser (sigh by the SWKLS IT), but I am almost 100% positive I print from IE out of Google Drive. Janelle, can you share thoughts?

      Reply
    • January 31, 2020 at 4:24 pm
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      I usually have the patrons download their documents (maybe as a PDF) then print. That way we avoid the occasional printing errors.

      Reply
    • February 2, 2020 at 10:05 pm
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      Sara,

      Can you let me know which browser they’re having problems printing from? I have also printed from other browsers. It could be something specific to a printer or their IT setup at DCCC.

      Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 11:01 am
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    1. I learned about the templates (cool) and being able to upload a whole folder in Chrome (yes)!

    2. I feel like Google Drive is really easy to navigate and find files. The conversion thing is more that I need to learn about. Also, for some reason my storage is also close to full (something we need to look at).

    3. We are using it more and more at our library, as our school uses Google classroom. I also plan to use it for FoKL document storage that everyone can access.

    4. I think some patrons would jump on it, a lunch and learn could be fun…but others I could see it being frustrating/confusing for them, especially with conversion of documents (but I like that it keeps both files).

    Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 1:18 pm
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    I learned more about the photo editing! I have the photo app on my phone that I use all the time, and it really cleared up space on my phone’s memory (recommend it!).
    I haven’t found anything that I could say I don’t like, yet, but I really do like the ease of being able to share the documents with my coworkers.
    It is useful in our library! We all have have gmail work email so we can easily share back and forth. I WISH I could convert my personal email over to gmail!!! I’ve had my personal email for over 15 years and just afraid of losing all the contacts…if someone knows how to do this that’d be great??!!!
    We have a lot of younger patrons that come in to do homework and the school sets them up with gmail accounts. That is nice because we already know how the maneuver our way around to be able to help the kids easier!

    Reply
    • January 31, 2020 at 2:16 pm
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      Joanie,

      Depending on what service you have you should be able to export your contacts and import them into gmail. What service are you using (hotmail, yahoo, etc) and I will see if I can find you some directions.

      Janelle

      Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 4:21 pm
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    I wasn’t aware of the Search Drive function. That will come in handy when I’m trying to find a file in my Google Drive. We use Forms and Sheets for our Summer Reading signup and other events too. It makes keeping track event registrations much easier.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 4:48 pm
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    I like being able to drag to import files. I may have to look into the app for my desktop as I hate opening up a browser every time I need a file although I can see the mobile convenience of it. I definitely love the autosave feature although it takes some getting used to, not having to hunt for your save icon every time you are about to close a file!

    I’ve had experience with converting formats as my board secretary always emails the board minutes to me and in order to print them off they needed to be convert to a Google Docs compatible version.

    Can’t imagine our patrons using Google Docs but might be pleasantly surprised! I’m sure our teacher patrons are constantly using it but I’ve never had to assist anyone in the library yet.

    Reply
    • January 31, 2020 at 6:44 pm
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      I didnt think about having to open a browser every time i needed a document on my phone, thats a good point!

      Reply
  • January 31, 2020 at 6:42 pm
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    One thing that I learned is that Google drive has templates. I could use google drive for my programs that i do at other locations. That way i wouldnt have to take a USB with me. The thing that I dont like about google drive is that you cant use word or powerpoint. one way for our patrons to use it is as a definatly cheeper alternative to having to buy microsoft office.

    Reply
    • February 2, 2020 at 10:08 pm
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      Caleb,

      It is frustrating that Google doesn’t have Word or Powerpoint. However, Google Docs and Google Slides are very similar and it’s a nice option for people who may not have a computer at home or don’t want to pay money to purchase Microsoft Office or Office 365 to use Word and Powerpoint.

      Reply
  • February 4, 2020 at 4:05 pm
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    I only started seeing Google Drive in the past year or so and that was pretty limited. I found these tutorials to be interesting and easy to follow. I like that there are videos as well as written instructions. I haven’t worked with it enough yet to know what I do not like. Everything so far seems pretty user-friendly and helpful. I could see us using this in our library if we were collaborating on a project with other librarians. I would also feel much more confident helping patrons who were using it. I agree with Roebeka that it would be easier for patrons to print using Google Drive.

    Reply

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