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Google Docs is online and it’s free. It offers huge benefits for both library staff and customers. With one account (a single login and password), Google Docs users can get email; create documents, spreadsheets or presentations; store files; create online calendars -- and much more! For libraries, this means no more selling floppy drives or flash drives or burning CD’s when customers need to save something from the web. Files created with Google Docs can be saved in all popular formats. Just a few of the many benefits include:

  • Fewer passwords to manage
  • Clean Google design
  • Continuous improvements and enhanced functionality without having to upgrade software
  • Files that are accessible from any computer anytime
  • Files and calendars that are easily shared
  • Ability for co-workers to collaborate in real time on documents

Workshop Description: This all-day hands-on workshop will have you confidently using Google Docs to upload, create, edit and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations. You will leave ready to share its features with your public access computer users and to fellow staff members. There will be both individual and group exercises where you will practice skills that are relevant to your work as library staff and also to your library customers. The instructor will provide exercises and cheat sheets as well as practical, useful tips that can be applied immediately.

Pre-workshop assignment: If you do not already have a Google account please go to and click the Get Started button to create your Google account. Bring your username and password to class. (FYI: people are commonly confused about Gmail and having a Google account. You do not have to have a Gmail account to have a Google account and use all the cool features Google offers. However, if you have a Gmail account you already have a Google account and can use that same login and password to use Google docs.)

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Basics of Google Docs
    • What's the difference between Google Docs and Google Apps
    • What Google Docs includes
  • What Can You Do with What Kinds of Files
    • Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations
    • Interoperability
    • Inviting People to Collaborate
  • Sharing and Collaboration Options
    • Organizing your docs
    • Options for sharing
    • Benefits of using Google docs for collaborative work
  • Google Calendar
    • Creating calendars
    • Sharing calendar
    • Uses for staff and public
  • Google for the Public
    • Pros and cons of Google docs for public access users
    • How an IGoogle page solves problems

Workshop Instructor: Cheryl Gould