Flipping the Library: Lifelong Learning With Zotero

Libraries of all kinds are always searching for ways to reach out to and serve more people. At the same time, information (including false news) has proliferated beyond the point of becoming overwhelming. Libraries, seen by people as a source of quality information, can help people manage that information for life using Zotero. Zotero is a free, open source bibliographic management tool which allows its users to save bibliographic information easily from library catalogs and web pages, tag and make notes, store full-text documents, cite those sources, and share their information with others if they choose.

While Zotero (and other bibliographic managers) have typically been seen as a tool for academic libraries, their value goes well beyond them. Unlike some other bibliographic managers, Zotero is free for anyone to download and use, and therefore travels with people for lifelong learning - from jr. high to post-grad study in the School of Life. When users find that great web site, article, book, or other document, saving it to Zotero is as easy as clicking a mouse via a button located in the browser. Once an item is saved, users may then make notes on and organize it with tags. This presentation covers the benefits of Zotero and how all types of libraries can implement and encourage the use of Zotero for people looking for a free way to store and share what is personally important to them.

We will begin with a brief overview of bibliographic managers and how they have been used, then move into a more specific discussion of Zotero's uses and benefits. We will then discuss the ways in which Zotero supports the lifelong learning endeavors of its users, including its ability to quickly and easily store a wide variety of information in easily accessible formats, and how it helps people properly attribute that information.

Libraries and other institutions who would like to encourage the use of Zotero may provide access to it via a Firefox browser extension, install it as a stand-alone program on computers for use with a Chrome extension, or help users install and run it from a portable USB drive. We will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each method of installation.

This session will be useful for librarians seeking ways and tools to support their users in becoming lifelong learners.

Presenter Info: 
Presenter Name: 
Rebecca Klemme Eliceiri
Presenter Employer: 
St. Charles Community College Library
Presenter Email: 
Presenter Job Title: 
Catalog Librarian
Public/Access Services
Submitter Email: