The 10-Minute Digital Librarian #12: Explore Digital Brainstorming Tools

The third round of posts in our 10-Minute Digital Librarian series focuses on digital productivity tools – things that allow you to be more effective in your work.

As highlighted in IFLA’s Global Vision, a key characteristic of the library field is collaboration. Libraries and library and information workers are naturally open to working with each other and sharing, in order better to support the needs of users. That’s why we have associations with committees focused on bringing together people to share ideas and experiences.

We also rely on successful engagement with users in order to design services that work for them. We need to hear their views and ideas to know how best to help them.

Of course, seeking views can also take time, so there’s a real interest in finding ways that are fun, interactive and easy to do this. The result will be stronger strategies, plans and outputs.

Digital brainstorming tools can be really helpful as means of doing this, and so exploring these is the focus of our 12th 10-Minute Digital Librarian post.

One option is a service like Jamboard, offered for free by Google to anyone with a Google account. It effectively acts as a digital whiteboard, where you can add in images, lines or text. It can, for example, act in a similar way to a board where you attach post-it notes with ideas. Other free services online include Mural and Miro.

You could also look at tools focused on mind-mapping, using diagrams to try and write down and organise ideas in order to work with them. Options here include MindMeister and MindMup, both of which allow you to generate an attractive output that can be used later.

These tools allow a number of people to contribute at the same time, opening possibilities for group work, or simply giving people time to come up with and contribute their ideas in a way that can easily be read and accessed by others. In particular, they can be helpful for potential contributors who may feel uncomfortable speaking up, or not be so confident in the main language used. They can also allow people to build off each other’s ideas of course.

In this way, you can hopefully make seeking and generating ideas from colleagues as easy and exciting as possible.

Let us know about the digital brainstorming tools that you have found most useful in the comments below!


If you are interested in issues around digital tools in libraries in general, you should take a look at the work of IFLA’s Information Technology Section.

Discover our full series of 10-Minute Digital Librarian posts, as well as our infographics.