Summertime and the livin’ is . . .

Summertime and the livin’ is . . . research-intensive? Teaching-intensive? If your summer looks like one of those options, this is a little round-up of tools and tips that might make your life easier.

If you’re traveling internationally for research or as part of a teaching program, ProfHacker has some tips for you about technology while living abroad.

When summer teaching or research involves long travel times, you might appreciate this list of 10 sites to download free audio books. If ebooks are your thing, here’s some open-source software to help you get the ebook you want on the device you have. Alternately, you can check out One Hundred Free Books, a constantly changing list of, yes, one hundred free Kindle books. And here’s a comprehensive list of free courses, audio books, ebooks, and textbooks.

For those working in archives where photography is allowed, the CamScanner app (with free upgrade for educational users) easily converts photos taken with your smartphone into PDFs.

And for those teaching, this is a nice list of first day activities that create a climate for learning. With the shortened summer terms, it’s tempting to plunge right in and start grappling with course content. However, since you’ll also be fighting the inevitable summer distractions, it’s useful to get your students thinking about their role in the learning process.

Just for fun, if you want to know how others are spending the summer, here’s a cool infographic Google created based on world-wide search queries from last summer. Libraries are rather under-represented, sadly.

And, because you might be thinking of it now, here’s some summertime music for you:

LibriVox: Free Audiobooks

Are you familiar with LibriVox? This is a website with public domain audiobooks available for downloading. For free. Can’t beat that!

LibriVox represents the work of an army of volunteers: According to their website, “LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.” I’ve heard that the audio / reader quality can vary, but most people seem quite satisfied. The catch is, of course, that LibriVox only has materials that are in the public domain in the United States, generally meaning items published prior to 1923.

If there aren’t worries about particular versions or translations, LibriVox could also be a wonderful alternative for your students, whether they are looking to save money or whether an audio format is simply easier for them to use.