Top Ten IFTTT Recipes for Librarians


Ok if you’re a librarian then you’re probably familiar with the statement “if this then that” (IFTTT). It’s pretty much a Boolean search that performs an action in a web application. If you’ve ever performed an advanced search, run a list in your LMS, forwarded your email to another email carrier, etc then you’ve used an IFTTT statement. IFTTT is a free service came out in 2010 and allows you to create and use “recipes” that execute commands online. For example you can backup your tagged Facebook photos in your Dropbox folder by creating the recipe “IF I am tagged in a photo on Facebook THEN I want to add that file to my Dropbox (THAT).” And IFTTT takes all the coding out of it making recipe creation a piece of cake 🙂

Here are my top 10 IFTTT recipes:

1) When you get a Gmail that you have a new Twitter follower automatically tweet them a welcome message

2) Back up my contacts to a Google Spreadsheet: Useful method for backing up your contact list.

3) When a new book is added to Kindle Top 100 eBooks, send me an email

4) When a new book is added to the NY Times Best Sellers List, send me an email: #3 and #4 utilize RSS URLs so the possibilities for this recipe are endless.

5) If I star a Gmail, send it to Evernote

6) Save the Facebook photos I upload to Dropbox:This is a great way to save the photos you post for your library’s FB account.

7) Log all of my completed goals (iOS) in a Google Drive spreadsheet: This is a useful way to keep a record of all your completed projects for your yearly reporting.

8) Tweet every YouTube video you favorite

9) Upload new Instagram photos to Flickr

10) Create a Facebook status update via text message: This is especially useful for those who have not jumped on the smartphone bandwagon. If you manage your library’s Facebook and are on the go just simply send a text message w/ the hashtag #FB and it will appear on Facebook as a status message. Now when you get an awesome idea for a status update you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to post it, all you have to do is text!

IFTTT also has a great user community. You can share recipes you’ve created or browse the ones that have been shared by others. You’ll be surprised w/ people’s innovation! If you have any awesome IFTTT recipes that you use please share them below:


  1. My favorite IFTTT recipe no longer exists because Twitter changed their terms of service. It used to be that you could have IFTTT make it so that if someone tweeted certain terms it would send you an email notification. This is how I found out about stuff like when birds started showing up in the library one cold fall day. They were getting tweeted about by students.

    Another good use is to take advantage of RSS recipes. For example, if you have an RSS feed for new library books you can make it so that a tweet is automatically sent out whenever those show up.

    1. I totally agree with you Gabe, the Twitter options were great. Now I have to use Tweetdeck to conduct searches for the mention of specific library related terms about the library. I have never tried out RSS recipes yet! I’m definitely going to try out the one for new library books. Do you use a specific service for this?