Mobile Trends for Libraries

| May 14, 2010

This slideshow by Meredith Farkas’ does a great job of exposing how mobile technologies exist in relation to libraries and how they may contribute to future library service development. It covers general information of mobile technologies-such as the usage facts, types of tools that have developed on the platform and affordances that the tools provide. Some interesting quick facts pulled from the show include:

– 32% of Americans have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the internet this year (Pew,2009)
– the mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people by 2020 (Pew,2008)
– 94% of students send & receive test messages (Ball State University, 2009)
-The Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR)report entitled Spreading the Word: Messaging and Communications in Hihgher Education breaks down the needs, demands and current situations with mobile technologies and insitutions of higher ed. One figure indicates that the majority of institutions have have made no effort to adapt existing web based resources to handhelds or to directlly develop for mobile handhelds (see bar graph slide 10)

By slide 41 it transitions toward library services for mobile users. These slides provide context to how to apply mobile technologies, outlining first what questions to ask to asses relevant aspects to your library and then taking you through decision points in meeting your needs as a well as how to what to include on a mobile website. It gives examples of cases of success and also provides examples of Library apps that exist for smartphones that provide further accessibility to library functions and info. There is a nice summary of the affordances that mobile devices offer and how they can be applied in a library setting. For example, content interfaces, location-aware tools, QR codes, augmented reality,RSS and SMS,Library tours etc.

This expansive presentation could be an interesting starting point to understand what others have done in this area and to consider and create our own plan of action toward adopting such technologies for our own future development. Recently also thinking about re-imagining some of the reports we do at the library potentially using some of the questions presented in this presentation around how to asses the needs of our population could be a first step in understanding where we should be developing