At the LITA Forum 2009, Joan K. Lippincott from the Coalition for Networked Information, gave a nice keynote address on mobile web development for libraries, which you can listen to online (or go here to download the MP3). As I listened to it this morning on the subway, it made me wonder about two things:
- Does our library web site convey to our users in one central space all the “mobile services” that we offer? Should we? What would we list there?
- What should our vision of mobile web services look like? It’s likely that in the coming years we’ll want to provide a considerable amount of services and resources in a way that is optimized for mobile deveices. Which services and resources should we focus on first?
- The library web site. What does our library web site look like in a browser on mobile devices? Should we develop a slimmed down web site for the mobile web? Develop an app that people can download to their phones that offers key services and resources?
- Access to the catalog? Does it help that our users can use the mobile version of WorldCat.org to access our holdings info? Is that good enough? Can our Aleph 500 implementation be optimized for display on phones, etc.? As I was typing this post, a student showed me his phone with a list of call numbers he’d found in the catalog and typed into the notepad feature of his cell phone. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the catalog had a link next to the call number that would allow searchers to have the call number sent to their phones as a text message?
- Access to licensed resources? Which databases can be searched via mobile devices? Does Bearcat Search work on a mobile device?
- Access to Digital Media Library content? Will our videos play on their devices?
- Instructional tutorials?
- Ask a librarian? If we launch a text message reference service, this would provide an important connection to the population of students who rely on their phones as their main communication tool.
- Blackboard? Since we offer credit courses, what do our course sites in Blackboard look like on a smartphone?
- Interlibrary loan? Will it work on their devices? Does it display properly?
- Serials Solutions A-Z journal list and SFX. These are key tools to connect our users to licensed content.
- Online exhibits?
- Library borrower’s accounts in Aleph 500?
- Docutek course reserve system and the materials we’ve added as PDFs?
Lippincott, Joan K. “Mobile Technologies, Mobile Users: Will Libraries Mobilize?” LITA Forum 2009, Salt Lake City. 2 October 2009. Address. Web.