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Page history last edited by Julia Gelfand 13 years, 8 months ago


Mobile Technology in the Library


Facilitated by Kimberly Chapman, University of Arizona

Note taker: Khue Duong


We first discussed the definition and examples of mobile technology.  They are handheld, portable devices for “access on the go” such as cell phones, Blackberry, iPhone, notebook, Kindle reader, etc.  People questioned whether laptops and e-reader devices were truly mobile technology within the library context.


Question was raised regarding what type of information and software applications are being pushed out by these hand-held devices.  Someone mentioned about the usability of the Apps on tiny screen. 


Julia Gelfand mentioned a Merill Lynch study which stated that the use of handheld devices was devoted 55% to computer applications and 45% to communication purpose.


Joe Murphy at Yale has done some work on this issue.  Here’s his blog that lists his studies:



Applications in the library:


-          Twitter account for Reference.  Someone raised concerns about privacy, whether a twitter answer is intended for what audience.  One can potentially monitor Tweets within certain radius of the library for a more reactive info delivery services to patrons.


-          Julia mentioned potential problems with authentication, VPN and the cost.  Question was raised whether your organization was willing to pay for handheld device access, and whether a policy needed to be drafted to delineate personal and work-related use.


-          It is important to note that you do not need to have a mobile device to partake in monitoring applications like Twitter.  Having one just means that you “live through” the experience and understand first-hand the proliferation of mobile technology.


-           24/7 Online Chat Reference vs. text referencing: Text-messaging Reference Software at www.textalibrarian.com


-          Julia at UCI noted that less and less students brought laptops to the library.  Generation Y students all had multiple iPhones, iPods and since they were smaller, they would not be as easily lost as laptops—a cost that the parents had to deal with.  And thus, the use of library computer lab had increased whereas the checkout of laptop diminished.


-          Sharon (Florida) saw the usefulness of mobile devices as medical students doing rotation out and about.  Plus, the Engineering buildings were 3 miles from the main campus.


-          Jennifer brought up the difficulty of monitoring cheating with hand-held devices apps.


-          Do you know of other mobile apps libraries are deploying such as www.myinfoquest.info ? 


-          Online Handheld Librarian Conference February 17/18: www.handheldlibrarian.org


Julia Gelfand:  I promised to add a link to the Subject Guide my medical librarian colleagues created on PDA Resources in Medicine - found at http://libguides.lib.uci.edu/pda



Comments (1)

patricia.watkins@... said

at 8:38 pm on Jan 19, 2010

One librarian mentioned using Twitter to search for tweets about a library's customer service, looking for issues/mention of library issues or problems.

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