mLibraries – Delivering Library Services to Mobile Users

mLibraries: Delivering Library Services
and Content to Mobile Users
Joan K. Lippincott
Coalition for Networked Information
ASERL Fall Meeting
Charleston, SC
November 18, 2009
Coalition for Networked
Information (CNI)
Founded in 1990 by ARL and EDUCAUSE
Mission: accelerate progress in digital
information related to research and education
200+ member institutions
Executive Director Clifford Lynch
Subscribe to cni-announce
It’s a Mobile World
93.9% of freshmen
own a laptop
66% of college
students own an
Internet-capable cell
71% of teens 12-17
owned a cell phone
in 2008 compared to
45% in 2004
ECAR Study of Undergrad Students and IT, 2009; Pew Internet, “Teens and Mobile Phones,” 2009
E-book readers are taking off
Kindle sales of a recent
bestseller by Dan Brown
topped print sales at
People of all ages are tweeting…
The mainstream press is producing mobilecompatible versions of content
Veteran newswoman Cokie
Roberts says…
“…journalists depend on
libraries and librarians
for information and
facts. The library of
today might be in your
cell phone instead of
going to the building…
but we need the people
in the building to get it
to the cell phones…The
people actually doing
the work and the
research are still in
American Libraries , May 2009
Will your library meet the
Provision of content
configured for
mobile devices
Provision of services
for mobile device
Promotion of content
and services - so
potential users are
Today’s Talk: Will Libraries Mobilize?
Understanding users
Developing a
cohesive strategy
Collaborating with
I. Understanding Users
“Just a typical college
“What’s in my bag?”
Responding to users: the
environment is changing
Moving from
communication to
information devices
Major universities have
a presence in iTunes U.
Nielsen reports a 52%
increase in mobile
subscribers watching
video on a mobile phone
Kids “consider their mobile
phone to be their best friend.”
If you had to give up
all but one device desktop computer,
laptop, MP3, tv,
game console,
mobile phone which would you
US & UK kids chose
mobile phone
Mobile Life Report 2008
While technology skills vary…
67% of students in grades 9-12 maintain
a personal website
When asked what they do regularly with
technology for schoolwork, 27% of K-12
students said they create slideshows,
videos, and/or webpages
K-12 students want to use their own
devices in learning
Project Tomorrow
Students in professional programs
are key target populations
Harvard Medical School survey of
students 2007
52% own a PDA
Application with most use: reference info
with 26% of respondents; only 6% subscribe
to podcasts
As reported in “Waiting on the Wave,” Campus Technology,
March 2007
Most students will
go into careers
where they will use
technology and
produce digital
content every
day…and they will
increasingly use
mobile devices
Do our users want mobile
environments that are:
And can libraries deliver them?
Models for understanding user
populations and assessing needs
Two studies
published by ACRL
and available for free
II. What do you think of when you hear
the words “mobile” and “libraries”?
Access to library hours, catalogs, etc. via a
mobile phone
SMS text messaging to-from reference staff
But, there is more…
Developing a cohesive strategy
Bringing together
Library general information
Patron records
Reference transactions
Information literacy podcasts and videos
Access to services - booking group rooms
Access to catalogs, indexes, abstracts
Access to citation tools
Developing a cohesive strategy
Access to digital content configured for
mobile devices
Library owned or licensed
Freely available on the web
Geo-spatially linked information
Loan of devices
New technologies - what’s next?
Social networking?
QR Codes?
Many libraries have prototype services…we
can learn from their experience
Reference available via chat, SMS
Information literacy podcast tutorials
Clickers in information literacy classes
Catalog, patron record, call number,
computer availability information
available for mobile phones
Provision of ILL content on Kindles
Loan of mobile devices
Bringing it together
Bringing it together
Scholarly resources are
emerging: arXiv for the iPhone
Libraries are using institutional
content in creative ways
Digital images from
Special Collections at
NC State U. - Locationaware campus tour
linked to map with
geotagged placemarks
associated with images
from Special Collections
Where do these mobile-accessible
resources fit in your plan?
World Cat Mobile
Google Book Search
RefWorks Mobile
Audiobooks for
Ipods, Iphones, and
MP3 players
IEEE Xplore
J American Chemical
Society (beta)
ITunes U
Podcasts from
research & education
And we will see new services
QR codes can link
locations, books, etc.
to web pages with
information, links to
social networking
sites, or phone nos.
Ramsden, A., Jordan, L., 2009. Are
students ready for QR codes? Findings
from a student survey at the University of
Bath. Working Paper. University of Bath.
Services via Twitter
Some libraries also serve as a main
campus resource for device information
Comparison of
mobile devices
Help Desk support
Some may offer re-charging stations for
devices - grad student lockers U. Colorado
Promoting Services:
Arizona State U. Library Channel
Promoting Services:
Western Illinois U. Libraries
Text Me service
In the online
catalog, users can
click on “text me this
call no.,” input a cell
phone no., and the
call no. is sent to the
user’s phone
Promoted through
video on YouTube
Cornell Mann Library
Pilot services in the context of an
overall plan
III. Collaborating with others
Partnerships within the library
Partnerships with academic or IT units
University-wide partnerships
Partners within the library
IT or Systems
Developing platforms; implementing solutions
Planning and delivering services; selecting content
Departmental liaisons
Keeping abreast of department initiatives or
Partners within the library
Special collections
Developing campus-driven applications
Access services
Loaning equipment and content
Developing a planning process
Acquiring or reallocating resources
Getting a seat at the institutional table
Silos will not lead to a cohesive
environment for users
How will libraries interface with
initiatives like these?
At Indiana U., business grad students
are offered discounts on Blackberry
At U. Missouri, journalism students are
required to buy an Iphone or Ipod Touch
As reported in Chronicle of Higher Ed, May 22, 2009
Physician Assistant
Graduate Program
2007 Smartphone
pilot working with IT
and Library; now full
3 key applications
including Merck
Is your institution developing a
plan for mobile device users?
No. of Key Institutional Web Services
Made Available for Handheld Devices
44% of higher education institutions
said “None”
40% of higher education institutions
said “A Few”
40% identified “mobile communications”
as an area of importance in their
technology strategic plan
“Spreading the Word: Messaging and Communications in Higher
Education,” EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2009
The Report Concludes:
“our research reveals a troubling lack of
preparation by higher education to
handle the growing demand for mobile
“Spreading the Word: Messaging and Communications in Higher
Education,” EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2009
Some universities are developing
mobile portals
These portals may or may not
include the library
An ECAR study listed 11 core campus
activities where there might be use of
mobile strategies (e.g. registration,
teaching, safety) but no mention of the
library “Spreading the Word: Messaging and
Communications in Higher Education,” EDUCAUSE Center for
Applied Research, 2009
There are reports of campus strategies
which do include libraries, e.g. MIT, U.
San Diego, U. Illinois U-C, and others
Ensure your seat at the table
Some Institutional Policy and
Infrastructure Issues
What platforms will be supported; will any devices be
Who will make these decisions for the institution?
Who will provide technical support for users?
Who will select, license, and fund content for mobile
Will this give your institution a competitive advantage?
Now Is the Time…
To study your local environment and users
To institute pilot projects
To ask students to develop library apps
To participate in institutional planning
To promote awareness of your efforts to your
user community
To disseminate information about your
successes and problems
To fully participate in the mobile revolution
Thank You!
Lippincott, Joan. “Mobile Technologies, Mobile Users.” ARL: A
Bimonthly Report. No. 261, Dec., 2008.
“Mobile Reference: What Are the Questions?” Reference Librarian
2009 (Forthcoming)
Sheehan, Mark and Judith Pirani. “Spreading the Word: Messaging
And Communications in Higher Education.” Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE
Center for Applied Research, Vol. 2, 2009.
M-libraries wiki
Note: All photos used from flickr have Creative Commons licenses
Contact: [email protected]
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