Some Thumbs Up

Libraries2Go: Library Services for Handhelds
Sat., 6/23 10:30 am-12:00 pm
J W Marriott Salon IV

Moderator, Mark Dehmlow of Notre Dame University joined via Skype. Home (Indiana?) awaiting birth of child.
GRE word for the day is ubiquity. 95% of students have cell phones. Libraries need to portal their services to where the users are (except when driving :D). Services for handhelds are user-centered.

First panelist, Bradley Faust from Ball State University.


The Mobile Computing Project at Ball State began in 2004 with LSTA/IMLS grant.

Better, faster higher capacity networks & handheld devices, now integrating with course management systems. Users want:

  • Audio, ebooks, podcasts
  • Mobile search
  • Quick facts
  • Directional tours of facilities, services
  • Video tutorials, instructional videos
  • Texting

Regular web sites are unfriendly to small screens. Need short pages, easy to navigate, minimal images, anywhere access.

BSU developed a new gateway to their catalog using data from their Z39.50 server.
Developed searchable index of journals
Streaming instructional videos via Windows Media
Using Google Co-op search

Markus Wurst–MobiLIB at NCSU

Commercial content providers going to phones–Yahoo, Google, MSN, Flickr, MySpace. Eric Schmidt, Google, “Mobile, mobile, mobile.”

Libraries need to think about what users are doing.

Design considerations–variety of browsers, platforms, small screens, need precise language.

NCSU offering:
1) cat search based on catalog web service using xml data 2) library computer availability 3) Library hours today and tomorrow 4) Campus directory 5) Contact us. 6) Links to external sources 7)University bus status

Just started this spring. No stats. Only staff time being used so far. Markus does not own a cell phone.

Michelle Jacobs–Univ. of Calif Merced mjacobs@ucmerced.edu

Text = short message service (SMS)

Merced is cell only library–no desk phones–they are always at work!
Started text reference with very little advertising. Instruction sessions and word of mouth. 2 faculty have used.
Likes Agile Messenger to access various IM clients. Allows video messaging as well.
YouTube ad with students. Pretty much everything free or at very little cost


Response time? Text etiquette/culture does not expect instant responses. Generally 3 hours or next day.
All of these were side projects.
Megan Fox at Simmons is doing some research/gathering stats. http://web.simmons.edu/~fox/pda/

This was interesting. I would have liked to see some examples from non-academic libraries.