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Libraries and mobile devices

July 30, 2009
Our new mobile web page

Our new mobile web page

Today is the Handheld Librarian conference. You can follow the tweets from the conference.  Around 11am I wish I had registered for it. Looking at all of the tweets about the technical problems, I’m not so disappointed. I am hoping that some of the information will be made available later on, because this is a subject I have been thinking about a lot for my library.

Recently, I created a very basic mobile webpage for our library.  At the moment, it contains three main pieces of information:  library hours, contact information, and links to a (very) few databases with mobile interfaces.

In my search for databases to include on this list, I was surprised by the low number of vendors with such interfaces.  I also wondered exactly how users would use these mobile resources.

In addition, we have been paying attention to what is happening with Kindle eBook readers.  There seems to be a lot of debate about how/if libraries can lend these out or take advantage of the eBook market in anyway.

I am an avid reader of eBooks on my iPhone, through the Kindle reader for iPhone and now the new Barnes and Noble eBook reader.  So far, the Kindle reader is easier to use.

I’m looking forward to seeing what other libraries are doing with mobile devices to provide content and services.

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One Comment
  1. That’s very neat that you’ve created a mobile webpage for the library. Have you considered redirecting mobile browsers from http://library.geneseo.edu to http://library.geneseo.edu/m?

    I really like that you’ve provided a link to the main library page, just in case. Personally, I’ve found that a lot of mobile websites don’t do that, and it becomes a huge hassle to get more information. If you did redirect to the mobile site, it might be a problem to keep the main webpage link working.

    Another option, perhaps, is to provide a link to the mobile site at the top of the main page if the user is on a mobile device.

    And as for being a basic site, I think it’s ideal. Do you have a lot of people trying to access other things on your site using mobile devices, apart from the ones linked on the basic mobile page you created?

    Hope you don’t mind input from a former student library worker. 🙂

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