Library in Pocket: Notes from a Webinar

John Martin's picture

These are notes from the webinar I went to today (see it yourself here!). They may not be entirely accurate due to the imperfectness of my note-taking.

Today I attended:

EDUCAUSE Live! Web Seminar

January 20: Library in Your Pocket—Strategies and Techniques for Developing Successful Mobile Services

Speakers: David Woodbury, Libraries Fellow, North Carolina State University, and Jason Casden, Digital Technologies Development Librarian, North Carolina State University. January 20, 2010; 1:00 p.m. EST. More information on this free, hour-long EDUCAUSE Live! Web Seminar can be found on the event web site, Library in Your Pocket: Strategies and Techniques for Developing Successful Mobile Services. Find archives of past seminars and information about other upcoming events on the EDUCAUSE Live! website.

The NCSU mobile library site was discussed. It's pretty cool, but what made it brilliant is that it contains a prominent link to a webcam of the library's coffee shop lines, among other bits of info. The webcam is a hugely popular "hook" (~50% of usage) to lure students into using it, and then hopefully discover that there's other stuff on there too they might use, like:

  • library hours and maps
  • computer availability
  • catalog
  • askus (reference)
  • ability save book location to phone, so they can find books in stacks (vs. writing on scrap of paper)
  • they're going to soon add study room reservation, patron acct info, electronic reserves for classes, building wayfinding (videos and QR codes), tools for staff, initiative for mobile projects (feedback), user chat (who's in library with you).

They did it themselves vs. waiting for vendor to do it. Since they rolled it out, the've tracked a bunch of info on it, some of which is discussed on the MOBIweb project page.

  • iPhone/iPod Touch = ~75% of use
  • Blackberry = ~7%
  • Android = ~12%
  • 20k hits between introduction and January (200/day?)

Other notes from the webinar on the MOBIweb project

  • used MIT Mobile Web Open Source Project
  • don't get stuck on official guidelines and documents
  • design patterns still emerging
  • targeted high end phones, which followed iphone
  • Dreamweaver can emulate many mobile devices, but it doesn't accurately represent other limitations, such as processor, speed, etc.
  • Strategy: get stuff out there ASAP. refine later (Google's "BETA" strategy) (iterative design)
  • wurfl: a dataset that translates what the user-request came from (what device class)
  • they didn't use a login screen because that would have required working with the central IT enterprise people. The next iteration they want to do that... (proof of concept before dealing with IT people)
  • Wolf Walkers(?): an NCSU AR project tracks user location and shows them special resources based on it

Some resources shared:

Some mobilized library sites that were specifically shared (best viewed on a mobile device, of course...)

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