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Opening Keynote – Mobile Tech, Mobile Users

Yes, it is odd to have the opening keynote after the first session, but that first session was only offered to LITA’s speakers, so it was scheduled oddly… Anyway, Joan Lippencott is going to speak on the topic of mobile tech in libraries.
First, though Andrew Pace pointed out the Twitter hashtag (#litaforum) and the Flickr pics at Pix4Lita. Then he introduced all the amazing folks who had something to do with the conference, finishing with an introduction of Joan.
Joan introduced the CNI (Coalition for Networked Information), where she works, then went into stats on just how mobile our world is… 80.5% of college students own laptops, 66% of college students own an Internet-capable cell phone. She followed up with info for e-book readers – Kindle sales of Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol topped print sales for a short time. She mentioned Twitter taking off (note – I’m tweeting while live blogging, so if I make no sense, cut me some slack) and mainstream press moving to mobile applications (saw somewhere that CNN is #1 paid app for iPhone?).
Will libraries meet the challenges of mobile world? Mobile-enabled content, mobile-enabled services, promotion of content are all important.
Understanding Users
“Smartphones moving from communication devices to information devices”. Kid’s consider mobile phones to be their “best friend” – they would keep those over desktop computers, game consoles and MP3 players. 67% of students in 9-12 grades maintain a personal website – and they want to use their own devices (phones, laptops, etc) in learning. Don’t make assumptions about what your users have/want – find “Informing Innovation” includes survey to get info from your users
Mobile Libraries
Typical – hours/catalog/etc. or SMS reference
Could be:

  • library general info
  • patron records
  • reference transactions
  • info literacy podcasts & videos
  • access to services (booking group rooms)
  • finding open computers
  • access to catalogs, indexes, abstracts
  • access to mobile-configured content (owned by library or free on the web)
  • geospatially linked information (Google maps, etc.)
  • loan of devices

University of Virginia – Library Mobile site; brings a bunch of mobile services together.
arXiv for the iPhone – preprint site in high energy physics (freely available on the web – we should be linking to this if it fits our audience)
Mobile-accessible resources

  • World Cat Local
  • Google Book Search Mobile
  • Refworks Mobile
  • Blackboard
  • Audiobooks
  • IEEE Xplore database
  • J Americal Chemical Society (beta)
  • iTunes U (we, as a public library, should be linking to this, definitely!)
  • Podcasts from research & education institutions

QR codes – some smart phones contain QR code reader in them.
Uses: on books to go to online discussion about that book, on reference desk (after hours) linking to common reference questions, etc.
Services via Twitter
Arizona State U. Library Channel – good promotion of services. Also showed a paper poster explaining (graphically) what services the library offers (tech loaning services, etc) both in and outside the library.
Now is the time to create a full-fledged strategy for “mobile revolution”.
Point made during Q&A – if you participate in World Cat, you have mobile access to your catalog (and someone else mentioned that you can create your own interface to World Cat). Nifty – I hadn’t thought of it that way!

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