[Web4lib] Libraries and Mobile Technology: An Introduction to Public Policy Considerations

gerrymck gerry.mckiernan at gmail.com
Wed Jun 16 13:49:27 EDT 2010

There’s an App for That! Libraries and Mobile Technology: An Introduction to
Public Policy Considerations / Timothy Vollmer

[ALA Office Of Information Technology Policy / Policy Brief No. 3, June

As the information revolution continues to unfold, libraries will experiment
withmobile devices and services to support the information needs of their
users whereverthey may be. The adoption of mobile technology alters the
traditional relationships between libraries and their users and introduces
novel challenges to reader privacy. At the same time, the proliferation of
mobile devices and services raises issues of access to information in the
digital age, including content ownership and licensing, digital rights
management, and accessibility. This policy brief explores some of these
issues, and is intended to stimulate further community discussion and policy


Enabling Libraries to Provide Expanded Services to Users

Libraries can better serve their users by embracing the growing capabilities
of mobile technology. They can promote and expand their existing services by
offering mobile access to their websites and online public access catalogs;
by supplying on-the-go mobile reference services; and by providing mobile
access to e-books, journals, video, audio books, and multimedia content.


Mobile devices and services therefore provide tremendous flexibility for
those who wish to take advantage of library services. With a simple 3G
connection, a user lying on a beach can access e-books and multimedia
content via his or her local library. If a smartphone can always access a
network, content can be continually streamed to the device over the network,
providing content on demand and making it unnecessary to maintain a local
copy of the material. By going mobile, then, a library takes a giant step
toward becoming a round-the-clock service.


Conclusions and Recommendations

Mobile technology holds great promise for enabling libraries to provide
enhanced services in a form users increasingly are demanding. If this
promise is to be fully realized, however, libraries will need to conduct
analyses and make smart decisions to address the issues outlined above,
support staff education and explore partnerships and new funding models, and
be prepared to compromise with respect to their traditional information
delivery models.


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BTW: TV > Thanks For The Acknowledgment [:-)

!!! Thanks TO Gary Price / ResourceShelf / For The HeadsUp !!!



Gerry McKiernan
Associate Professor
Science and Technology Librarian
Iowa State University Library
Ames IA 50011

Follow Me On Twitter > http://twitter.com/GMcKBlogs

>>> "The Future Is Mobile" >>>

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