LibraryThing Delivers Mobile Access to Library Catalogs. This article appears in the Match 2010 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, available for purchase here.
-Dan Freeman One of the most interesting mobile applications demonstrated at the ALA Midwinter Meeting came from outside the ILS vendors. LibaryThing, a company that has found a niche in adding value to existing library catalogs, has created a mobile app that can be used with almost any of the major automation platforms, allowing a broad range of libraries to create a mobile presence at a very low price. LibraryAnywhere, developed by LibraryThing, provides an inexpensive solution for libraries to engage their users with mobile devices. It includes features that will enable libraries to offer mobile users access to their online catalogs, including the ability to search the library’s collection and to perform services such as viewing currently charged items and to requesting or renewing materials.
LibraryThing has also developed products specifically for libraries. Library, mobile: beta. C mobileOK Checker. Planning for a Mobile Website. Mobile, mobile, mobile.
It’s all we hear these days. Mobile…it’s the new black. Mobile…you just GOTTA. At my library, mobile web browsers have only accounted for .3% of the total site traffic so far this semester. Taking all the public PCs into account (the default webpage for which is of course the library web page) only takes this up to .5%. In a word, yes. How does one create a mobile website for one’s library? This workshop was great for two reasons: the content was excellent, and its delivery was stellar.
I expected the workshop to be more technical than it was, but this turned out to be unnecessary. One of the most important distinctions made in this workshop for me was the idea that it’s necessary to think about mobile devices in two classes: smart phones and lower-end devices. Other important points: A content management system like Drupal is capable of creating a mobile website through stylesheets and theming, as are programs like Dreamweaver.
Additional resources. Mobile Site Generator · Hidden Peanuts. I’m really excited to launch a side project this morning that I’ve been working on for a while: Mobile Site Generator After filling out a form with page titles and few other bits of info, the generator spits out a fully functional mobile site (tested on iPhones, iTouches, and Android devices) ready for uploading to your server as an HTML file!
I’ve been asked a lot of questions about how we made the UNC Libraries’ mobile website. When I start to talk about the iUI framework we used, I see a lot of eyes glaze over. But it’s really easy! But while I’ve seen a lot of talk about mobile sites for libraries, I don’t see nearly as many actually implementing them. As you’ll no doubt see immediately after clicking the link above, the MSG (gee, what a great acronym I picked!) I plan on making it prettier with time, but I wanted to get it functional and online in time to point it out in some presentations I’m giving in the near future.
Mobile Web Design – Working Code, Tips, Best Practices « DigInit: digital initiatives. Taking a web site to the small screen comes with a host of considerations: device width, available bandwidth, touch versus click interfaces, browsers with limited functionality, etc.