Library Mobile Computing Project


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  • Indiana State University is a comprehensive university offering 123 undergraduate majors and a selective number of graduate programs at the masters and doctoral level. The population of almost 11,000 students includes 9300 undergrads and 1650 graduate students. 61% of incoming freshman in 2000 come from rural areas or small towns. 90% of undergraduates come from the State of Indiana. Not only are ISU students predominantly from rural areas of Indiana, but they also come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. One third of freshmen enrolling in 2000 reported family annual incomes of $40,000 or less. 61% of Fall 2000 freshmen come from families where neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.
  • ISU’s current Library building opened in 1973. It has over 1 million volumes housed on five floors. The Library was built before the age of networking. There are graduate and faculty study carrels which have never been networked, yet our primary databases are available through the web. This year our Associate Dean wanted to wire the carrels and was told we had a limited number of ports available. Users locate materials using a web-based OPAC. While the OPAC gives bibliographic citation and call number, it does not list the floor on which the user will find the call number. Users must rely on signage, book marks, or interaction with staff members to determine on which floor a call number resides.
  • Ralph, Judy attended ACM’s Digital Libraries Conference (June 2-7, 2000) where they heard an interesting talk by group from Cornell. “Live from the Stacks; User Feedback On Mobile Computers and Wireless Tools for Library Patrons” in Proceedings of the Fifth ACM Conference on Digital Libraries; June 2-7, 2000 San Antonio TX 95-101.   From parts of the presentation we set to work on two scenarios most interesting to us 1. A patron enters the library and proceeds to the main desk. From the desk, they check out a hand-held scanner the size of a large calculator. This scanner allows him to scan text and graphics from books, journals, and other printed materials in the library into an electronic format stored within the scanner. The stored scans can then be printed or transferred to the patron’s disk or laptop computer for use in electronic documents upon returning the scanner to the main desk. 2. A Patron enters the library and proceeds to the main desk. From the desk, they check out a mobile computing device that they will use while searching for information. The device allows them to search the on-line catalog from all locations in the building, interact with others presently on the network (including library personnel, send e-mail, take notes on items that they found, and record the notes in a private space on a library computer when done.
  • We started by laying out an Mobile Project Plan which included Setting up time-table, phases, device acquisition, and cost figures for approval. Checkout of handheld document scanners and checkout of handheld computers with a wireless 802.11b LAN infrastructure. To provide advanced download workstations, as well as simple kiosk based workstations. Later to incorporate Web based “chat” and “book locater” functions. We order a couple of handheld devices to test Built the initial “download” station Looked at what types of wireless networking was available, and from who.
  • Start by building a mobile computing team: touched on Library Reference, networking, distance education, and desktop PC support. Goals are to anticipate student needs, by providing alternative / supplement computing to traditional fixed workstations, and photocopiers ELABORATE ON THESE JT Problems involved networking, device selection, ease of use, costs, security and real world use of these devices
  • To fulfill scenario one, we initially tried two different types of scanners: One called the Quicklink Pen that scanned line by line, Also an HP device which scanned a page at a time. After testing we gave up on the Quicklink since it was too slow and hard to work with. The HP was just what we needed. Went from 1 to 4 HP devices 2 hour, 4 hour, or 48 hour loan periods.(faculty and grad only)
  • In order to make the most effective use of the HP scanners, we needed to load MS Word, the Pagis software with OCR, Adobe Acrobat, And and email out only client on the workstation. It also required the infrared port, a zip drive, and network drive space connectivity. We built a custom login screen with Novell support, and a custom email out only package to support these needs.
  • Did usability testing with students on scanners initially. Overall their assessment of the scanners was very positive.We prototyped the dump station. While not difficult to use the handheld scanners, they do require some minimal training. They required the documents to be flat. Tightly bound items are difficult. Need to have a smooth flow. Where we really found problems were with the dump stations. Initially conflicts between Pagis software and our security software. Had to change to Watchdog cards. What we really discovered while working with users was that it was necessary for them to know what they wanted to do with the scanned material. This was important because while OCR software was pretty good, it doesn’t pick up every word precisely. If the user just wants to read article, or save electronically, then need to convert the XIF file to PDF or GIF. If they want to print, then just print (We charge 7 cents/page to print.) Normally we convert items to PDF because files are smaller than GIFs or JIFs. This is the slowest process because you cannot convert the whole document at once. Can only convert a few pages at a time. We have developed two handouts—one for dump station, one for scanner. During checkout procedures we let user know the cost of the scanner and that they will be charged $500 if lost. Problems with battery life—now have a better charger so no longer a problem. Material in scanner is not lost when batteries die. Problems with “heavy handed” users breaking the trash can button. Response good; more and more usage. Students have learned they can avoid paying photocopy charges. The slowest part of the process is the dump station.
  • ALSO FOUR WORKSTATIONS (WHAT KIND?) JT Though we didn’t cost the first two workstations (we adapted two already in use) they were Gateway E-1200 PCs with a Cerian …. And a EV-700 montior with zip drives. These cost $?????? A piece. Additional dumpstations would be of the same type and approximately the same price. May need to plan for addition Zip drives, or added workstations.
  • Currently we have only one workstation, very secured, with Internet access and the ability to launch local CD-ROM databases. While keeping this model generally, we added two other: One more complex with a variety of software packages to sync with mobile devices. One very simple that can only access the library catalog via the Internet. (We are using IE 5.5 administration kit to build a custom IE that will run in Kiosk mode ) WHY? (JT)
  • This mobile computing device may be checked out at the reference desk; however, we anticipate that users will have their own devices though we may provide a limited number of devices to be checked out.. Online catalog from anywhere in the building Contact (including library personnel), record the notes in a private space on a library computer when done. The user can even query the device to find the shelf on which a physical document is located.
  • We became aware of a project to wire all the faculty carrels This seemed like a good opportunity for wireless With cost considerations, and the high potential for mobile device use, wireless was selected Kiosk workstations will try to solve to problems: Simple workstations Direct catalog access for express library patrons
  • In reviewing wireless networks, we believed 802.11b WI-FI standard had a very positive outlook. We used Cisco componets since they were the campus standard Also supplemented Compaq Software access points for cost reasons
  • The site survey consisted of these maps, an access point with a long network cable, and extension cord. Using the signal strength meter from the network card, we were able to determine the number and placement of access points on each floor. Blue = faculty carrel project Red = Entire library project (later slide) Discuss Metal stacks problem. Placement of Access Points make a significant difference. NOT ONLY DO FACULTY CARRELS HAVE ACCESS BUT ALSO OPEN STUDY AREAS JT
  • Install additional access point for entire public area coverage of the library. At this point we plan to checkout 4 handheld, and 10 wireless card. The download stations will be upgraded with Active Sync software, and USB cradles to transfer collect information to email or to removable media.
  • The site survey consisted of these maps, an access point with a long network cable, and extension cord. Using the signal strength meter from the network card, we were able to determine the number and placement of access points on each floor. Blue = faculty carrel project Red = Entire library project Discuss Metal stacks problem. Placement of Access Points make a significant difference. NOT ONLY DO FACULTY CARRELS HAVE ACCESS BUT ALSO OPEN STUDY AREAS JT
  • From the site survey we came up with the following cost figures. Since the campus is strictly a Cisco network shop, and since articles related to performance testing picked Cisco, we chose their products. The exception was that Compaq can make existing PC’s into access points with a PCI wireless network card, and some added software. These were included since they saved approximately $550.00 per access point. Since Compaq cards do not support Novell 4 or 5, we made those stations, Kiosk only stations.
  • TALK ABOUT TWO OPERATING SYSTEMS? JT THE JAN/FEB. 2001 ISSUE OF MIT’S TECHNOLOGY REVIEW STATES THAT “ Instead of being simple organizers, the PalmOS is now widely regarded as the world's next major computing platform—a platform that's specially optimized for ubiquitous mobile computing.” Limited our choices to Palm VII, Compaq iPAQ and HP Jornado PocketPC’s, Psion Epoch devices and HP Jornado handheld PC’s. The Jornado handheld was in use at another university in California, but it used the older Windows CE 2.0 operating system. We initially bought one Palm, and two iPAQ’s for development of the concept. Accommodating future choices will always need to be considered. The goal is not to push one device, but to integrate the best devices. That the students may be choosing for their personal use. Drawback to Cell based networking because of the monthly pricing structure.
  • The iPAQ seemed to be the best choice for development considering Wireless network requirements: Ethernet LAN capability Product Reviews Design Specifications. It requires the PC Card expansion pack, and the WL100 wireless cards purchased separately to work with the 802.11b network.
  • We are considering purchasing two more iPAQs to be loaned. However we are still evaluating this option
  • In testing the iPAQ and the Palm we determined that a one size fits all web presence is no longer true. We will also investigate WAP based servers to supply pages to web enabled cell phones. While cell devices have big potential, they are limited by speed of the network until 3G rolls out in 2003.
  • Remembering scenario 2, the student is upstairs, wanting to look for an item, citation database, find whether we own a journal… We are developing a web interface for handhelds only. We are prototyping a web interface. We will be testing it with students and changing interface based on input during the design process. Because our web site uses Java script (popup window), we can’t use with handhelds. Used a text-only interface. Going to try to learn what will be used most by students. In preliminary design of the interface, trying to highlight things we think will be most useful to people—online catalog and citation databases. However, we are not reducing access to other databases including full text.
  • Limited to library now, but will open up campus wide, restricting to IP authorization. Link will be available on regular home page as well as mobile home page. Using a web chat, which we bring up at the student assistant’s desk and workstation of librarian on duty, so that user will have an immediate response. Examples of virtual reference chat.
  • We have prototyped out Ralph will finish.
  • As the cell phone market has exploded, we believe mobile computing will take on similar proportions. Handhelds, notebooks, tablet size PC’s, and web enabled cell phones will likely become the future, more flexible solution for student computing needs. We are estimating that students, faculty, and staff will purchase many of these devices on their own.
  • Things which rolled out from project. E-pop Changing workstation directions LAN workspace on server Serious thoughts about whether we will be checking out a number of handhelds. Not particularly useful. Anticipate students needs, not steering them in any one direction While we cannot provide every mobile device, even in limited numbers, we do want to provide some as examples. The hope is we hope students and staff will learn from the examples provided. Encourage good selection and capabilities as they make their purchases . Be in a position to support as many mobile devices as possible. Need to keep a close eye on the industrial leaders such as Palm, HP, Compaq, Cisco, and other new technologies which appear at an increasing rate.
  • Library Mobile Computing Project

    1. 1. Library Mobile Computing Project Indiana State University Library Ralph Gabbard, Judy Tribble, Paul Asay, Chris Hayes, Joe Rayes
    2. 2. ISU Background <ul><li>Comprehensive university </li></ul><ul><li>11,000 students </li></ul><ul><li>Students from rural areas and lower socioeconomic backgrounds </li></ul>
    3. 3. ISU Library <ul><li>Current building opened in 1973. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 1 million volumes on five floors. </li></ul><ul><li>Graduate and faculty carrels are not currently networked. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 60 databases available through the library home page. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Inspiration – Cornell’s “Live From the Stacks <ul><li>First, mobile document scanners. </li></ul><ul><li>Second, mobile computers. </li></ul>
    5. 5. The Mobile Project Plan <ul><li>Mobile Project Plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Planned workstation syncing prototype. </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate wireless LAN’s. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Project Plan Goals & Objectives <ul><li>Team approach. </li></ul><ul><li>The goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Problems encountered. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usability. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Costs. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Scenario One <ul><li>A patron enters the library. At the main desk, s/he checks out a hand-held scanner. The patron takes the scanner into the stacks to scan text and graphics from books, journals, and other printed materials in the library. </li></ul><ul><li>Before leaving the library, the patron can print or transfer the scanned files to the his/her disk or laptop computer for use in electronic documents. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Scenario One, Handheld Scanners <ul><li>HP CapShare 920 mobile e-copier. </li></ul><ul><li>Checkout procedures. </li></ul><ul><li>Downloads via infrared port. </li></ul><ul><li>Bundled Pagis pro software handles text conversion. </li></ul><ul><li>Required a “Download” workstation. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Mobile E-copier Details <ul><li>While fairly simple to operate, it did require advance software, and infrared capable transmission. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Usability testing and prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Problems </li></ul>
    11. 11. Scenario One Costs <ul><li>HP Capshare Scanner Costs: 4 @ $279.00: total $1116.00. </li></ul><ul><li>Extended Systems Infrared USB Adapters: 4 @ $54.00: total $216.00. </li></ul><ul><li>Watchdog cards: 4 @ $85.00: $340.00. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Evolving Workstations <ul><li>Library workstations currently have only one “look”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Download” workstation addition. </li></ul><ul><li>Later add an express kiosk station. </li></ul><ul><li>Switched workstation security to Watchdog internal cards. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Scenario Two <ul><li>A patron enters the library and using a mobile computing device, the patron: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>searches the on-line catalog, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interacts with others on the network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>takes and records notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locates books and other materials </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Scenario Two, Parts 1-6 <ul><li>Parts 1 and 2 – Install wireless network </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part 1 – “wire” faculty carrels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part 2 – “wire” rest of building </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 3 – Test handhelds and PC cards </li></ul><ul><li>Part 4 – Set up mobile web site </li></ul><ul><li>Part 5 – Install reference chat room </li></ul><ul><li>Part 6 – Develop book locator software </li></ul>
    15. 15. Setting up the network <ul><li>Wireless network access in all faculty carrels. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High potential for mobile device usage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower cost than wiring 54 carrels. </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Wireless Network Infrastructure <ul><li>Mobile computing required an effective wireless network. </li></ul><ul><li>We settled on a combination of 802.11b components from Cisco and Compaq. </li></ul><ul><li>Both comply with the WI-FI standard. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Wireless LAN Site Survey
    18. 18. Carrel Wireless Costs <ul><li>Total hardware including 7 Cisco access points, and 10 wireless cards: $8,123.00. </li></ul><ul><li>Total installation costs including wiring, and power: $2,100.00. </li></ul><ul><li>We conducted the site survey ourselves to determine the number and location of access points. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Setting up the Network– Part Two <ul><li>Extend the wireless network into every public area of the library. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Wireless LAN Site Survey
    21. 21. Rest of Library Wireless Costs <ul><li>Total hardware including 17 Cisco access points, 8 Compaq PCI/software access points cost: $18,042.00. </li></ul><ul><li>Total installation costs including wiring, and power: $5,100.00. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Choosing Handheld OS <ul><li>Several choices of handheld computers, but few that are network capable. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited choices available: Palm, PocketPC’s, Psion, and Win CE handheld PC’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Garfinkel, Simson. “The net effect: handheld heaven.” TECHNOLOGY REVIEW, January/February 2001 </li></ul>
    23. 23. Handheld Specifics – Developmental Phase <ul><li>Compaq iPAQ 3650 PDA. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes expansion pack for PC cards. </li></ul><ul><li>Compaq WL100 wireless network card. </li></ul><ul><li>Syncs via USB cradle to download workstation. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Handheld Costs – Developmental Phase <ul><li>Compaq iPAQ handheld with wireless cards and expansion packs costs 2 @ $720.00: $14200.00. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Mobile Web Presence <ul><li>Screen capability on mobile devices may force you to rethink your web presence. </li></ul><ul><li>Potential use of a WAP server. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Scenario Two – Part4 – http://mobile. indstate . edu
    27. 27. Scenario Two, Part 5 – Reference Chat <ul><li>While in the stacks, the student can ask a question of a staff member via chat software. </li></ul><ul><li>Used chat software which could be accessed from more than one workstation. </li></ul><ul><li>Restricted by IP authorization. </li></ul>
    28. 28. Scenario Two – Part 6 Book Locator <ul><li>While in the stacks the user can search the catalog for a book, find a call number, then use Book Locator to determine which floor and shelf the book occupies. </li></ul>
    29. 29. Considerations for the Near Future <ul><li>Handhelds, notebooks, tablet size pc’s, and web enabled cell phones. </li></ul>
    30. 30. Future Directions <ul><li>E-pop. </li></ul><ul><li>Changing workstations. </li></ul><ul><li>Providing students with a library workspace. </li></ul><ul><li>Support the rapidly changing mobile environment. </li></ul>
    31. 31. Conclusions <ul><li>Mobile computing in the library is feasible and may serve users better than wired networking in specific cases. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Conclusions <ul><li>The library is a good place to prototype mobile computing on campus. </li></ul>