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M-libraries on the hype cycle

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Delivered at 4th International M-libraries Conference at Open University (Milton Keynes) on 25th September 2012

Delivered at 4th International M-libraries Conference at Open University (Milton Keynes) on 25th September 2012


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  • Introduction to JISC Mobile Infrastructure for Libraries programme JISC m-library community support project - evidence gathering and community building Evidence gathering included collating online resources, co-ordinating case studies, and producing pathways to best practice. Community building included organising information sharing event, delivering presentations and workshops, blogging, and establishing community website which has recently moved to mailing list.
  • Survey aimed to get snapshot of situation across libraries - what are they doing, what are they planning, what barriers are there. Initial survey launched in November 2011 and closed in December 2011. Second survey launched in July 2012 and closed in August 2012. Both promoted via mailing lists and social media.
  • Although there were a lower number of respondents in the second survey (likely due to the time of year), proportionally the representation was very similar with the majority of respondents from academic libraries. In both surveys, the majority of respondents were from UK (66% and 65%), with other responses from USA, Australia, Canada, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.
  • Dramatic increase across all types of m-library initiatives. This could be skewed because in the initial survey we gave an open box whereas in the second survey we gave tick boxes (based on categories from previous survey). QR codes seem to have experienced an increase in popularity, and we see that organisation mobile apps appear to be now more common than library specific mobile apps. CAVEATS: Self-selecting respondents therefore data likely to be inflated.
  • Other initiatives currently being used in libraries included the following, though most of these only had a very small number of respondents.
  • You will immediately notice that these figures are much smaller, possibly due to the fact that people are not yet sure what they plan to do in future (many said they were planning to use mobile technologies but not sure how). Areas to highlight in this graph are the fact that mobile catalogue, mobile website, QR codes and mobile app have all decreased (possibly because many libraries either already have or are working on developing). However, mobile roving has shown a dramatic increase. Over the course of the project the growth of tablets has been huge, and as most open responses refer to iPads or other tablets we suspect that this growth has led to more libraries planning to use them in future. This has also been a key topic for discussion at events and on social media and there is a clear strong desire to implement this in many libraries.
  • Sample of other ideas for future m-library initiatives
  • Some additional options were added to the second survey based on the open comments - these are marked with an asterisk. It is pleasing to see a number of barriers have reduced, though resource constraints and infrastructure/policy constraints appear to have become a more major barrier. In the second survey, we also asked an additional question to establish which of these was the greatest barrier. Resource constraints (45.5%) and infrastructure/policy constraints (17.2%) were by far the major barriers.
  • Quite a few people mentioned a broken record technique, patience, or prayers - here is a selection of some more practical approaches.
  • Slides will be available on Slideshare. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
  • Transcript

    • 1. M-libraries on the hype cycle: where are we? Jo Alcock Evidence Base at Birmingham City University jo.alcock@bcu.ac.uk @joeyanne M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 2. JISC m-library community support project M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 3. Fact finding surveys M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 4. Respondents n=188 n=127Dec 2011 Aug 2012 M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 5. Current m-library initiatives M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 6. Current m-library initiatives Mobile chat (library enquiry service). Location of free PCs in library Status of printers in library Newswires from news agenciesMobile access to eBooks, audiobooks thru Overdrive, mobile download of freemusic thru freegal, and mobile access to ebsco databases...all accessible frommobile website. M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 7. Future m-library initiatives M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 8. Future m-library initiativesAm very interested in Adobe Content Server for serving ebooks flexibly tomobile readers Were looking at redeveloping our library website presence using responsive web design principlesAR to aid orientation esp at induction Development of mobile enquiry serviceWe are considering adding tablet computers to the collection that would circulateto students with disabilities M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 9. Barriers to m-library developments M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 10. Overcoming barriers to m- library developmentsGo for quick wins, using apps/services that are free or low cost,whilst beginning to embed mobile considerations intoprocesses/projects Re-prioritizing staff timeMaking it a priority over some traditional services that are nolonger meeting users needs By making a strong business case Staff training and hiring new skill sets Utilising expertise from other departments (e.g. IT department) and other institutionsBy determining what our users would want to access on mobile devices,and making the service user-led. Outsource to private company M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 11. Hype cycle M-libraries Conference 25 Sept 2012
    • 12. ContactJo Alcock@joeyannejo.alcock@bcu.ac.ukhttp://m-libraries.info

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