Report on current m-library activity


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Report based on findings from fact finding survey as part of JISC m-library community support project

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Report on current m-library activity

  1. 1. M-Library Community Support projectReport on Current M-Library ActivityFebruary 2012Pete DaltonJo AlcockYvonne GravesSukhvinder KaurEvidence BaseLibrary and Learning ResourcesBirmingham City
  2. 2. AcknowledgementsThe authors would like to thank Owen Stephens (Owen Stephens Consulting) and BenShowers (JISC) for their input into survey development and distribution. In addition, thankyou to all who provided responses to the survey and to those who helped publicise it. 2
  3. 3. ContentsExecutive summary ............................................................................................................... 41. Background.................................................................................................................... 52. Approach ....................................................................................................................... 53. Background of respondents ........................................................................................... 64. Current m-library initiatives ............................................................................................ 75. Future m-library initiatives ............................................................................................ 146. Barriers to utilising mobile technologies in your library/information service................... 157. Further information to assist decision making .............................................................. 198. Features of a m-libraries community ............................................................................ 239. Examples of good practice ........................................................................................... 2610. Interest in finding out more ....................................................................................... 2611. Summary .................................................................................................................. 27 3
  4. 4. Executive summaryIn order to gain a clearer overview of the current landscape with regards to mobiletechnology in libraries, Evidence Base undertook an online survey as part of the M-LibraryCommunity Support Project1. The survey was live from November 2011 until January 2012and open to all. It was promoted on numerous library listservs, blogs and on Twitter.There were 188 responses to the survey, primarily from the academic library sector (64%).The majority of respondents were from the UK (66%), with other responses from the USA(22%), Australia (6%), Canada (4%), Europe, Africa, Ireland, South America and Asia.Many of the respondents’ libraries either already have m-library initiatives (63%) or areplanning them in future (90%). Common uses at present included:  Mobile catalogue  Mobile website  QR codes  Supporting use of mobile services/apps  Mobile app for library  Institutional mobile app  Mobile devices to support roving reference/staff demonstrations  Loaning mobile devices  SMS communication about borrower record (due dates etc.)Many commented that their library was interested in further developing their support formobile technologies and are either in the planning stage at present or evaluating thepotential that such developments could offer. There were also a number watchingdevelopments closely but adopting a wait and see approach.Analysis of the survey highlighted the fact that at present there are a number of barriers andchallenges facing libraries which are prohibiting or delaying implementation of m-libraryinitiatives. Some of these are specific to individual institutions, whilst some are commonacross a number of libraries. The most common barriers/challenges were lack of technicalsupport, not knowing enough about how to utilise mobile technologies, and it not being apriority for the library or wider organisation.Respondents would like more information and case studies sharing experiences fromlibraries who have already implemented m-library initiatives, reviews and how to guidance,and a central hub for m-library information. Suggestions for an m-library community includeda place to find and share experience and best practice, technical advice and support(including open source software support), and general help and guidance.The information from the survey has informed the m-library community support projectgreatly; it has provided information for potential case studies and helped shape developmentof the community website. Ongoing consultation is an important element of the project;please subscribe to the m-library community mailing list2 to receive updates on how you canbe involved.1 See for more information about the M-Library Community SupportProject.2 Community mailing list (for those interested in being involved with the project): 4
  5. 5. 1. BackgroundIn November 2011, JISC funded Evidence Base at Birmingham City University incollaboration with Owen Stephens Consulting to undertake the M-Library CommunitySupport project. The project is part of JISC’s Mobile Infrastructure for Libraries programme3which runs from November 2011 until September 2012.The aim of the m-library community support project is to: Provide a mobile library community support project to help support and engage the emerging m-library community by reviewing and synthesising existing research and evidence-based guidance.An initial activity to inform the project was to find out more about current and planned activityin the area of m-libraries (covering use of any mobile technologies in libraries across allsectors). To enable this, a survey was designed and distributed. This report summarisesthe findings of the survey.2. ApproachAn online survey was designed and distributed using Survey Monkey. It covered thefollowing broad areas:  Current m-library activity  Planned m-library activity  Information needs to support m-library development  Challenges to m-library development  Examples of good practice in m-libraries.  Desirable features of an m-libraries communityThe survey was distributed through a variety of channels including mailing lists, the projectblog site and email list and personal contacts. As the survey was an explorative fact findingtool it was decided to make it available to anyone to complete regardless of country orsector. The survey was made live on 23rd November 2011 and data collected for analysis on3rd January 20124.A total of 188 responses were received, the following sections of this report present the keyfindings. It should be noted that the survey questions were not compulsory so the totalnumber of responses to individual questions varies. The number of responses to individualquestions is shown in the findings below.3 Details of the Mobile Infrastructure for Libraries programme can be found at: Please note that the m-libraries community support project is always interested in getting information aboutcurrent activities so the facility to provide information about examples of good practice still remains at 5
  6. 6. 3. Background of respondentsRespondents were asked about which sector they worked in. There were 188 responses.Figure 1 and Figure 2 illustrate the responses. 14% Academic Library 13% Public Library Special Library 9% 64% Other Figure 1: Which sector do you work in?Sector n (total=188)Academic Library 120Public Library 17Special Library 24Other 27Figure 2: Respondents by sectorThe most represented sector was the academic sector which accounted for 64% of theresponses. Those who chose ‘other’ were predominantly from health or hospital libraries,whilst there was one respondent each from state library, research library, IT Services, and ajoint academic and health library. We had no responses from school libraries.Respondents were asked to indicate which country they worked in. There were 181responses as illustrated in Figure 3 and Figure 4. 34% UK Other 66% Figure 3: Which country do you work in? 6
  7. 7. Country n (total = 181)UK 119Other 62Figure 4: Respondents by countryThe majority of respondents were from the UK (66%), with other responses from the USA(22%), Australia (6%), Canada (4%), Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.4. Current m-library initiativesRespondents were asked to indicate whether their library/information service was involved inany projects or initiatives utilising mobile technologies. 181 responses were provided. Figure5 and Figure 6 illustrate the responses. 37% No Yes 63% Figure 5: Is your library/information service currently involved in any projects or initiatives utilising mobile technologies?Response n (total = 181)Yes 114No 67Figure 6: Current m-library initiatives63% of respondents indicated that they were currently involved in an m-library development.Of those that gave details, the following themes emerged (in order of popularity, each beingmentioned more than 5 times):  Mobile catalogue  Mobile website  QR codes  Supporting use of mobile services/apps  Mobile app for library  Institutional mobile app  Mobile devices to support roving reference/staff demonstrations  Loaning mobile devices  SMS communication about borrower record (due dates etc.)Each of these themes will be examined in further detail below. 7
  8. 8. 4.1 Mobile catalogueMany of those with a mobile catalogue are using vendor supplied modules or apps tofacilitate this (e.g. AirPAC, BookMyne, Talis Prism, WorldCat: Offering access to the Library catalogue via the vendors own mobile module Providing mobile interface to our catalogue (Prism 3 - developed by Talis capita) Implementation of supplier-provided mobile apps (SirsiDynix - BookMyne) Recently acquired AirPAC from Innovative A mobile interface to our OPAC has been offered for 5 years, with the most recent version based on the XML/XSLT locally customizable interface offered by Ex Libris for the Voyager ILS We use WorldCat as our main online catalogue, and offer a link to the mobile version of the catalogue.WorldCat also release their search APIs and these are used to enable support in a numberof mobile apps (e.g. RedLaser scanning app, iBookshelf personal book collection app).LibraryAnywhere by LibraryThing was a popular response - this sits on top of most LMSsand is a commercial option for those who want a mobile add-on with additional appfunctionality: We are using LibraryThings mobile catalogue Library Anywhere as a low-cost OPAC alternative - implemented a couple of months ago. (It does nice granular stats!) We are running a trial for Library Anywhere by Library Thing About to launch LibraryAnywhere mobile interface to catalogue services.Searching for items is the most common use for these mobile catalogues, with many utilisingmobile technologies such as searching for items by scanning the barcode of a book with aphone camera. Account management is another common feature, with most mobilecatalogues enabling users to request, renew and check their loans.4.2 Mobile websiteThe majority of respondents with a mobile website for their library had developed it in house,some as part of a wider organisational mobile website, others as a specific library mobilewebsite: Library & university website are being modified for optimised viewing on mobile devices Converting website to mobile + HTML 5, using theme switching in Drupal 6 Were using a fork of the MIT mobile framework for our library mobile website 8
  9. 9. We have had a mobile-friendly website for nearly 5 years now (original written in WML), most recently updated to use Jquery Mobile as the platform for optimizing the site for mobile devices. We use a number of open-source applications for various library services and have adapted several of them to work with the mobile interface. A central IT based collaboration with MODO Labs created mobile library web interface We are designing a mobile version of the librarys web presence, because the institution isnt ready to do so across campus.Those that mentioned the content on these websites demonstrated that the mobile websitecontains a cut down version of the full website, just offering the core features (thoserequested frequently and those appropriate to mobile devices): We have created a simple mobile website for our library- it does not offer nearly as many options as our full site - but just the most frequently requested information (hours, contact information, Ask Us, etc.) Mobile webpage for library services since Feb 2009 including library info, access to Worldcat and any database to which we subscribe which has a mobile-friendly interface Mobile web site that offers our most popular services: catalog search, database search, building hours, etc.4.3 QR codesQR code use in the library included the following ideas:  Used on posters and other publications (e.g. leaflets, guides) to promote mobile resources and e-books  Used around the library for guidance (e.g. on photocopier with link to guidance on how to use)  Used on book shelf signs (no details given but presumably to link to catalogue search or electronic resources in that area)  Used to link to catalogue records  Used for activities/promotions within the libraryOne library commented that they were used during Freshers Week to help familiarisestudents with the library, and another uses them for scavenger hunts: An introductory program called QR Code Adventures in the LibraryQR Code Adventures in the Library5 combines both physical and virtual information tointroduce students to different areas of the library by scanning QR codes, watching YouTubevideos on mobiles, and completing tasks in the library6.5 QR Code Adventures in the Library - N.B. If you are interested in using QR codes for scavenger hunts, Charles Darwin University gave apresentation on the topics at an m-libraries conference: 9
  10. 10. 4.4 Supporting use of databases and other library services with mobileaccessFor libraries that do not have their own mobile friendly website/catalogue/app, their usersmay still be able to utilise mobile websites or apps from providers they subscribe to. Manyrespondents commented that they help to promote these by compiling a list of mobilecompatible websites/apps on the library website, or notifying users of relevant apps vialibrary website, blog etc. One example of this is Tapsnaps7 - a blog written by library staff toalert users to useful apps (created on Blogger and therefore also mobile friendly itself). Otherresponses included: Simply linking to mobile apps or services that the vendors of our databases are offering We are designing a webpage on our Internet site displaying some of the medical apps Launching website soon re: apps and mobile sites available from library resource suppliers Mobile Apps made available to library members: DynaMed, EBSCOhost Mobile, SciVerse ScienceDirect Regularly notifying students via our blog of apps (productivity, database, and informational) that are useful to them We have a section for electronic resources which either have an app or optimised web presence Promotion of mobile friendly versions of databases.This work on highlighting mobile resources and supporting users with them tends to be onan ad hoc basis, as highlighted by this respondent: Were providing users with details of mobile apps for databases when they become available, but in a fairly unstructured way, rather than as a project. Ideally, wed be in a position to publicise all mobile technologies and services which are currently available and relevant to our users, and provide advice on how to use them, etc, but sufficient staff time has not been available yet.4.5 Library appWhilst not as common a response as a mobile website, some respondents libraries have amobile app. Some of the apps mentioned in the survey were developed by the library, whilstsome were developed by a central IT service (and one was developed by a student!): We have developed a library android app Just released own app Currently we have a mobile app that was developed by a student for us but not widely used currently.7 Tapsnaps - 10
  11. 11. Examples of the sorts of functionality in a library app are explained by this comment: In-house developed mobile application; library catalogue is searchable, logged-in patron record displayed, including outstanding fines, books currently on loan etc. Roadmap for development includes provision of reading lists, requesting book return, return book alerts etc.Library content delivered by mobile app was also mentioned by one respondent: Possibly building an app to deliver archive exhibition photos to iPad-type devices.4.6 Working with institutional app(s)Some of the respondents’ libraries have access to an app as part of a wider institutionalmobile app. Some of these are developed in house, whilst others use commercial optionsprovided by third party vendors such as CampusM by oMbiel8 and Boopsie for Libraries9: The University has launched a University mobile app which includes access to some library services including our find a PC application and our Ask a Librarian chat facility. From January 2012 we will also be providing access to library account and our opac search, plus our Twitter feeds and information services guide, plus opening hours through the app The University of Southampton has bought into a campus-wide mobile information service (Ombiel, under the name "MySouthampton") and the library is involved in this, maintaining a few pages of basic information about our service on the app. We are also hoping to have links to our circulation system added to the app, allowing users to check their library account and renew books via their smartphone We have worked with CampusM to develop our own version of the app for RHUL, called Campus Me. At the moment you can view your library account as part of this. Soon you will be able to renew books too Partnering with our overall university using the open source MIT framework we have a programmed an in-house app call mStir.Many of the respondents with such apps commented that the app was compatible across anumber of different devices and mobile platforms: Working with the team that builds SHUgo - an iOS and Android app The University has just introduced a mobile app (compatible with iPhones and with Android devices, Blackberry to follow) which is student-facing and presents a small selection of services which allare currently available via other web-based services We have developed and launched an app with a US partner company Boopsie. It runs on all smartphones and whilst currently library-centric is intended to be the main app for the University.8 CampusM by oMbiel - Boopsie for Libraries - 11
  12. 12. 4.7 Provision of mobile devices for library staff to use around the library(roving reference/demos/staff work)Roving reference has been a common development in libraries in recent years, and this hasbeen further supported by mobile technologies such as mobile phones and tablet computers.A number of libraries in the survey are using these to deliver support for enquiries aroundthe library, as well as using them to demonstrate library resources and increase staffproductivity: Roving support using mobile technology to support Q&A on the move Pilot project of roving reference using iPads; Roving General Service using iPhones (for quick catalogue searches, communication, study room bookings) We are using ipads for roving, utilising remote desktop apps to deal with enquiries away from the desks Using mobile phones to enable staff to communicate around the building We are beginning to use tablets to demonstrate ebooks Currently use iPads/Tablets iPod Touches as support tools for library staff. Used for research and client advice, collection of statistics. Managers are using iPads in addition to laptops for productivity.4.8 Loaning mobile devicesSome libraries are loaning out mobile devices such as iPads, Kindles, and other tablets ande-readers: Loaning out iPads and Kindles - just got a Kindle Fire and Kindle Touches iPad, tablets & eBook readers available for loan.A couple of respondents are at present trialling the service or running it as a project: Trialling e-book readers and iPads An iPad on loan project.One respondent highlighted that there can be issues with lending devices, particularly asthey tend to be geared towards personal use: Some are starting to loan mobile devices - not without challenge because devices, iTunes accounts, etc, are very much geared to individual use.At present, most libraries lending devices tend to pre-load them with resources to loan ratherthan individual users downloading their own books/apps. Lending pre-loaded Kindle e-Book Readers We lend out iPads full with productivity, communication and medical Apps. 12
  13. 13. 4.9 SMS communication about borrower recordA common use of SMS communication about borrower records is to alert users to remindthem when their books are due for return or notify them that reservations or interlibrary loanshave arrived: We send out overdue and interlibrary loan arrival notices via sms Sending text messages to inform opted in users that books are due (developed in- house).Other uses include being able to send SMS with book details from the catalogue to theirphone.4.10 Other examplesOther examples of m-library initiatives included:  E-readers/e-books  Library educational apps  Testing/support on mobile devices  Mobile discovery service  Mobile strategy  Mobile information literacy support/use of mobiles in teaching  SMS/mobile reference  Research into mobile technologies/use  QR codes in the catalogue  Mobile technology interest groups  Implementing supplier mobile website  Providing APIs  Offline caching  Loaning devices to use QR codes  SMS information  Reading group 13
  14. 14. 5. Future m-library initiativesRespondents were asked to indicate whether their library/information service wasconsidering using mobile technologies to support any aspect of the service or resourceprovision in the future. 166 responses were provided. Figure 7 and Figure 8 illustrate theresponses. 10% No Yes 90%Figure 7: Is your library/information service considering using mobile technologies to support any aspectof the service or resource provision in the future?Response n (total = 166)Yes 150No 16Figure 8: Future m-library plansUnsurprisingly (as the survey respondents were self-selecting), most (90%) were planningm-library initiatives even if they were not currently doing so.Many of the open responses were similar to current initiatives (see Section 4), such asconsidering implementing a mobile app/website or improving the capabilities of the one theyalready have. Some libraries are considering QR codes to link to resources or increasing thecoverage of QR codes that they have available. A few new ideas were presented whichwere not mentioned in the previous question on current initiatives. These are presentedbelow:5.1 Augmented realityThis was mentioned as something two respondents would like to see in future, thoughprobably as a future wish list rather than something that is currently being planned to supportlibrary services10: Would like to use augmented reality app for library maps (note “would like!”)10 In addition to augmented reality for library resources, there are also examples of how augmented reality couldhelp with other library functions, such as an augmented reality app to help with shelving: 14
  15. 15. augmented reality - greater use of texts available/optimised for tablets.5.2 VLESome respondents commented that they hope to support mobile access to their virtuallearning environments in future; both Moodle and Blackboard were mentioned: Possibly expanding to include access to VLE MOODLE when we upgrade to the next version Thinking about mobile VLE (blackboard) BB Mobile Learn rolled out. BB Central to be developed. Project in early exploratory phase looking at various mobile apps from publishers and their integration with our VLE Blackboard 9.1 (soon to be SP7) - particular interest in Talis Aspire to integrate reading lists with the VLE.5.3 Near Field Communication (NFC) technologyNear field communication11 technology was also mentioned, though again more of a wish listitem than a concrete plan, and only mentioned by one respondent: Investigating use of mobile phones in libraries using nfc technology.6. Barriers to utilising mobile technologies in your library/information serviceRespondents were asked to indicate whether they faced any barriers or challenges toutilising mobile technologies in their library/information service. 159 responses wereprovided. A pre-set list of categories was provided as well an open ended ‘other category’.Respondents could select multiple responses to indicate more than one barrier. Figure 9 andFigure 10 illustrate the responses received for each of the pre-set categories.11 Near field communication - 15
  16. 16. Not an institutional priority Licensing concerns Not sure if users would want to use mobile technologies Lack of technical support Dont know enough about how to utilise mobile technologies 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%Figure 9: Are there any barriers or challenges preventing you from utilising mobile technologies in yourlibrary/information service?Barrier n (maximum = 159)Lack of technical support 82Don’t know enough about how to utilise 65mobile technologiesNot an institutional priority 46Licensing concerns 35Not sure if users would want mobile 32technologiesFigure 10: Barriers and number of responsesLack of technical support (52%) and lack of knowledge about how to utilise mobiletechnologies (41%) were the two most commonly cited challenges.84 respondents (53%) used the opportunity to complete the open ended response indicatingthat there were other barriers. Some of the open ended responses actually covered some ofthe areas that were provided as pre-set closed responses therefore providing more detail onthese topics. Other open ended responses covered new topics. Three respondents usedthe opportunity to state that they foresaw no barrier to development.The following summarises the main topics which were referred to in the open endedresponses:Skills (82 responses)Not a priority (46 responses)Infrastructure/policy (17 responses)Resource constraints (15 responses)Uncertainty (7 responses)Further detail about the perceived barriers to development based on the open endedresponses is provided below:6.1 Skills 16
  17. 17. 82 respondents had indicated that lack of skills was a barrier to m-library development someprovided more detail e.g: Lack of technical skills in-house Not enough in-house experience in building apps Library staff knowledge and experience of mobile technologies Staff knowledge when training budgets are being reduced, along with equipment budgets.6.2 Not a priorityOf the 46 respondents who indicated that m-library development was not a priority someprovided further detail to support this. This included: Not a *library* priority. A very high amount of work required on other aspects such as refurbishments and stock moves means little time for development. If the students arent complaining that we dont have mobile apps/mobile-friendly sites, its hard to prioritise above other projects and firefighting, especially when the development will be time-consuming as it is slightly specialist and new Not seen as a priority in NHS IT The Library itself has mobile accessibility as a major priority, but it doesnt seem to be ranked as importantly by the University Lack of time to devote to this issue. Weve done some basic stuff with our mobile website, but havent been able to make it a priority Other competing priorities are getting in the way of doing the work We can have a go at some things, but here our web site is not immediately under our control so we cant create a mobile version, and this doesnt seem to be a priority although it is one for us. We have better control of the catalogues and use the accessible version to create a reasonable mobile version There is no expert or interested person who has the time to make this a priority. It is currently seen as an add-on to existing core activities, a nice-to-have. This may change over time as smart phones become more ubiquitous.6.3 Infrastructure/policy17 respondents referred to barriers which concerned infrastructure or policy issues in amixture of internal and external contexts. Examples of responses included: Institutional Wi-Fi not very reliable Hard to access with VPN/ get off campus access University website restrictions keep it from being mobile-friendly.... 17
  18. 18. Not sure how NHS network will support the use of mobile apps Our LMS (OLIB) is not mobile-optimised, neither is our institutions web-site Currently iPads and other Apple products are not supported by our IT dept Buy in from the IT side of the converged service Institution blocks a lot of new initiatives e.g. apps &blogs. Younger users want them but older ones dont so will have to do both Bureaucracy and getting cross-portfolio approvals.6.4 Resource constraints15 respondents referred to barriers concerned with resource constraints e.g: Lack of staff time to devote to learning and creating mobile apps Staff have no time for development work Library Systems is heavily under-resourced and are unable to allocate the time required to develop a mobile interface.6.5 Uncertainty7 respondents provided responses which could be considered to see uncertainty as a barrierto development. However this is closely linked to the closed response ‘don’t know enoughabout how to utilise mobile technologies’ and it would appear that some of this uncertaintycould be addressed by the provision of more information about m-library developments.Examples of responses included: The biggest challenge is that there are lots of strategies for creating mobile-friendly resources, but no clear winner Deciding how best to support the range of devices/services there are. Its not preventing us, but the variety of devices makes it more difficult to use the mobile technologies; also, the lack of standardization between publishers and content providers of e-resources makes it a challenge to provide access to these materials The greatest problem is the proliferation of unlicensed apps that may provide outdated/dangerous information in healthcare. Interested to learn more about mobile technologies and then consider as an option for the future Difficult to ascertain usage figures therefore more complicated to establish need for and justify purchase of particular resources.6.6 Cost 18
  19. 19. 25 respondents provided details of barriers explicitly concerned with cost e.g: Not enough money to get needed devices (iPods, iPads) for teaching Cannot purchase a smartphone to do testing in workplace Cost - not all users can afford mobile technologies (e.g. iPads/smart phones), so we need to develop services which are still accessible to all Financial restraints. I believe we know what we need, but require significant resources to either build something in house, or hire someone to build something for us Cost of licencing mobile options from suppliers Cost of licensing vendor mobile (i.e. VLE etc.) vs. benefit to students Costs of developing mobile applications or purchase of 3rd party products.6.7 Additional commentsSome respondents provided additional comments which do not fit into the above categoriesand were reflected in only a few cases. These included: Indoor user tracking will probably be one of my greatest challenges Initially, issues with service provider licenses and permissions Depends what you mean by mobile technologies. Some barriers are created by publishers e.g. DRM on eBooks, making them unusable by many people who have a viable eBook reading device (e.g. smartphone) but really arent equipped for the DRM hoop-jumping. Publishers should note what happened to the record companies and their business model when they tried to cling to old practices by using restrictive tech, i.e. they made pirated content more usable than legal Security concerns, some copyright concerns How to check validity of an app7. Further information to assist decision makingRespondents were asked to indicate whether there was any further information that wouldbe of assistance in making decisions regarding utilising mobile technologies. 84respondents representing 46% of the total number of respondents indicated that there wereareas where further information would be desirable. The key themes that emerged arepresented below. It should be noted that the categories below are not mutually exclusive.7.1 Experience of othersThere was a need to be able to share experiences with others and to learn from, and supportpeers as well as simply understand what others were doing and have a forum for discussion. 19
  20. 20. A few respondents explicitly wished for this sharing not only be at a national level but to beinternational and cover a range of different sectors: Hearing what other library services are doing, and what works successfully is always useful It would be interesting to know some of the more interesting ways libraries are using mobile technology Keeping in touch and seeing what other libraries are doing in this area. Sharing resources/projects what is happening in this area is a high priority we all dont need to re-invent the wheel Ideas, "tips & tricks" from other institutions that we can learn from and implement.7.2 Case studies of implementation of mobile technologiesSuch case studies would be useful to highlight success stories as well as lessons learnedand may be presented in a more formal way than might be done through a discussion forum.The following provides two examples of comments on case studies: It is good to continue to have information on case studies of how mobile technologies are being used for REAL benefit, not just additional marketing. Most of the literature around QR codes in libraries explains possible uses, rather than real examples and feedback about the success of those uses, so more data about the success would be good. Case studies need to be clear what the costs and technical support needs were, as well as what the strategic need and benefit was Success stories “small bite" case studies highlighting a need and a solution.7.3 Horizon scanning and trend analysisThis included a central information source concerning the current state of the art in mobiletechnologies in libraries as well as ‘trend spotting’- looking at current and future trends.Some responses illustrate the range of information that could be provided: Some sort of overview of the state of the art. Particularly, something that breaks down the possible component parts to providing this service: hardware, software, available types of m-resources How are LMS service providers providing mobile versions of their services? Via apps or in other ways? Is the mobile presentation of services becoming the "baseline" interface with add-ons for desktop interface or are people staying with the "desktop" standard? How the trend will continue e.g. using phones for payment of fines or for printing? For actually borrowing books?7.4 Reviews, current awareness and evaluation 20
  21. 21. There was some demand for current awareness news, reviews, recommendations andevaluations of particular mobile technologies. Responses included: A comprehensive, regularly-updated comparison service for relevant mobile technologies, hardware, software, providers, known problems and solutions, would be helpful. Ideally, providers would be contributing to this and maintaining its currency. The mobile technology arena and marketplace are changing on a weekly basis, so currency is vital Librarian reviews of technology involved and guidelines for best practices ….important to be aware of all tech developments not just phones, and even though phones will be more widespread - the tablet market looks like it is going a lot wider at the moment too Evaluating mobile apps.7.5 ‘How to’ guidanceThere was demand for information and guidance around various aspects of setting up andimplementing m-library initiatives, for example: More "How tos" How to utilise mobile technologies and examples of good practice from other libraries would be helpful How to get the most out of smart phones, iPads and equivalent, setting up and syncing with PCs Creating platform independent mobile services with integrated resource discovery and usage Creating Mobile apps How to develop an app and whether its better to do this in-house or contract it out Technicalities of setting up How libraries can go it alone if the university is not interested - technical platforms, skills required, time required etc. How to highlight and make access visible to mobile enabled electronic resources from publishers How to minimize effort for the maximum reach, given the spread of devices How to promote and improve user access to mobile site Recommendations on how to write a mobile library website; how some sort of device- detection can be used to reformat the site, which perhaps could be used on existing sites. 21
  22. 22. 7.6 Evidence based materialsSome respondents expressed a desire to be able to cite evidence from elsewhere to supporttheir own developments; this could be in a number of areas for example, benefits, making acase, user behaviour and evaluation: It would be useful to have more information on how students are using and may potentially use mobile technologies Evidence on what students want from libraries re mobile technology Examples of mobile technologies used and their benefits to borrowers. Research about mobile usability7.7 A single information ‘hub’Some desired a central point for information on all aspects of mobile library technology andimplementation e.g: A central place for known issues and problems would be welcomed, toomany libraries are duplicating effort by creating their own FAQs, where one centralised knowledge base would seem an obvious solution. Something similar for ideas and innovations, methods of publicity and examples of projects and best practice elsewhere, would be helpful, too.Some specific topics where information was considered useful were: Trouble shooting/work arounds Licensing issues about some of the individual journal packages that we purchase More information on the pros/cons of native apps and webs apps, examination of the potential for technologies like JQuery Mobile and similar "platforms" More information regarding infrastructure demands/requirements to support large scale adoption of mobile use Other suppliers services that would work with current systems Mobile device management volume-licencing of mobile apps .... Just more info re web app vs. native app, because it seems like most staff only know about native apps and have no idea about web apps. Advice on standards and best practice I would like information on the standards available for mobile technologies and the advantages and disadvantages of using different technologies. Support on licencing issues using learning resources with mobile devices It would be good to have more information about apps that have a proved high impact and the project frameworks/business cases in which they were developed. I 22
  23. 23. would like to know more about native applications being developed in libraries in general, specifically which devices they are aimed at Recommended service providers and information on contracts.Interestingly one respondent suggested a need for information that could be understood bynon-technical people: More detailed description for non-tech people to use.7.8 Training /coachingThree respondents explicitly referred to training/coaching: Courses/seminar similar to Libraries for Nursing study day held in November this year Creating apps and mobile friendly versions of our websites - technical training required A webinar on the topic would be good.8. Features of a m-libraries communityRespondents were asked what they would like in a community of practice for m-libraries. 94responses were provided. A few of these respondents were supportive of the need for acommunity resource per se, but did not provide any comments as to how it could beconfigured. Most however provided suggestions, which are described below. Please notethat there is some overlap between the categories presented below; they are not mutuallyexclusive:Perhaps unsurprisingly most of those who provided comments wanted to see a space whereexperience and good practice could be shared and which provided a central source ofinformation of relevance to those involved in m-library developments. One respondentcoined the phrase ‘a clearing house for information’. Some respondents provided more detailabout features that they would like to see in such a space. These included:A place to share and discuss issues; a safe place to ask questions Place for users to post questions and receive answers from peers or experts. Shared resource of tested solutions, with implementation sites we can actually test Sharing best practice and also talking about things that havent worked Q&A - a safe place to ask daft questions! A forum to exchange information would be a real benefit I would like to see what other m-libraries are doing. It would be great to share ideas and get inspiration from others 23
  24. 24. Contacts; handy hints; details of available training/events; not just for large institutions Examples of best practice, and templates, case studies, workshops, blogs - all documenting the trends that are developing and how we can adapt.FAQs Wiki could also provide FAQs (I will contribute my own librarian crib sheets to help get the ball rolling) - I think a lot of library staff are hesitant because they dont feel they know enough about mobile technologiesA best practice archive including how to guides, standards information and guidanceon management and evaluation of m-library initiatives A forum for sharing solutions; a best-practice archive How to kick-start looking at making websites mobile - problems that librarians will encounter Examples of good practice Strong definitions. Some "how to" guides - maybe specific to a particular resource or supplier Once a mobile Web site is up and running, what are the next steps? How do we determine success and make decisions for the future ....I am always interested in the implementation strategies for mobile technology.Success (and failure) stories and case studies Case studies,scope for working together on particular issues Examples of successful use of mobile technologies Examples of implementations both quick-wins as well as more involved. Detail on how to replicate Use cases and valuable mobile library applications that go beyond basic search and library information Success and failure stories.Tutorials and training tools Good examples of reusable training tools - e.g. its hard enough to teach staff what an RSS feed is, before you even get to what changes youve made on various library systems to allow users to get RSS feeds Tutorials in plain language, not tech speak.Evidence based research 24
  25. 25. Evidence-based research on low-level, generalizable best practices. Dont tell me how to design for an IPad 2, give me tools and concepts that are evidence-based and can be used within a given category (say, tablet computers, or small-screen devices, etc.) Best practices, workflows, usability studies and usage reports... Some user studies User feedback on how relevant/useful they find mobile technologies.Wiki functionality to post examples A wiki-style service so that we can pull information as well as contributing.A product review/app evaluation Possibly some type of centralised Which review system for mobile technologies would also be helpful, though complete objectivity could be a problem Especially in health sector, I see plenty of apps being developed (mostly in US) and not sure how effective these apps are in UK settings; how to evaluate such apps; what criteria do we need to adopt etc.. Evaluation of mobile apps - write reviews, publish them on a wiki.Technical advice and supportA few respondents specifically referred to a desire for technical advice and support. Onerespondent specifically commented that some libraries may lack the technical skills toeffectively implement mobile technologies: I think technical advice and assistance is one of the key problem areas as many libraries do not invest in web developers or technical staff and thats a big barrier to mobile provision.Lack of technical skills had been identified as a barrier to m-library development in aprevious question (see Section 6).Examples of other comments included: Tips and advice on getting started with app development Technical support for those of us who have limited technical support available Accredited mobile applications.Open source elementsA few respondents referred to a place to share open source developments. The commentsincluded: Open source code library Opportunities for developing library-specific, open-source coding 25
  26. 26. Sample code, particularly redirectors, platform specific css examples, code that recognizes and adapts to os & platform Shared code depository Collaboration on open source projects, a central repository for software, data, programming techniques A forum to share apps would be a real benefit.Additional suggestions A Wi-Fi connection that was available for everybody to use Bundling, bulk purchase licence agreements for e-books onto e readers Development of RFID with smart phones, touch pads etc. and integration with ILS Develop play packs to use to extend library staff knowledge and experience of mobile gadgets and technologies An regional element so I don’t have to travel! Shift focus from traditional catalogue/publications to new mobile information gateways based on linked open data, augmented reality, location awareness Opportunity for sharing development costs, especially cross-platform Awareness of developments and needs of developing countries.9. Examples of good practiceRespondents were asked if they could recommend any examples of good practice in theemployment of mobile technology in libraries. This could be examples from any otherservice. 68 responses were provided. The M-Libraries Community Support Project is in theprocess of following up these suggestions to incorporate examples of good practice andcase studies into the community resource as it develops.10. Interest in finding out moreThe survey asked respondents if they wished to provide their contact details in order to bekept informed about the project and the work to develop community. 135 respondentsexpressed a desire to be kept in touch12.12 Readers can keep up to date with progress of the project by subscribing to receive regular blog posts via emailor RSS at: 26
  27. 27. 11. SummaryCurrent and future m-library activity63% of respondents indicated that they were currently involved in an m-library development.The most common areas of activity were:  Mobile catalogue  Mobile website  QR codes  Supporting use of mobile services/apps  Mobile app for library  Institutional mobile app  Mobile devices to support roving reference/staff demonstrations  Loaning mobile devices  SMS communication about borrower record (due dates etc.)Clearly there is a strong interest in the development of mobile technologies to support libraryservice delivery. Most (90%) were planning m-library initiatives even if they were notcurrently doing so. Generally the plans were to work in existing areas identified above.Respondents reported being either in the planning stage or evaluating the potential that suchdevelopments would offer, particularly with regards to mobile website or app, and mobilecatalogue. There are also a number that are watching developments closely but adopting await and see approach. Hopefully the information shared as a result of this project will helpthose that are in the planning stages or hope to implement them in future, as well as supportthose interested in cutting edge developments.The survey also identified examples of good practice in the employment of mobiletechnology in libraries. The M-Libraries Community Support Project is in the process offollowing up these suggestions to incorporate examples of good practice and case studiesinto the community resource as it develops.Challenges to m-library developmentThere are a variety of perceived challenges and barriers to the development of m-libraryservices. These include:  Lack of knowledge  Lack of technical support  Uncertainty about user demand  Licensing concerns  Lack of institutional prioritisation  Lack of skills  Cost  Resource constraints  Infrastructure and policy limitationsLack of technical support, lack of knowledge and lack of skills were the most commonbarriers to development.Information needs to aid m-library development 27
  28. 28. Nearly half of the survey respondents indicated that there were areas where furtherinformation would be desirable to support m-library development. The areas where furtherinformation was desired were:  Information about the experiences of other libraries including a forum for discussion  Case studies  Horizon scanning and trend analysis  Reviews, current awareness and evaluation  ‘How to’ guidance  Evidence based materials e.g. evidence of benefits of m-library developments, making a case, user behaviour and evaluation  A single information hub  Training and coachingFeatures of an m-library communityOver half of the survey respondents provided suggestions about what would be usefulfeatures of an m-library community. Most commonly this included:  A place to share and discuss issues; a safe place to ask questions  FAQs  A best practice archive, including how to guides, standards information and guidance on management and evaluation of m-library initiatives  Success (and failure) stories and case studies  Tutorials and training tools  Evidence based research  Wiki functionality to post examples  A product review/app evaluation system to which providers themselves might contribute  Technical advice and support  Open source elementsMany of these elements were also reflected in the information needs cited above.Next stepsThe survey has yielded useful data about the implementation of m-libraries and associatedissues and needs. There is evidence of early adopters and exciting initiatives underway aswell as evidence that many m-library developments are being considered in the future. Tosupport these developments there is evidence of a need for more information and thedevelopment of a community focus to facilitate the generation and sharing of suchinformation. It is hoped that this can contribute to overcoming many of the barriers to m-library development which this survey has identified. Most respondents provided contactdetails to be informed about further project developments which further suggest there is aneed for, and interest in, a community of practice around m-libraries. The M-LibrariesCommunity Support Project will use the insights generated through this survey to prioritiseits activity to support an m-library community. 28