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Mobile Apps at NCSU Libraries


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Presentation given at a workshop organized by Recreation Resources Services on Oct. 5, 2011. Discusses examples of mobile applications for cultural organizations, mobile initiative planning, and future directions. Presentation is adapted from prior presentation by my colleagues Tito Sierra and Jason Casden.

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Mobile Apps at NCSU Libraries

  1. 1. Custom Mobile Applications at NCSU Libraries Cory Lown NCSU Libraries October 5, 2011 Recreation Resources Services
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>The Mobile Opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies at NCSU Libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile Website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WolfWalk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile Exhibits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Planning a Mobile Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>More App Ideas </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Mobile Opportunity
  4. 4.
  5. 5. <ul><li>“ In its first standalone measure of smartphone ownership, the Pew Internet Project finds that one third of American adults – 35% – own smartphones.” </li></ul><ul><li>— Aaron Smith, Smartphone Adoption and Usage </li></ul><ul><li>Pew Internet & American Life Project </li></ul>
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  11. 11. <ul><li>“ As more people choose to reach for a mobile rather than sitting at a desk to access the Internet, our views and behaviors about that access are shifting.” </li></ul><ul><li>— The Horizon Report 2011 Edition </li></ul><ul><li>The New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>“ The sheer power of these devices is what makes them interesting, and that power derives from their ubiquity, their portability, the wide range of things that can be done with them, and their ability to access the Internet nearly anywhere.” </li></ul><ul><li>— The Horizon Report 2011 Edition </li></ul><ul><li>The New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why Mobile for Libraries? <ul><li>Mobile technology enables new forms of interaction that can enhance the user experience with library services and collections. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Kinds of Apps
  15. 15. Mobile website apps
  16. 16. Native mobile apps
  17. 17. Case Studies at NCSU
  18. 18. “ MobiLIB” at NCSU (2007)
  19. 19. NCSU Libraries Mobile (2010) <ul><li>Locations & Hours </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Availability </li></ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Catalog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Article Database </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ask Us </li></ul><ul><li>Room Reservations </li></ul><ul><li>GroupFinder </li></ul><ul><li>News & Events </li></ul><ul><li>Webcams </li></ul><ul><li>WolfWalk </li></ul><ul><li>Reserves </li></ul>
  20. 20. WolfWalk
  21. 21. WolfWalk Concept Provide a user-friendly way for people to learn about the history of NC State, while exploring campus .
  22. 22. Albums from UA023.005 Campus Views and Facilities Sub-Group, NCSU Special Collections Research Center
  23. 23. Jason Casden, lead developer for WolfWalk, at the NCSU Memorial Tower
  24. 24. WolfWalk 1.0 <ul><li>Released March 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Location-aware </li></ul><ul><li>Two flavors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iPhone/iPod Touch </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. WolfWalk 1.1 <ul><li>Released June 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Location-aware </li></ul><ul><li>Three flavors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iPhone/iPod Touch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iPad </li></ul></ul>
  26. 36. Mobile Exhibits
  27. 37. NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center Gallery
  28. 38. Mobile Exhibits Concept Augment the exhibit user experience by integrating additional content from the archives.
  29. 39. NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center Gallery
  30. 40. Untitled Image Layout QR Code connecting users to the 4-H Mobile Supplement
  31. 41. QR Codes Image source: Flickr user inju
  32. 42. 4-H & NC State <ul><li>Released Jan 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile website only </li></ul><ul><li>QR code integration </li></ul>
  33. 46. Planning a Mobile Initiative
  34. 47. Basic Questions <ul><li>Do you have the resources to develop a custom app? </li></ul>
  35. 48. Basic Questions <ul><li>What makes your app mobile ? </li></ul>
  36. 49. Content Designing for a mobile optimized experience often involves developing new or modified content. Do not assume you can just reuse what you already have!
  37. 50. Implementation Choices Do you build a platform specific “native app” (e.g., iPhone App, Android App), a mobile website that works across a range of devices, or both?
  38. 51. Native Apps <ul><li>App store visibility / can charge for it </li></ul><ul><li>Access to hardware </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphics, cameras, offline access </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But… </li></ul><ul><li>Development environment (Objective-C) </li></ul><ul><li>Developer license </li></ul><ul><li>Updates require user updates </li></ul>
  39. 52. Mobile Web Apps <ul><li>Cross platform </li></ul><ul><li>Less specialized development </li></ul><ul><li>Release can be as easy as a web page </li></ul><ul><li>But…. </li></ul><ul><li>Network reliance </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer hardware features </li></ul><ul><li>Cross browser/platform testing </li></ul>
  40. 53. jQuery Mobile <ul><li>Touch optimized interface widgets at low cost </li></ul><ul><li>Cross platform support </li></ul><ul><li>Familiar HTML / JavaScript development </li></ul>
  41. 54. Practical Considerations <ul><li>How robust is the wireless connection in your environment? </li></ul>
  42. 55. Practical Considerations <ul><li>How do you deliver high-quality media (images/audio/video) without compromising the user experience? </li></ul>
  43. 56. Geotagging Issues <ul><li>How do you geotag very large digital collections in a scalable way? </li></ul>
  44. 57. Expect the Unexpected <ul><li>iOS Developer License issue </li></ul><ul><li>App Store market advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Network issues </li></ul><ul><li>QR code integration </li></ul>
  45. 58. The Future is Bright <ul><li>We've only scratched the surface of what is already possible technologically, let alone what will be possible in the next year or two. </li></ul>
  46. 59. More App Ideas
  47. 60. Interactive Exhibits
  48. 61. Hyperlocal History
  49. 62. Hyperlocal History
  50. 63. Location Aware Audio
  51. 64. Location Aware Audio <ul><li>Interpretive tour audio content </li></ul><ul><li>Oral histories and interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Recorded music (time period, genre) </li></ul><ul><li>Field recordings and soundscapes </li></ul>
  52. 65. <ul><li>Start small. </li></ul><ul><li>Try things. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from others. </li></ul>
  53. 66. Thanks! <ul><li>More information: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Credits: </li></ul><ul><li>Tito Sierra & Jason Casden ( </li></ul>Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)