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Are Library Services Ready for the Mobile Web?


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Are Library Services Ready for the Mobile Web?

  1. 1. The Mobile Web Are Library Services Ready? Kevin Reiss Office of Library Services 10/5/09 LACUNY Emerging Technologies Committee Meeting
  2. 2. Is this the mobile web?
  3. 3. Outline ● What is the mobile web? – User trends – Devices ● How do our current services perform on it? – Informal Evaluation ● What are our options? – Strategies for effective web design – What we can do now
  4. 4. Mobile Web Use is Skyrocketing ● Mobile devices are fast becoming the most common computing tools. ● Pew surveys on Internet life say mobile computing will the dominant form of computing within 10 years. ● “Cloud” services will become more important ● Mobile Computing and Cloud Computing mean more 24/7 computing ● Web design practices need to be reconsidered
  5. 5. Mobile Services and Younger Users ● 71 % of teenagers use a mobile device to access the web – Pew Survey on Internet Life ● 1700 text messages a month for teenagers in 2008 – Nielson Mobile Survey ● Being networked during all waking hours seems to be where we are headed
  6. 6. SMS Text Messaging ● Is this an important means of service or content delivery for libraries? ● Certainly Important for Information Sharing ● Some rudimentary support in today's library applications ● Text message reference
  7. 7. The Devices – by OS ● Symbian (Nokia phones) ● Blackberry ● Iphone/IPod Touch (fastest growing group) ● Windows Mobile Devices ● Android Devices ● Palm
  8. 8. Mobile vs. Desktop ● Current mobile use has been described as “snacking” in between time spent at a desktop or full-size laptop computer ● This distinction is blurring – Think netbooks – lightweight laptops – Tablet PCs ● Most immediately think smartphones
  9. 9. Netbooks
  10. 10. Tablets
  11. 11. Or Many Devices?
  12. 12. Repeat of the Browser Wars? ● Mobile devices are typically run using proprietary operating systems ● Innovative Interfaces has a library application [Airpac] for the Iphone and Blackberry – What about other devices? ● Blackberry, Iphone Windows Mobile ● Android – Open Source – Linux-based mobile Operated system
  13. 13. Develop for Just One Device
  14. 14. Android Open Development
  15. 15. Not to be forgotten...Wireless Reading Device
  16. 16. Kindle Native Interface
  17. 17. Kindle Format? ● AZW – proprietary kindle reader format ● Also support html, .mobi, .txt ● PDF is not fully supported yet ● DRM is important in the mobile sphere ● Ebooks are only approximately 3% of the book market but are gaining acceptance ● Compare the “book-like” experience of the kindle with the experience our current library “eBooks” offer the user
  18. 18. How will DRM fit in? A Major challenge facing eBook authors, publishers, and libraries
  19. 19. Core Library Services on the Mobile Web ● Search and Discovery ● Content Delivery – E-books – Full-text content – Citation Managers ● Reference Services ● Course Reserves / Course Management Support ● General Information; hours, location, etc.
  20. 20. Search ● Needs to get better and easier – Voice search will be important – Search by picture will too ● Better results display is needed ● Browsing Options need to be more readily available ● Catalogs – SMS – Mobile Friendly Display
  21. 21. Search
  22. 22. Catalog Search Example
  23. 23. Kindle App on IPhone
  24. 24. Kindle App Search Example
  25. 25. Content Delivery ● Electronic Books – Lacking quite a bit.... ● Research Databases ● Citations ● Multimedia? ● How will “personal” mobile libraries evolve? – Think Itunes for books – Think Zotero/Refworks/Endnote for content
  26. 26. Ebrary
  27. 27. Kindle Library
  28. 28. EBSCO Platform accessed on Iplatform (iPhone/iPod Touch)
  29. 29. Reference Service ● How will do our online reference services work with the mobile web? ● CUNY is a member of the OCLC-based questionpoint service ● How did an attempted session turn out?
  30. 30. Reference
  31. 31. Refworks Mobile
  32. 32. Informal Service Evaluation Results ● Searching catalog was very cumbersome ● Questionpoint – Couldn't successfully start a 24x7 Chat ● Ebrary – No mobile version available – Content display not impressive ● Refworks – Mobile version available ● EBSCO Databases – No mobile version available
  33. 33. How do People Actually Use the Mobile Web? ● Currently characterized as snacking between desktop visits ● Time filler (the kindle on the train) ● As lines between devices blur this will change ● Mobile devices will in some cases become a user's primary interface to the Internet
  34. 34. Options for making web services work with the mobile web ● Three levels of compatibility with mobile devices courtesy of ● Standard; display the standard http website within the device ● Transcoded; run your current site through an emulator – – see for example ● Create a true mobile website – Number of encoding options exist for building a “native” mobile website
  35. 35. Three Mobile Web Scenarios Standard Transcoded True Mobile
  36. 36. Trancoding Service
  37. 37. W3C Mobility Checker
  38. 38. Evaluate how mobile-friendly your website is
  39. 39. Transcoded CUNY Catalog
  40. 40. Transcoded Search Results
  41. 41. Create a true mobile web presence?
  42. 42. The Mobile Campus
  43. 43. Users find your mobile website with auto-discovery ● Same Mechanism as RSS auto-discovery ● <link> tag in an HTML page header ● Pick a Content Management System that can help you easily maintain a mobile version of your web content ● A number of different coding options are available to the mobile web developer ● Ask vendors if they provide a true mobile web version of their content
  44. 44. Have a message inviting the mobile user appear to try your Mobile option
  45. 45. Apps vs. Mobile Websites ● An app could be a killer application the way a browser toolbar could never be ● We have LibX toolbars, should we have an “iLib” application? – General purpose apps seem less useful – Apps are generally focused around a single application or service – Reference might a good “app” choice ● Connect the user directly to the service they want ● If you can get the user to install it
  46. 46. Your App will share space with the following types of services If you can get the user to install it...
  47. 47. The Amazon App for IPhone
  48. 48. App Problems ● Develop for only one platform ● Develop for every platform ● Getting users to install it may be a problem ● Focus your app development around specific content or services – Search – Reference – Courseware/Course Reservers
  49. 49. Is this a good choice?
  50. 50. How do you make your library functional on the mobile web? ● Consider developing a mobile version of your core web services if possible ● Efficient search and effective content delivery will be key on the mobile web (look for support) ● Provide SMS support within: – Content discovery tools – Reference services ● Clean URLs Count
  51. 51. Manage Your Web Content Wisely ● Choose a modern web Content Management System (CMS) system if possible ● You can afford to be nimble and make a good choice for web content management if this is a decision you can make within your library – Wordpress/Drupal good options ● A modern CMS will help you integrate your services into all aspects of today's web ● Benefits: – You won't have wait for someone to build SMS support into your tool – Someone is likely to have already created the feature you want
  52. 52. Wordpress CMS Mobile Web Example
  53. 53. Wordpress Mobile Plugin
  54. 54. Utilize Best Practices in Web Content Management ● Use XHTML Strict ● Web-friendly Images ● Accessibility Standards ● Minimize tables ● Don't use tables for page layout ● Investigate requirements for wireless markup compatibility – If you might the above five points you will be more than halfway there already
  55. 55. Implement a Mobile Catalog
  56. 56. Wireless Friendly Websites ● Are maintenance friendly websites ● Choose CMS tools that produce clean HTML ● Choose CMS tools that may already include mobile support ● Cloud-type applications are likely easy to integrate into mobile services ● Think RSS, Calendars – Developers have already built tools to work with these standards
  57. 57. Even MARC can make it to the Mobile Web...
  58. 58. ADD SMS Support to Core Services
  59. 59. SMS Example Cont.
  60. 60. Clean URLs Count
  61. 61. Are your web services ready for the mobile web? Test them
  62. 62. We Need to move towards an: ● An infrastructure where our web services are easily adaptable to whatever devices users want to access them with ● What we can do: – Select local web content management platforms that help us do this – Select content that is broadly compatible with the devices our students use – Encourage vendors and content providers to include more mobile support in their services
  63. 63. For More ● ● For a thorough overview of mobile issues from a library perspective see – ● Try to use some library services on a mobile device you've got available – It will be an eye-opener ● Think about content delivery on the mobile web – Learn about kindle and kindle compatible formats