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Mobile Enhanced Access to Archives and Special Collections


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Pervasive mobile computing creates new opportunities for people to discover, access, and share information. How can libraries leverage mobile technology to enhance discovery and use of archives and special collections content? This presentation describes some of the near-term opportunities and challenges of providing mobile access to digital collections, informed by work at the NCSU Libraries over the past two years. Two projects are discussed in detail. The “WolfWalk” mobile app provides a location-aware historical guide to NC State University, connecting alumni, students, and campus visitors with historical photos from the university archives. The presenters also describe the recent use of mobile technologies to enhance the user experience with physical exhibits in the library space. The presentation outlines several considerations when planning a mobile initiative, such as content curation issues, the selection of a mobile application delivery platform, and the enabling role of digital collections infrastructure.

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Mobile Enhanced Access to Archives and Special Collections

  1. 1. Mobile Enhanced Access to Archives and Special Collections Tito Sierra Jason Casden NCSU Libraries
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>The Mobile Opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies at NC State University </li></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>Future Directions </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Mobile Opportunity
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  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. “ MobiLIB” at NCSU (2007)
  15. 15. 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>Summon </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>
  16. 16. Albums from UA023.005 Campus Views and Facilities Sub-Group, NCSU Special Collections Research Center
  17. 17. NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center Gallery
  18. 18. Case Studies at NCSU
  19. 19. WolfWalk
  20. 20. WolfWalk Concept Provide a user-friendly way for people to learn about the history of NC State, while exploring campus .
  21. 21. Jason Casden, lead developer for WolfWalk, at the NCSU Memorial Tower
  22. 22. Jason Casden, lead developer for WolfWalk, at the NCSU Memorial Tower
  23. 23. 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 app </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iPhone App </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. WolfWalk 1.1 <ul><li>Released June 10, 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>3 flavors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web App </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iPhone/iPod Touch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iPad </li></ul></ul>
  25. 35. Mobile Exhibits
  26. 36. Mobile Exhibits Concept Augment the exhibit user experience by integrating additional content from the archives.
  27. 37. NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center Gallery
  28. 38. NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center Gallery
  29. 39. Untitled Image Layout QR Code connecting users to the 4-H Mobile Supplement
  30. 40. QR Codes Image source: Flickr user inju
  31. 41. 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>
  32. 45. Planning a Mobile Initiative
  33. 46. Basic Questions <ul><li>What makes your app mobile ? </li></ul>
  34. 47. Content Curation Designing for a mobile optimized experience often involves additional content curation. Do not assume you can just reuse what you already have!
  35. 48. Photograph from the NCSU Libraries University Archives Photograph Collection (c. 1910)
  36. 49. Historical State <ul><li>Title: President D. H. Hill and staff, North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects: College presidents; Hill, D. H. (Daniel Harvey), 1859-1924; North Carolina State University; People; Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Site: [D. H. Hill Library (Raleigh, N.C.)] </li></ul><ul><li>Description: [D. H. Hill Library is named for Daniel Harvey Hill (1859-1924), an English professor at North Carolina State University and one of the college’s first five faculty members. He was president of the University from 1908-1916. The Library was built in four stages, the east wing first in 1953, the Erdahl-Cloyd Student Union or west wing second in 1954, the old book stack tower third in 1971, and the new book stack tower fourth in 1990. In 2007, a major renovation of the east wing of the library was completed. D. H. Hill Library is the main library of the NCSU Libraries system, which is composed of five library facilities.] </li></ul>
  37. 50. WolfWalk <ul><li>Title: D.H. Hill (with pocket watch) and NC State staff </li></ul><ul><li>Site: DH Hill Library </li></ul><ul><li>Description: After the first library, located in Brooks Hall, became too small, a new D.H. Hill Library was built in 1953. It was expanded in 1954 and towers were added in 1972 (Bookstack North) and 1990 (Bookstack South). Its namesake, D.H. Hill, was appointed professor of English and bookkeeping in 1889 and became one of the university's first five faculty members. He selected most of the library's books and served as the university's vice president from 1905 to 1908 and president from 1908 to 1916. </li></ul>
  38. 51. 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?
  39. 52. 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>
  40. 53. 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>
  41. 54. 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>
  42. 55. Practical Considerations <ul><li>How robust is the wireless connection on your campus? </li></ul><ul><li>In your exhibit space? </li></ul>
  43. 56. Practical Considerations <ul><li>How do you deliver high-quality media (images/audio/video) without compromising the user experience? </li></ul>
  44. 57. Geotagging Issues <ul><li>How do you geotag very large digital collections in a scalable way? </li></ul><ul><li>How does geotagging fit into existing digitization workflows, if at all? </li></ul>
  45. 58. Expect the Unexpected <ul><li>iOS Developer License issue </li></ul><ul><li>App Store market advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Campus network issues </li></ul><ul><li>QR code exhibit design integration </li></ul>
  46. 59. 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>
  47. 60. Future Directions
  48. 61. Interactive Exhibits
  49. 62. Interactive Exhibits
  50. 63. <ul><li>“ I'm interested in history, as I'm walking down the street in San Francisco I want my mobile device to tell me about the history here, think of it as a serendipity engine.” </li></ul><ul><li>— Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, September 2010 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  51. 64. Hyperlocal History
  52. 65. Hyperlocal History
  53. 66. Location Aware Audio
  54. 67. 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>
  55. 68. Learn by Doing <ul><li>“ You have to poke your finger at everything that is coming out to actually understand it. It goes back again to how you do things. If you are nimble, you should be able to test everything quickly and cheaply... That's where you need to be.” </li></ul><ul><li>— Gus Balbontin, Lonely Planet </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  56. 69. Thanks! <ul><li>More information: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Slides download: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License