Survey analysis – What would you like from an m-libraries community?

Respondents were asked what they would like to see provided by an m-libraries community.  A few respondents were supportive of the need for a community resource, but did not provide any comments as to how it could be configured. Many respondents however provided suggestions. These suggestions are summarised below (please note that there is some overlap between categories):

A place to find and share experience and best practice

Perhaps unsurprisingly most of those who provided comments wanted to see a space where experience and good practice could be shared and which provided a central source of information of relevance to those involved in m-library developments. Some respondents provided more detail about features that they would like to see in such a space.  These included:

  • A place to share and discuss known issues and problems and receive answers from experts and peers and a safe place to ask questions
  • FAQs to avoid duplication of effort
  • A best practice archive, including problem solving and how to guides (possibly by resource or publisher), standards of delivery of services to mobile devices, guidance on ongoing management and evaluation of m-library initiatives
  • Success (and failure) stories and case studies
  • A place to find out what other libraries are doing
  • 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

Some respondents specifically referred to a desire for technical advice and support. One commented that some libraries may lack the technical skills to effectively 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 that’s a big barrier to mobile provision

Open source support

A few respondents referred to a place to share open source developments and code specific to the mobile web, for example:

Sample code, particularly redirectors, platform specific css examples, code that recognizes and adapts to os& platform

Additional suggestions
There were some additional suggestions including:

bundling. bulk purchase licence agreements for e books onto e readers

Develop ‘play’ packs to use to extend library staff knowledge and experience of mobile gadgets and technologies.

opportunity for sharing development costs, especially cross-platform

Conclusion
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Some are unfortunately outside the scope of this project (free wifi for all is a lovely idea but sadly not something we could organise!), but we will be passing suggestions on to JISC as some may be within their broader scope or of interest for future innovation. The suggestions within scope are incredibly useful for the project – we will use these to help steer development of the community resource from the project.

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2 thoughts on “Survey analysis – What would you like from an m-libraries community?

  1. Ben Showers

    This is a great analysis and some really interesting findings. It’s good to see that people were enthusiastic for an online space for sharing and information etc. I’d be happy to hear more about the results and comments and there may be things that can feed into other JISC work and programmes.

    1. Jo Alcock Post author

      Thanks for your comment Ben. It is indeed pleasing to see that there is a need for this sort of online community – now it’s just a challenge to deliver!

      We’ll soon be finalising the full report and will be sharing once it’s available.

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