Mlibs event – Mobile devices in the physical environment in libraries, exhibitions and galleries

This is part of a series of blog posts based on the sessions held at the Mobile technologies in libraries: information sharing event. More resources from the day are available at the event Lanyrd page.

Gary Green

Gary Green

Jason Curtis (Shrewsbury & Telford Hospitals NHS Trust), Gary Green (Surrey County Council), and Peter Kargbo (Manchester Metropolitan University) facilitated a group discussion during the morning breakout sessions on using mobile devices to link the physical to the virtual. Gary had prepared a collection of links on Delicious to help shape the discussion, and ideas were shared by those attending the session too.

Some topics discussed in this session included:

  • AR Apps – scan location to find local areas of interest e.g. restaurant – including Layar and Wikitude
  • Aurasma – AR app to scan book cover & view video reviews
  • Using AR to see videos for exhibitions (e.g. John Rylands)
  • AR issues round technology e.g. reflections/lighting
  • How do users know about AR?
  • Rooms tagged to provide further info on room (e.g. British Museum)
  • QR code based quizzes e.g. for school groups
  • Lists of journals with QR codes
  • Problem linking to non-mobile sites
  • Study rooms and booking forms – system for real-time booking
  • How to track usage of QR codes? – Google tracking codes
  • Complex QR codes may be difficult to scan on some devices
  • QR codes on opening hours posters e.g. holidays  – feedback very useful
  • QR codes on catalogues e.g. www.shelib.nhs.uk
  • Concerns over data charges (study at Huddersfield) and use
  • Could use plain text for contact details etc. – how to update
  • Finding out more especially visual search
  • Using QR codes to book computers in FE libraries, give students some independence

The facilitators asked everyone in the group to note down some of the challenges faced in implementing such technologies. The key themes emerging from those notes were:

  • Acceptance of mobile technologies in libraries
  • Lack of awareness of technologies from library staff
  • Lack of awareness of technologies from users – will they need to be trained?
  • Uncertainty about technologies in terms of their suitability for meeting a need – sometimes it can seem like a solution looking for a problem
  • How to apply the use of technologies in local context – which technologies to use, where, how…
  • What skills are needed to implement these technologies?
  • What have other people done? How can we learn from that?
  • What resource is needed to implement? What benefits will we gain?
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