Category Archives: Events

Jisc Collections: Mobile Resource Issues – Publisher workshop

Following on from the workshop for librarians (see earlier blog post for further information), Jisc Collections are now hosting a workshop in the same topic for publishers. The event will be held at the Jisc Offices in London on 22nd January and aims to highlight what librarians need to know from publishers about their resources with regards to their mobile compatibility (based on the discussions from the earlier workshop with librarians).

You can book a place at: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mobile-resource-issues-publisher-workshop-tickets-9511871263. Please feel free to pass the details to publishers or other resource providers you think may be interested.

Event information

22nd January, Jisc Offices, Brettenham House, 5 Lancaster Place, London, WC2E 7EN
11.00 – 3.30pm

Considerable work has been conducted around the issues of mobile access to library resource, in particular within the Mobilising Academic Content Online project: http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/macon/

In the light of that work and the recent Jisc Collections workshop on mobile access issues for libraries (http://www.researchinformation.info/news/news_story.php?news_id=1341), this workshop will attempt to highlight for publishers what librarians need to know about their resources in the mobile context such as:

Does it have device twinning / linking for access?, Does it have an “app”?, Is the app fully functional?, Is mobile federated access available?, Is the content in HTML5?, Does it reflow?, Too many redirects in the process? and much more.

The workshop will discuss how such information can be best collected, collated and surfaced within the community as well as examining the support that publishers could provide in this area.

We’ll also look at how evaluation criteria of mobile resource functionality, usability and access methods might be defined and how this work could be taken forward in an international environment with a focus upon looking at common best practice.

The structure of the day will include:

  • Scene setting
  • Summary of activity in the area
  • What libraries want: A Mobile Manifesto
  • Examining Evaluation Criteria
  • Way forward

Lunch will be provided.

Please note that this workshop is aimed at academic publishers, interested librarians should contact Mark Williams.

Further reading on this topic can be found:

Research Information – “A Manifesto for Mobile” Mark Williams & Ben Showers, JISC

http://www.researchinformation.info/news/news_story.php?news_id=1341


Jisc Mobile Workshop “Accessing library resources via mobile” Jo Alcock, Birmingham City University

http://www.slideshare.net/joeyanne/jisc-collections-workshop-accessing-library-resources-via-mobile

UKSG 2013 – “Integrating mobile technologies into the academic library” Claire Gill & Claire Graverly, University of Surrey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_7RTQkhDjA

UKSG 2013 – “Mobile publishing / publishing on the move” Victoria Wright, Taylor & Francis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhBqxiF5tAo

Insights Journal – “Mobile authentication and access: any time, any place, any device?” Mark Williams, Jisc

http://uksg.metapress.com/content/847lm21371722357/

[SIGN UP HERE]
http://tinyurl.com/o8urw3o

If you have any questions please contact:

Mark Williams

T: 02030066042 (Direct)

E: m.williams@jisc-collections.ac.uk

Jisc Collections and Janet Ltd

Jisc Collections mobile issues workshop

On 16th July, I attended a workshop hosted by Jisc Collections to discuss issues around accessing library resources via mobile devices. The focus of the morning was sharing some of these issues through a series of presentations, and the afternoon focused on a workshop whereby we discussed, in groups, the current key issues and steps we could take to help solve some of these.

The event opened with an introduction by Mark Williams (Jisc Collections) and Ben Showers (Jisc Programme Manager) who shared the intended outcomes of the day. We then had a presentation from Keren Mills (Open University) who gave an overview of the Jisc-funded Mobilising Academic Content Online (MACON) project. Keren started her presentation by sharing the issues around users having to jump from mobile websites to apps for different content, and how this isn’t an efficient workflow for them. For this reason, the project focused on providing accessing to OU library resources via a mobile interface for their discovery service (EBSCO). One of the biggest issues they tackled as part of the project was authentication – sometimes this can cause problems on mobile devices as there are too many redirects for the browser to cope with, or it can be difficult for the user to work out what details they need to put in and where. By prompting users to login as soon as they start their search, this means they should only need to login once per search session to access content through the discovery service. They also adapted the design based on user feedback, and produced a best practice toolkit for delivering academic content to handheld devices (this includes recommendations about content formats, delivery, user requirements, and usability). Keren’s slides are below:


Following Keren’s presentation, I gave an overview of some of the work we did as part of the Jisc m-library community support project relating to this topic. In particular I focused on the Pathway to Best Practice on Providing access to resources via mobile devices. I shared some of the examples in this including Newcastle University’s LibGuide on Mobile apps and resources, University of Birmingham’s advice for users, and the Library Success wiki. I then shared some examples of the sorts of options available from publishers and providers at the moment to demonstrate the variety of different options. This included mobile websites, mobile apps, and a multitude of different approaches to logging in. My slides are below:


The next presentation, from Claire Gill and Claire Gravely at University of Sussex, gave some more detail on some of the options available and what this meant for libraries. At University of Sussex, they spent some time checking providers to see what mobile options were available. Of the 170 checked, 17 had mobile optimised websites and 28 had mobile apps (14 of which they classed as ‘usable’ i.e. access to full text, only having to login once, and easy to access). They then showed us some examples and shared the good and bad of each based on the things their users were likely to want to use the app for. The slides are below:


The final presentation was from Claire Grace (Open University) who spoke about the user’s expectations and the role of the library in checking access to resources. She explained that many of our users will have different devices for different purposes (e.g. they may use a phone/tablet for browsing websites and searching for resources, but prefer to use an ereader for reading books) and we need to understand this to know how best to support them. They are also likely to have different expectations for the different devices they use. The number of different devices (hardware and software) make it difficult for libraries to check access to resources. Claire encouraged us to push for standards and testing during development so we’re not finding that things don’t work as they should.

After lunch, we had a brief discussion about UK Federation and mobile access. A couple of resources were recommended for people to check out:

This led into the group discussions where the aim was to discuss the main concerns and offer suggestions for ways forward. There were some really interesting discussions about whether apps or mobile websites are preferable (most agreed mobile websites in this situation), issues and potential solutions for authentication (such as for example a mobile friendly version of Shibboleth or other authentication methods), and the issues around duplication of effort across the sector and how we can reduce that.

Jisc are writing up the notes from the discussions and will be sharing the outcomes in due course, but in the meantime I thought I’d share some of the main messages and suggestions for ways forward that I picked up on, which seemed to come under three themes:

  1. Communication
    This included organising and participating in wider discussions with libraries, publishers, and users to understand each other’s perspectives and work towards the common goal of simple access to resources regardless of the device used.
  2. Shared resources
    This included ideas such as contributing to a shared resource with details of mobile websites/apps – something that both libraries and publishers can contribute to (possible the Library Success wiki, or something similar)
  3. Shared best practice
    This included developing a set of standards or a specification for publishers to use when developing their mobile websites.

It was really useful to get a group together to discuss these common issues, and I certainly came out of the workshop much clearer about what needed to be done. If this is an area you are interested in, please subscribe to the blog (links at the top of the right column) as I’ll make sure to post updates.

UKSG mobile webinar

Myself and Ben Showers (Jisc) were invited to deliver a webinar this afternoon on behalf of UKSG on the topic of mobile technologies. The details are below:

The Mobile Advantage: Developing mobile services and resources for libraries and content providers

Ben Showers (Jisc) and Jo Alcock (Birmingham City University)

Session aim

To equip attendees with an understanding of the current mobile landscape and to help them consider the impact this has on libraries, publishers and users in providing access to resources and services.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the current mobile landscape including mobile devices, technologies, and latest developments
  • Share example case studies of how mobile technologies have been used to support delivery of library services and library content
  • Plan next steps forward for investigating use of mobile technologies in their own work environment

Session overview

The webinar will provide an overview of current developments in mobile services and resources for libraries and content providers. We will set the scene by sharing some facts and figures about the current mobile landscape and considering this in a library environment.

The main body of the webinar will focus on sharing examples, advice, and case studies in the following thematic areas:

  1. Developing Mobile Library Services
  2. Access to Content
  3. The Mobile Advantage

We will conclude with a reality check to apply the ideas into a real world context and a call to action for those considering developing mobile services or mobile content.

We hope to provide attendees with an overview of some of the interesting ways libraries and publishers are using mobile devices to help deliver content and services to users. Some examples include:

Mobile library services:

Access to content:

We also wanted to highlight to attendees some examples of intiatives that have only been made possible by mobile technologies, which we termed as ‘The Mobile Advantage’. This included:

Mobile technologies provide us with an opportunity to do something new; to rethink the ways we’ve always done things. The particular affordances of mobile (its portability, functionality, personalisation) mean it enables things to be done in new ways, and for new things to emerge entirely.

Hopefully, the examples and resources shared in this post, the blog and the community as a whole highlight that developing mobile services and content doesn’t need to be expensive or complex. Rather, there are a number of cheap or free services and approaches that mean there shouldn’t be any barriers to getting started with mobile library development.

For more resources see the #mlibs resources widget in the right hand side of the blog (which you can subscribe to if you wish).

Jisc Collections: Mobile resources library access issues workshop

Jisc Collections are hosting a free workshop on the topic of mobile access to library resources. Further details below and at http://mobilejisccollections-estw.eventbrite.co.uk where you can book your place.

16th July, Jisc Offices, Brettenham house, 5 Lancaster Place, London, WC2E 7EN

10.45 – 3.30pm

Considerable work has been conducted around the issues of mobile access to library resource, in particular within the Mobilising Academic Content Online project: http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/macon/

In the light of that work, this workshop will attempt to gain consensus on what librarians need to know about their resources in mobile terms (such as: does it have device twinning?, does it have an “app”?, is the app fully functional?, is mobile federated access available, is the content in HTML5, and much more).

How such information can be best collected, collated and surfaced within the community will be discussed as well as examining the support that Jisc Collections could provide in that area.

The workshop will also look at how evaluation criteria might be defined and how this work could be take forward in an international environment looking at common best practice.

The structure of the day will include:

  • Scene setting
  • Summary of activity in the area
  • What libraries want
  • Publisher case study on developing mobile access
  • Articulating the issues
  • Way forward

Lunch will be provided, and there is limited support available for attendees who require help with travel costs (please contact m.williams@jisc-collections.ac.uk directly).

 

Further reading on this topic can be found:

UKSG  2013 – “Intergrating mobile technologies into the academic library” Claire Gill & Claire Graverly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_7RTQkhDjA

UKSG 2013 – “Mobile publishing / publishing on the move  Victoria Wright, Taylor & Francis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhBqxiF5tAo

Insights Journal – “Mobile authentication and access: any time, any place, any device?”  Mark Williams

http://uksg.metapress.com/content/847lm21371722357/

 

If you have any questions please contact:

Mark Williams

T: 02030066042 (Direct)

E: m.williams@jisc-collections.ac.uk

JISC Collections

American Libraries Live: Mobile Services – the library in your pocket

Last week, American Libraries Live held a discussion hosted by Jason Griffey with contributors Maurice Coleman and Robin Hastings. They discussed what they mean by mobile, gave examples of some of the ways libraries are using mobile technologies, and answered questions posed by viewers. You can view a recording of the session by clicking on the image below or directly via this link.

AL Live screenshot

AL Live screenshot

Some of the highlights I took from the session included:

  •  The importance of knowing your users, the technologies they use, and things they would like to use their mobile devices for. Google Analytics was recommended as a tool to help with this as it includes information on devices and browsers used to access your website.
  • Also consider those who aren’t currently using the library. Mobile services may be one way to reach out to the people who don’t currently use library services.
  • Users tend to expect to be able to use their mobile devices for simple discovery of resources (e.g. catalogue), location and opening hours information, and to contact the library.
  • Some libraries are experimenting with using mobile devices for circulation (all speakers agreed that it would be great to be able to offer users the ability to borrow items by using their mobile devices to check them out).
  • Mobile payments are gathering traction and are likely to be used more in future (e.g. Square Register and Square Wallet).

ALA LITA MCIG virtual meeting

I recently attended a webinar hosted by the American Library Association Library and Information Technology Association Mobile Computing Interest Group. I created a Storify to share the presentations and related resources.

Unfortunately I’m not able to embed the Storify but you can access it from the link below.

View the story “LITA MCIG virtual meeting” on Storify

M-libraries Conference – From margin to mainstream

On 24th-26th September 2012, The Open University hosted a group of 163 delegates from 19 different countries for the Fourth International M-libraries Conference. It was the first of the m-libraries conferences I have been able to attend in person, though I have followed others from afar. The theme of the conference, From margin to mainstream: mobile technologies transforming lives and libraries, demonstrates the progress made in the area of m-libraries, and this was evident from many of the keynotes and parallel sessions.

M-libraries conference

M-libraries conference

The keynote sessions were all recorded and are now available online, and I created an Eventifier archive which has some of the presentations from both the keynotes and parallel sessions, as well as photos, videos and tweets. Rather than recreate notes from each session, I wanted to highlight some of the key themes emerging from the conference.

Mobile technologies are global – supporting developing world as well as developed

Some of the most interesting presentations highlighted some of the innovative ways mobile technologies are being used in different countries. Steve Vosloo talked about projects UNESCO have been working on including Worldreader: books for all (which brings reading material to the developing world via Kindles or through their mobile phones via biNu), and literacy promotion via mobile phones (including educational information). We also heard about projects in India involving m-learning applications on the cheapest tablets in the world – less than $2 each! It was also interesting to note different challenges and benefits in different countries. For example, SMS messaging services aren’t widely used in UK due to cost, but in India this is not an issue. Kindles are robust enough for use in most countries and climates, but don’t deal well with the dust in Africa. Just a couple of examples of many things I previously hadn’t considered which were raised by delegates and speakers from across the world.

M-library initiatives don’t have to cost a lot – some just need staff time

There were some really innovative projects discussed at the conference, and many of these were from libraries that didn’t have funding for equipment or development. I attended some fantastic parallel sessions on innovations that utilised existing services to support delivery of library services. Georgina Parsons (Brunel University) spoke about their use of freely available services like Facebook, Twitter, QR Codes, and services they already subscribed to which offer mobile support like Summon, BookMyne and Library Elf. Neil Ford (Bournemouth University) shared their project on using QR codes to highlight electronic resources to students when they are browsing the physical library. The process incorporates checking reading lists to understand more about the courses, preparing relevant searches on electronic resources, and delivering those via QR codes and custom URLs on bookmarks near the key books for that area. The majority of this exercise is staff time and will also be useful even if the QR code uptake is low (i.e. better understanding of content of courses).

M-library developments are reliant on key technology companies

One of the presentations was from a representative at Microsoft, and other key players in the technology field were also mentioned throughout presentations. Martin White’s keynote focused entirely on developments of commercial companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple and Amazon. The clear message coming through these presentations and the general discussions during the event was the reliance on developments from these companies. For example, some technologies which could enable additional functionality of mobile devices (e.g. contactless payments) will only become more popular if they are incorporated to the majority of devices.

Users are expecting delivery of content and service via mobile devices

There were a number of presentations which started with statistics based on user surveys/interviews or other anecdotal observations from discussions with users. Many of these demonstrated a shift in user expectations – more now seem to be expecting libraries to be delivering content and services via mobile devices. Mobile as a major trend and a key concern for libraries and other related organisations – see for example the UCISA 2012 Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning for higher education in the UK, the ACRL 2012 top ten trends in academic librarianship, and LITA’s Top Tech Trends at ALA Annual Conference. It seems, as with the theme of the conference, that mobile is becoming mainstream and is now expected, rather than being an additional bonus.

CILIP Mobile Technology Executive Briefing

I was invited to present at CILIP’s Mobile Technology Executive Briefing on July 19th, and really enjoyed listening to the other presentations. There was a variety of presentations on a number of different themes:

Rather than go over what each presentation covered, I thought I’d pick up on a few themes which emerged throughout the day.

Mobile app vs. mobile web
This seems to be an ongoing debate and one many people want a quick answer to. Sadly it’s not that straight forward; as with anything it depends in the context (I wrote a blog post about the differences between mobile apps and mobile web which included their advantages and disadvantages). General consensus about which is preferable seems to be shifting slightly as we see the introduction of more smartphones on different operating systems, driving a need for cross-compatible mobile websites rather than native apps. In order to utilise all the functionality of the phone’s hardware though (e.g. using the camera, storing data offline), an app is the way to go. For library resources from publishers, we’re definitely seeing a change to people requesting mobile compatible websites rather than mobile apps, largely because users of the library are encouraged to access resources from a variety of publishers and may not know the publishers who cover their research areas (and often don’t need to know). We’ve been doing some research into the mobile options publishers offer, which we’ll be sharing on the blog soon.

Responsive web design
One potential solution to designing for the mobile web is responsive web design which enables web developers to develop one website which will detect the device and size it is being displayed on and alter its appearance accordingly – see responsive web design demo. This is becoming more popular with major website providers, and a number of libraries are beginning to use this approach. Matthew Reidsma gave a presentation on the topic of responsive web design at the ALA Annual Conference 2012 which you can view online (blog post includes video, slides and other resources). This approach to web design ties in with the findings of Bohyun Kim in her ALA Annual Conference presentation also; that users now expect to use their mobile devices in a similar way to a desktop and therefore expect mobile websites to have the same information as a desktop site. Responsive web design can be a time-consuming process (particularly for large websites with a lot of content) so some feel it is not the right approach to take at present, though I have to say I think it is a useful exercise and believe we should be aiming to offer the same amount of information regardless of the device.

Planning for the future
Many of the people at the event were keen to pick the speaker’s brains about how to plan for the future. The message from James Clay’s presentation was very clear; libraries should be planning for the future now, rather than focusing on the present. But what do we need to plan for? It’s difficult to predict what we’ll be using in the future, especially in an area of such rapid growth. The main priority here is the need to keep up-to-date with the latest developments and consider their implications for libraries. In addition to keeping on top of innovations in technology (by subscribing to technology news feeds and blogs), we also need to consider adoption of the technologies within society and potential trends which may affect the ways users wish to use libraries in future (e.g. changing expectations of mobile websites).

Reliance on providers
Martin White focused his presentation on the offerings of providers (in particular Apple, Google and Microsoft) and it was something mentioned in a number of the presentations. The decisions made by companies like these will impact which technologies are adopted and supported. For example, technologies such as near field communication will become more widespread if more devices include the technology, or QR code use could increase if a QR code reader was a standard part of a mobile devices’ camera rather than a separate app. We need to keep an eye on the technologies used by main technology companies, and also the smaller companies with innovative devices.

Knowing what users want
As with anything, the underpinning message when considering using mobile technology to support library resources and services is understanding what users want.  I was particularly interested to hear from George Buchanan about the feedback they got from students about the way they used mobile devices, and the fact that it was still largely for traditional activities such as calls and texts (though this was a small sample of students). Related to this, a number of projects in the JISC Mobile Infrastructure for Libraries programme have been involved in usability testing and gathering user feedback. See the following blog posts for further information – Usability testing from MACON at Open University and Phone Booth now and into the future from PhoneBooth at LSE. I’m sure others will blog their findings at a later date too.

So what do we do?

In conclusion, I think the main recommendations to take from the presentations and discussions from the CILIP Mobile Technologies Executive Briefing are as follows:

  1. Keep an eye on new developments in terms of mobile devices launches and technologies adopted by mainstream society
  2. Consider how we can utilise existing and cutting edge mobile technologies in our own library environments
  3. Keep ongoing data about the way our users are utilising mobile technologies (e.g. analytics, user surveys, focus groups, observation)
  4. Plan for the future by keeping mobile technologies at the forefront of new developments and regularly performing horizon scans

If you’re interested in finding out more about the event, you may want to look at the archive of #mobiletech2012 tweets.

Handheld Librarian Online Conference 7 – registration now open

Handheld Librarian 7 logo

Handheld Librarian 7 logo

Registration is now open for the 7th Handheld Librarian Online Conference on 15th-16th August 2012. I attended Handheld Librarian 5 (see my post on my personal blog) and found it really useful; I’d definitely recommend attending. It’s great value for money and even if the timezones don’t work out for watching it live you can watch recordings afterwards with your login.

Here’s some information about the programme this time:

The Handheld Librarian Online Conference is excited to present nine hours of non-stop, blockbuster, rockstar presentations on: eBooks, social media, engaged users, mobile instruction, games, technology tools. With keynotes from Lee Rainie & Ellyssa Kroski,and presenters from all over library land, and a second day of essential workshops on eBook legal & jQuery mobile — this conference cannot be missed! Check out our jam-packed program & register now at this link: http://handheldlibrarian.org/

Can’t be there for the whole day? You will have access to the Archive to view after the conference.

Individuals can Register for Conference Only (Aug. 15, 2012) – US $65, Register for Conference (Aug. 15, 2012) and Workshops (Aug. 16, 2012) (add $35 each workshop). Reduced pricing is available for groups.

Perspectives on mobile delivery

Cake and conversation by joeyanne, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  joeyanne 

Last week I delivered a workshop in collaboration with Gill Needham from Open University. We’d both been invited to give a presentation at the Cake and Conversation: The power of a Library in the palm of your hand event with a practical focus to members of staff at University of Bath. We thought it made sense to combine our time and work together to enable us to plan a full workshop themed on ‘perspectives on mobile delivery’. We took a broad approach first, narrowing it down and then looking forward:

  1. Perspectives on mobile delivery – horizon scanning (presentation slides)
  2. Perspectives on mobile delivery – case study (presentation slides)
  3. Perspectives on mobile delivery – activity
  4. Perspectives on mobile delivery – looking forward (presentation slides)

I began the workshop by giving an overview of some of the work currently happening in mobile technologies in libraries, including the work of the JISC Mobile Infrastructure for Libraries programme as well as further afield. I’m currently working on some pathways to best practice documents on a number of different topics and shared some of the examples we’ve collected as part of that.

Gill then gave a really useful overview of the work Open University have been involved in over the last few years, researching how users could utilise mobile devices for library resources and services, and how their mobile offerings have developed. One point I found particularly telling is that access to resources via mobile is one of the criteria used by Open University for selection of online resources, demonstrating the fact that this is now expected rather than an additional bonus.

We then worked together on an activity for the attendees. They had been split into six groups with a mixture of library, IT, learning technologies and academic staff in each group. Each group was given a persona which they had to consider in the context of providing a mobile service to support them in their studies/research. Gill and I were really impressed with the creativity shown (and the amount of effort some groups had put into giving their product a name!). Each are outlined below…

Laura

Laura (click for full persona) is a researcher in psychology who spends a lot of time travelling and therefore needs to be able to work (e.g. perform literature searches) whilst mobile, using her iPad. The group came up with an idea for a collaborative online research space called LAURA (Learning Academic User Research Area) which would enable Laura and her colleagues to add notes, comments and ideas about the research from wherever they are to a secure area which is regularly backed up. This area would be structured and searchable, and would also include journal alerts for relevant research.

Laura by joeyanne, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  joeyanne 

 

Simon

Simon (click for full persona) is a Sports and Exercise Science student who spends a lot of time playing sport. He tends to study during the day as he works or socialises in the evening, and although he visits the library regularly he isn’t familiar with the library systems or how to find library resources. The group decided to utilise the opportunity to promote the library services to Simon by developing a mobile web service. This service would provide library specific as well as extra study resources and would integrate VLE, Student Union, maps and space management, and account information as well as provide social functions and augmented reality.

Simon by joeyanne, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  joeyanne 

Sandi

Sandi (click for full persona) is currently on placement for her social work degree. She spends a lot of time travelling between clients and also is a single parent of a young daughter. She struggles to organise her work and studies and has very little time for reading but is aware that she needs more. The approach this group took was really interesting – they broke her day up to work out when she could study and what they could develop to help her. They came up with the idea of a v3Rs (Voice Recognition Reading Recommendation Service), which she could use whilst driving to dictate notes based on her experiences with clients. This would free up time which she usually spends typing up notes, and would also act as a smart search engine. The system would look for key research terms within her notes, and search subject specific databases for relevant readings. When she was ready to study that evening, she would have a list of the appropriate resources ready to read.

Sandi by joeyanne, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  joeyanne 

Joshua

Joshua (click for full persona) is a final year student studying International Management and Modern Languages. He has recently returned from his year studying abroad, and travels regularly both for studying and volunteering during vacation. The group highlighted the fact that for some like Joshua who travels a lot, offline access to material is important to reduce roaming data charges, and access to resources from different devices is an advantage. They came up with the idea of an app for all platforms which would bring together all the relevant study resources including library services and resources, VLE, bibliographic management, portfolio and social networks. As much of this as possible would be available for offline download so it can be accessed without an internet connection.

Joshua by joeyanne, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  joeyanne 

Jamila

Jamila (click for full persona) is studying for an MBA via distance learning. She is sponsored by her employer and works as a senior account executive for a large advertising agency with offices in New York, Tokyo and London. She travels a lot and is constantly connected online via her MacBook, iPad and iPhone. The group came up with an idea for PRIME (Positive Recommendations & Information Mobile Experience), a mobile-friendly recommendation platform that would source library content from departmental contacts, course colleagues, alumni and business contacts and provide a means of offline content provision.

Jamila by joeyanne, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  joeyanne 

Liam

Liam (click for full persona) is an art history academic with a flamboyant teaching style. He isn’t too comfortable with technology but knows he needs to meet the expectations of his students to understand more about how to utilise mobile devices. The group came up with an multi-pronged approach for Liam to provide support for both his own needs and his students’ needs. Liam would have a pre-loaded customised iPad with capability to capture videos and post to a video blog which would be embedded into Moodle. This would be used for additional lecture material or pre-study material. For his own needs the iPad would be used to help him manage access to library resources, both online resources and reminders for renewing print resources.

Liam by joeyanne, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  joeyanne 

Following the presentation of these ideas, Gill and myself briefly gave an overview of some of the steps forward including the community support aspect of the JISC m-library community support project and the International m-libraries conference at Open University in September.

I’d like to thank both the organisers and the attendees for a really engaging workshop and lots of innovative ideas, and Gill for working with me to deliver this workshop.

The full set of photographs from the day are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeyanne/sets/72157630600387600/