Respondents were asked whether there was further information that would support them in making decisions regarding the use of mobile technologies. The following outlines the nature of the responses received. It should be noted that the categories below are not mutually exclusive.
Experience of others
There was a need to be able to share experiences with others and to learn from, and support, peers as well as simply understand what others were doing and have a forum for discussion.
Keeping in touch and seeing what other libraries are doing in this area. Sharing resources/projects what is happening in this area is a high priority we all don’t need to re-invent the wheel.
A few respondents explicitly wished for this sharing not only be at a national level but to be international and cover a range of different sectors.
Case studies of implementation of mobile technologies
Such case studies would be useful to highlight success stories as well as lessons learned and may be presented in a more formal way than might be through a discussion. The following provides an example to highlight this need:
It is good to continue to have information on case studies of how mobile technologies are being used for REAL benefit, not just additional marketing. Most of the literature around QR codes in libraries explains possible uses, rather than real examples and feedback about the success of those uses, so more data about the success would be good. Case studies need to be clear what the costs and technical support needs were, as well as what the strategic need and benefit was.
Horizon scanning and trend analysis
This included a central information source concerning the current state of the art in mobile technologies in libraries as well as ‘trend spotting’- looking at current and future trends.
Reviews, current awareness and evaluation
There was some demand for current awareness news, reviews, recommendations and evaluations of particular mobile technologies. Responses included:
librarian reviews of technology involved and guidelines for best practices.
….important to be aware of all tech developments not just phones, and even though phones will be more widespread – the tablet market looks like it is going a lot wider at the moment too
‘How to’ guidance
There was demand for information and guidance around various aspects of setting up and implementing m-library initiatives, for example:
How to get the most out of smart phones, iPads and equivalent, setting up and sincing with PCs
Recommendations on how to write a mobile library website; how some sort of device- detection can be used to reformat the site, which perhaps could be used on existing sites.
Evidence based materials
Some respondents expressed a desire to be able to cite evidence from elsewhere to support their own developments. This could be in a number of areas for example, benefits, making a case, user behaviour and evaluation:
It would be useful to have more information on how students are using and may potentially use mobile technologies.
Research about mobile usability
A single information ‘hub’
Some desired a central point for information on all aspects of mobile library technology and implementation. This is summarised by this response:
A central place for known issues and problems would be welcomed, too – many libraries are duplicating effort by creating their own FAQs, where one centralised knowledge base would seem an obvious solution. Something similar for ideas and innovations, methods of publicity and examples of projects and best practice elsewhere, would be helpful, too.
Interestingly one respondent suggested a need for information that could be understood by non technical people:
More detailed description for non-tech people to use
Three respondents explicitly referred to needing training/coaching, either in person or via a webinar.
We hope to cover many of these areas during the project, and this has helped shape our plans for future blog posts and areas to cover when gathering case studies to share. We have actually already covered one request:
Just more info re web app vs native app, because it seems like most staff only know about native apps and have no idea about web apps
Hopefully our recent blog post, Native mobile app vs mobile web, fulfils this need.
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