Pathways To Best Practice 10: Collection management


Collection management using mobile devices.

State of maturity

Early adopters – very experimental at this stage.

Explanation of area

As well as supporting users, mobile technologies can be used to support library staff in their activities. One way to do this is to use mobile technologies to support collection management activities and enable more work to be done front of house with resources rather than back of house e.g checking information using desktop computers.

Some examples of ways to use mobile technologies to support collection management include:

  • Using mobile devices to deliver information about materials to be weeded (and enable materials to be withdrawn from stock via mobile devices)
  • Augmented reality to help with shelf tidying
  • Using mobile devices to select or order new materials

Examples of work in area

Library Sector Country Overview of work Links/resources
University of Huddersfield Higher Education UK Use tablets whilst weeding
Bergen County Cooperative Library System Public libraries USA Web interface for weeding (works on iPads and smartphones) Paperless online weeding
Miami University, Ohio Higher Education USA Augmented Reality app to help with shelving (shows when items in wrong place) Augmented-Reality Shelving: the ShelvAR app

Lessons learned from work so far

  • In order to fully support paperless online weeding, it may be necessary to develop your own system using LMS APIs (if provided) to enable withdrawing of stock from mobile device – otherwise it is unlikely to save much time.
  • Working with vendor provided systems can be a challenge to development in this area.

Key contacts

Andrew Walsh (University of Huddersfield) –

Useful links

ShelvAR (additional information and videos of augmented reality shelving app).

Updated: 23 August 2012 by Jo Alcock as part of JISC m-library community support project.

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