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.
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).