So now we’ve handled what we mean by mobile, now it’s time to consider the concept of m-libraries*. In a nutshell:
Mobile devices + libraries = m-libraries
You may have heard of the successful m-libraries and Handheld Librarian conferences, or read some of their conference proceedings or related blog posts. The scope for m-libraries is vast – basically any initiative that enables the use of mobile devices in libraries could be included under this umbrella. This could include (though is not limited to):
- Accessing library content via mobile devices (e.g. e-books, e-journals, special collections)
- Using SMS to support enquiries or provide information to users
- Developing a mobile interface for a library website or library catalogue
- Using QR codes around the library to link to electronic content accessible by mobile devices
- Staff using mobile devices within the library to support roving enquiries
- Developing a dedicated mobile app to provide library content to users
- Utilising augmented reality within the library (e.g. special collections) using cameras on mobile devices
- Using mobile devices to interact with the library (e.g. renewing books, checking in on location services, doing tasks via mobile devices for points/rewards)
As the m-library support project is JISC-funded, our primary focus is academic libraries in UK, though we are also interested in innovative projects further afield which we could learn from (e.g. in different types of libraries or in academic libraries outside the UK).
We’ll be sharing relevant information and links we find on the blog as well as gathering case studies to develop a web presence to share these examples. If you have any examples you think might be relevant for us to examine as part of the project, please submit an example via our form.
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*The project’s official title is the mobile library support project but owing to the existing mobile library concept (i.e. library on wheels!) we chose to adopt the m-library name.