This is part of a series of blog posts based on the sessions held at the Mobile technologies in libraries: information sharing event. More resources from the day are available at the event Lanyrd page.
James Clay, ILT & Learning Resources Manager at Gloucestershire College, delivered the keynote session for the day and gave an interesting overview of some of the technologies that are currently being used by libraries and those that could be in the future.
James began his talk with some really interesting facts and figures about mobile use including:
- 45% of UK adults accessed the internet via mobile phone in 2011
- 71% of 16-24year olds accessed the internet via mobile phone in 2011
- By 2014, access to the internet via mobile devices is predicted to overtake internet access via desktop
He asked what message libraries give out about mobile e.g. ‘Don’t use mobile in library’, ‘Call us for help’. Why?
Access to information now is wider than years back and journey to information is less important which makes information profession more complex.
New technologies mainly do not replace old technologies (e.g tv and internet), they often enhance it. This is echoed in libraries; ebooks are not a replacement to hard copy, they offer a different experience.
James then gave some examples of the types of things libraries can utilise in the area of mobile technologies, including:
- QR codes – good for shortening website access
- Augmented Reality – locational uses
- Google goggles and barcode scanning apps – scan book cover or barcode to access price information (or details about availability in library)
- Notemaking e.g. Evernote
James felt that libraries should be utilising mobile technologies to offer library service anytime and anywhere to our users, though he did point out the following issues which need to be considered:
- mobile makes copyright issues more complex
- Innovation Prevention Department (i.e. institutional stumbling blocks or red tape preventing innovation)
- digital divide (though don’t make assumptions that Facebook users know how to use electronic resources for learning)
- change of learning expectations
- connectivity – is it reliable and realistic?
- staff development you dont need to know everything to provide help and support
- time – its about which priorities there are and who decides the priorities
The concluding comments from James’ keynote included discussion about the pace of change and the fact that this is never going to stop so we need to learn to cope with it. He also highlighted that many libraries have pilot projects but that they should be learning from others who have already implemented similar things rather than potentially making the same mistakes. He urged everyone to take one thing from the event to really focus on making a change and implementing a new way of doing things via mobile technologies in their own libraries.
A copy of James’ presentation is available at: https://speakerdeck.com/u/jamesclay/p/mobile-technologies