The Library of Congress (LC) has announced the release of its first official iPhone app, which allows users to take a virtual tour of the library, including photos of exhibitions and architecture, as well as audio, video, and links to other site content.
(As with other iPhone apps, iPad and iPod Touch users can download the free app as well. Sorry, Android users.)
Most of the content for the app, developed by staff in the web services division of the library’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, has been repurposed from material already available on the library’s myLOC.gov site. “It’s the type of content—marrying text with images, audio, video and web content—that just made sense as a starting point,” Matt Raymond, LC’s director of communications, told LJ.
But will there be future Library of Congress apps with more functionality—apps that, say, allow in-depth searches of library materials?
Raymond said that the staff is not currently working on any follow-up apps, though “a lot of ideas are being bandied about.” He did point out, however, that any future apps would be guided in part by what materials can most easily and inexpensively be ported onto mobile platforms.
“One of the major issues we hope to target with much of our content, due in large part to legacy systems that sometimes even predate the web, is metadata,” Raymond said. “Improvements in that area alone will make a huge difference in the ways we can make our content more findable, usable, shareable and portable.”
In the meantime, iPhone users can enjoy the tour.