September 2, 2014

The State of Mobile in Libraries 2012

As patrons embrace mobile devices, libraries need to provide new services. Here’s a look at the state of mobile library services—and what libraries need to do to stay on the radar

By Lisa Carlucci Thomas

Where do mobile library services stand in 2012? Nearly two years after the 2010 LJ Mobile Libraries Survey, mobile devices, such as smartphones, ereaders, and tablets have become mainstream, and the mobile library landscape has broadened significantly. Librarians, technologists, and information professionals are learning about and experimenting with mobile technologies while exploring and adopting best practices from library peers, institutional partners, and cross-industry experts.

Suddenly everyone (and no one) knows best how to meet the ever-changing mobile demand for information. From marketing, packaging, and licensing, to delivery, participation, and integration with existing services and practices, we’re all experts in ­training.

Early innovators are amassing and sharing the knowledge gained through their experiences, assessing the multiple variables that define each library’s unique operating environment and community. Accordingly, budgets, priorities, skills, and perceptions still present challenges. Fortunately, many libraries can work through these when designing a mobile strategy.

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