In March 2011, the Boise Public Library (BPL), ID, used $3,300 in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funding to purchase four iPad 2 tablets and all of the trimmings. As it turned out, BPL may have been a couple of years ahead of its time. This conversation is now coming full circle. Technological advances continue to make tablets lighter, faster, and more affordable. Vendors have recently launched interfaces that make it possible to use a staff tablet to perform tasks ranging from weeding books to signing up new cardholders. Also, applying lessons learned about these devices during the past five years, many libraries are rebooting or enhancing the way tablets are integrated into roving reference, off-site programs, and other workflows.
In early April 2013, digital journalism professor Robert Hernandez, of the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Los Angeles, was driving by L.A.’s Central Library downtown while thinking of ideas for his experimental augmented reality (AR) storytelling and journalism course when he had an aha moment: Why not focus a project on augmenting the Central Library?
Library ebook transactions remain too lengthy and complicated for patrons, especially in comparison with consumer ebook transactions, James English, product manager for the Library Simplified project at the New York Public Library (NYPL) said during his “EPUB: Walled Gardens and the Readium Foundation” presentation at the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Book Industry Study Group (BISG) Eighth Annual Forum, held June 27 in conjunction with the American Library Association (ALA) 2014 Annual Conference. The group is working to make an open, commercial-grade ereader for libraries that would greatly simplify this process.
Library software and mobile app developer Capira Technologies this week announced an integration with StackMap, a bookshelf visualization platform that helps guide patrons directly to the location of books and other materials in the library. Using the app, patrons will be able to search for and discover items in a library’s catalog, and with one […]
Boopsie, the developer of custom mobile apps for libraries, is planning to launch Boopsie Analytics in early 2014. Currently in alpha testing stage, the new web-based platform will help the company’s customers analyze data about a number of different patron behaviors, such as how many queries are sent to a database or catalog from the app each day or each week, what services are being accessed most often via the app, or how many titles are being downloaded from OverDrive or other vendor partners using the app, for example.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced on May 21 its plans to participate in the first National Day of Civic Hacking on June 1 and 2. Described as a “public-private-people partnership,” the event is being further described as “the largest ever to bring together citizens from around the country to work with local, state, and federal governments—as well as private sector organizations—with the common goal of improving their community through technology.”
Right now, the biggest trend in website design is responsive web design (RWD). In a responsive design, a website elegantly displays on any size device. The popularity of RWD is, in part, a response to the proliferation of mobile devices. In hopes of increasing usability, organizations want to ensure that people can use their sites no matter how they’re accessing the web. But RWD isn’t itself a solution to library website woes. As I see it, there are two problems: RWD can only accomplish so much, and it doesn’t address the root issue of providing library services in a mobile context.