The topic this week is on the mobile Web or accessing the internet via a mobile device such as a Smartphone, an iPad, or an E-reader. In my personal experience, I consistently use my Smartphone to access the internet on the go. I use it to check when my bus is coming, to find directions, log workouts, go on Facebook and to access school related materials such as Edmodo, reading articles, and reading online postings for other courses. With all of the time that I spend on the go traveling to and from school and to and from my hometown (a ten hour bus ride (!!!)) having this mobile access to the Web has been a great timesaver and an invaluable device to help me live my life. Sometimes I wonder how I survived without it!
Putting the mobile Web into perspective for libraries, this is a medium that can really benefit libraries. As mentioned in the lesson, Western has a mobile library app where you can access your library account, browse the catalogue, etc. I have used this app a couple of times and find it extremely useful when I do not have access to a computer to check when my books are due or where a certain book is available. The article by Thomas (2011) on “Libraries, Librarians and Mobile Services” discusses how this form of mobile computing is transforming how people interact and that libraries are trying to find solutions to give their patrons access to this type of technology to access their resources and services. Furthermore, for these mobile projects to be successful they have to be innovative, collaborative and be experimented with. One of the greatest benefits of the mobile Web is the ability to access it in a convenient and mobile manner so libraries should focus on developing mobile technologies that keep this in mind. For example, using QR codes for resources, podcasts for broadcasting many interesting topics (as mentioned in the lesson), mobile OPACs, mobile websites, SMS notification and reference services, mobile tours of the library, etc.
This is a very important field of librarianship and development in today’s day and age that should be taken seriously. These types of mobile applications and resources are important to help the library keep up with their fast moving clientele/patrons.
Thomas, Lisa C. (2011). In Libraries, Librarians and Mobile Services. Bulletin, 38(1), 8-9.